Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Film industry waits for bailout with Akshay's 'Kambakht Ishq'

Film industry waits for bailout with Akshay's 'Kambakht Ishq'
By Joginder Tuteja

Mumbai, June 23 (IANS) He was written off after the debacle of "Chandni Chowk To China" and "8X10 Tasveer", but Akshay Kumar is back to entertain audiences with his full-on masala act in the action-thriller "Kambakht Ishq" that experts hope will pull the industry out of the dumps.

"You would be foolish to write him off," said Anees Bazmee, who has delivered two superhits "Singh Is Kinng" and "Welcome" with Akshay. "Don't forget that he is the same man who has been the darling of the masses and given so many back-to-back money spinners. He cannot be penalised for one 'Chandni Chowk To China' throughout his life."

After "Chandni Chowk...", Akshay suffered another setback in the form of Nagesh Kukunoor's "8X10 Tasveer".

" '8X10 Tasveer' was never meant to be blockbuster material to begin with, even though critics insisted on calling it 'the Akshay Kumar' film. Also, a terrible climax was the major reason for the film to flop, not Akshay's acting. In fact, he was the lone saving grace of the film," said a trade analyst.

In the much-awaited "Kambakkht Ishq", releasing July 3, Akshay plays a Hollywood stuntman with an international set-up that boasts Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallon, Denise Richards and Brandon Routh.

"This is a film for the masses but with a rich international feel to it that would break the mass versus class barrier," said Sajid Nadiadwala, the man behind the multi-crore movie, "We have the best of both the worlds in the film with
Kareena Kapoor playing a supermodel. The Akshay-Kareena combination is the one to watch out for."

"Akshay is a superstar and he is here to stay. Let 'Kambakkht Ishq' release and we will see it for ourselves," said Sajid Khan who has roped him in for his second directorial venture "Houseful".

However, the usual 'Akshay Kumar frenzy' is missing even though the film is less than a fortnight away from release.

"Let's not read too much into it. Akshay is too big a star to be worried about such minor things. And why are we forgetting that he is the same man who in the last three years has seen 21 films of his getting released out of which 17 have been hits.

"He is the most consistent actor, star and a lot more than that. Just because one film of his doesn't take a kickstart as expected, people out there have started making judgments," said Vipul Shah, who directed Akshay in the hit "Namastey London".

As the countdown begins for "Kambakkht Ishq", Shah has the last word.

"I can recount 100 such cases when someone has been pulled down so badly. A few months back, it happened to Himesh Reshammiya for 'Karzzzz'. Earlier, after 'Saawariya', Sanjay Leela Bhansali was said to be finished.

"Hurman Baweja got to hear so much due to 'Love Story 2050' while after 'Drona', Abhishek was written off. This is sheer cynicism at play but mind you, one film cannot make or break anyone. With 'Kambakkht Ishq', the industry would get the much-needed respite."

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