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 (
) and 2005 was Abhishek Bachchan’s (
Bunty Aur Babli
), 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
Chak De India
. Salman hit bullseye with
but his ambitious
and debut Hollywood film
Saif’s solo starrer
Ta Ra Rum Pum
didn’t work. Abhishek’s
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
bombed and John’s
were certainly not hits. Aamir and Hrithik haven’t had a release this year. Ajay Devgan’s only release,
, 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
Taare Zameen Pe
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
(a kid’s story), which also marks his debut as a director.
Salman has had his share of releases this year and in
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
setting the box office on fire, he is on a roll. He has
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
. I am putting my money on him,” says Vipul Shah who directed Akshay in
The dark horses
But upsets are the norm. Abhishek, has
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag
and maybe even
“He is the dark horse. If both films work, he will be right on top,” says Shah.
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
. But most aren’t willing to put him in