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NEW TREND `A lot of things make a film successful, also comedy'

NEW TREND `A lot of things make a film successful, also comedy'  

With the silver jubilee of Waqt - Race Against Time, Akshay Kumar's capability as an actor who can play both comedy and serious roles with �lan has been re-established. If Aitraaz thrived on his intensity, Mujhse Shaadi Karoge had a blast at the box office with his hilarious one-liners. His ease is no longer limited to action scenes and that's what makes Akshay the simple man's hero.

The success has definitely brought some airs in the actor and yet he doesn't overdo it. Unlike in the past, now he attempts an American accent, unsuccessfully though. He remains camera friendly, media friendly and of course, close to the hearts of children. Many know that he is the brand ambassador for the Special Olympics.

This week, the entire population of Delhi and Noida seemed to have gathered at Wave Cinema, Noida, for a glimpse of him. A few handshakes with kids, a two-minute appearance for the overflowing audience just before the premier of his latest film Garam Masala, and Akshay knows exactly how to present himself. He may smile and wave to one and all, but doesn't entertain anyone in the middle of his interview.

"I am giving an interview. Go," his eyes reflect disgust as a young boy tries to slide his autograph book into his hand in the middle of his interview. He can afford to be arrogant, especially when it comes to etiquette.

"Not comedy but a lot of things make a film successful. A comedy can fail if not handled with perfect timing. Priyadarshan knows exactly how to put one in a situational comedy so that it doesn't look overdone. So with him, I felt comfortable working," says Akshay about his association with the director of Garam Masala, which hit the silver screen this past Wednesday.

Though his companion, John Abraham, was a little stiff when it came to doing comedy scenes. Admits Akshay:

"Yes, John wasn't able to do it. He was very conscious, but later he opened up. Our chemistry otherwise as easy-going guys helped us. I did help him wherever he needed me."

Akshay humbly attempts to avoid talking about what John calls "the great help with tips and actions" that he gave him to enact comic scenes with ease. Akshay seems in a hurry to slip to the next question — his role.

"I play a photographer and a cool guy in the film who, despite being engaged to the daughter of his father's childhood friend, doesn't mind getting involved with many girls for the sake of fun." He murmurs to himself: "Not a good thing it is."

As for indications of gay bonding in the film, Akshay rejects the interpretation outright. "No. If you say so, you are not talking about Garam Masala. You are talking of some other masala. There is nothing in the film that talks about gay bonding," he asserts.

Nor does he think the success of films like Kya Kool Hai Hum and No Entry by dint of having lots of comedy is any indication that an era of comedy is emerging in the Hindi film world.

"Comedy is good for entertainment. It may not be always fulfilling though. Hence the success of a few comedy films does not mean an era has been ushered in. Because even a comedy could be good or bad."

These days there seems little for the Johny Levers or Rajpal Yadavs to do in films as the heroes themselves take the major chunk of comedy scenes. That not only minimises the need for comedians but also affects their job prospects. Not to mention the effect on the heroes, who are not considered serious entities in films anymore. Akshay takes it with a pinch of salt.

"Look, we are doing situational comedies. If heroes are doing comedy roles, it doesn't mean they are losing jobs. See, so many films of mine have Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav with their chunk of comic roles. Heroes ke aane se unki jagah khatam ho gayi ho, aisa bilkul nahin hai," he defends.

Working in lots of comedies from Main Khiladi Tu Anadi to Garam Masala, seems to have brought Akshay to a saturation point. "Now I would like to do a historical film," he admits, his face full of hope!

RANA SIDDIQUI

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