Come Independence Day and two of Bollywood’s biggest superstars will battle it out at the box office. Shah Rukh Khan’s untitled film is pitted against Akshay Kumar-starrer Toilet: Ek Prem Katha on August 11. Earlier, it was reported that Akshay’s film Crack was supposed to release during I-Day, but now it is not the case. Also, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha was scheduled to hit the theatres on June 2, but the release has been postponed and will face SRK’s flick. The ongoing year has begun on a pleasant note for both the B-town stars. Akshay’s courtroom drama Jolly LLB 2 and SRK’s Raees turned out to be runaway hits. The latter’s success was sweeter one as it was born out of a stiff competition with Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil which also released on January 25. While trade pundits continue to speculate on the outcome of this clash, we have a fair idea who has an upper hand. It’s none other than Akshay Kumar.
No matter how brilliant actor you are, all that matters at the end of the day is your capability to set the cash registers ringing at the box office. Both Akshay and Shah Rukh are among the A-listers whose names are enough to draw the crowd to the theatres.
Talking about Shah Rukh, the 51-year-old actor has witnessed mixed fortunes in recent times. After an average outing last year with his ambitious venture Fan biting the dust and Dear Zindagi being a moderate success, Khan began this year on a winning note with gangster drama Raees edging past Hrithik’s Kaabil. Things could have been better if the clash would not have resulted in strained ties between him and Kaabil producer Rakesh Roshan. Nevertheless, the film turned out to be a successful one and crossed the Rs 100 crore mark. But it was not the kind of success Shah Rukh wanted as Hrithik managed to contain his juggernaut to a large extent.
On the other hand, Akshay Kumar is at the zenith of his career. Since Airlift, he has not put a single foot wrong as all his successive films Housefull 3, Rustom and Jolly LLB 2 have crossed the hallowed Rs 100 crore club. Over the years, Akshay has gained a lot of accolades owing to his business sense. He chooses scripts wisely, focussing on content rather than his stardom. What adds to his advantage is his ability to complete films within a short span of time. In recent times, he has mostly resorted to playing characters are patriotic. Be his role of Ajay in Baby or Ranjit Katyal in Airlift, the Khiladi Kumar continues to enthrall his fans with his versatility.
Akshay’s joyous run at the box office is indeed a worrying factor for Shah Rukh. Of late, he has been facing stiff competition from the other two Khans i.e Salman and Aamir. Critics have often pointed out how he continues to play the same kind of roles in every other film. His 2015 flick Dilwale was outshone by Ranveer Singh-starrer Bajirao Mastani, whereas viewers rejected him in the dual role of Gaurav Chanana and Aryan Khanna in Maneesh Sharma’s Fan. Also, Shah Rukh is working with Imtiaz Ali whose last venture Tamasha failed at the box office despite having Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in lead roles. As a result, he and Anushka Sharma face a colossal responsibility to rekindle the same magic as
As a result, he and Anushka Sharma face a colossal responsibility to rekindle the same magic as Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi before the cinegoers. Contrary to this, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is centred around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and deals with health hazards of open defecation. In other words, the film is likely to click with the audience given the fact that it carries a social message.
So, lots of homework for you Mr Khan!