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2007's King of Bollywood

entertainment Updated: Sep 15, 2007 19:15 IST
Highlight Story

We are into the last quarter of the year and it’s time to speculate on who it belongs to. If 2006 was Hrithik Roshan’s (

Krrish

and

Dhoom 2

) and 2005 was Abhishek Bachchan’s (

Bunty Aur Babli

and

Sarkar

), which actor — based on screen presence and the volume of money his films make — races ahead of the others in 2007?



The year so far


It’s been a mixed bag for most. Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan and Shah Rukh have enjoyed solo hits like

Namastey London, Guru

and

Chak De India

. Salman hit bullseye with

Partner

but his ambitious

Salaam-e-Ishq

and debut Hollywood film

Marigold

disappointed.



Saif’s solo starrer

Ta Ra Rum Pum

didn’t work. Abhishek’s

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

bombed and John’s

Salaam-e-Ishq

and

Water

were certainly not hits. Aamir and Hrithik haven’t had a release this year. Ajay Devgan’s only release,

Cash

, didn’t set the cash register ringing. So, who is the winner? It’s a fluid situation.



The biggies clash


There are quite a few big ones coming up, like SRK starrer

Om Shanti Om

, Aamir’s

Taare Zameen Pe

and Abhishek’s

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag.

What a contest!



The year end also sees the clash of two Khans as their home productions release — SRK with

Om Shanti Om

, a film on a struggling actor and Aamir with

Taare…

(a kid’s story), which also marks his debut as a director.



Salman has had his share of releases this year and in

Saawariya

he only has special appearances. His only other release could be

God Tussi Great Ho

.



<b1>“Let the best script win. Actors nowadays have realised that they need to try new things and that’s what shows in the choice of roles they have,” says trade expert Taran Adarsh. An industry insider says Aamir’s doubling up as a director in Taare…could make a big difference. “The hype will be on,” she says.



The Akki factor

Akshay Kumar, many feel, could be considered the actor of the year. Having had a solo hit already and with

Heyy Babyy

setting the box office on fire, he is on a roll. He has

Bhool Bhoolaiya

and

Welcom

e coming up. But his critics feel that he is doing too much comedy.



Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar feels that he is a fantastic actor and has proved his worth in all kinds of roles. “He is brilliant in

Heyy Babyy

and also

Welcome

. I am putting my money on him,” says Vipul Shah who directed Akshay in

Namastey London

.



The dark horses


But upsets are the norm. Abhishek, has

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag

and

Drona

and maybe even

Sarkar Raj

.



“He is the dark horse. If both films work, he will be right on top,” says Shah.



Ajay has

Halla Bol

and

Mr Fraud

to prove his prowess. John — who is hardly in the same league — is trying something different with UTV’s

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal

(a film on soccer) and Anurag Kashyap’s

No Smoking

. But most aren’t willing to put him in


the race.

<