Koffee with Karan season 8: Arjun Kapoor's wise words don't match his actions | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Koffee with Karan season 8: Arjun Kapoor's wise words on accepting failures don't match his competitiveness

Dec 14, 2023 03:24 PM IST

Before the Koffee Gets Cold: Arjun Kapoor has been dishing out pearls of wisdom on coming to terms with his failures – before showing how he can be a bad sport.

This wasn't the first Koffee with Karan (KWK) season, when we watched Arjun Kapoor make sense of his box office failures on the Koffee couch. He's been a mascot of the celebrity chat show, as host Karan Johar claimed, but his cameos on episodes with other actors have been far more fun than having him there for a full episode. Not because he isn't fun (he's witty and eloquent), but it fizzles out as soon as he gets all defensive about his erratic box office streak. (Also Read: Arjun Kapoor says those who troll him and Malaika Arora are ‘same people dying for selfies’ with them)

Arjun Kapoor on Koffee with Karan Season 8
Arjun Kapoor on Koffee with Karan Season 8

Why so serious?

It feels like all Arjun Kapoor appearances on Koffee with Karan can make for a homogeneous mix. He's discussing how he handles box office failure in almost all of them. He's also been talking about his relationship with Malaika Arora on the Koffee couch for the past two seasons, though he had a dignified restraint this time. You can't blame Karan for asking the same ol' questions to Arjun as his career and personal life have remained more or less on the same plateau.

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To see him defend his box office lows by comparing his career to those of Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan is quite a stretch. He may stick to that narrative in order to personally reaffirm his faith in himself, but the fact is both Akshay and Saif didn' take themselves so seriously and pivoted majorly to regain their relevance. Given the kind of movies he's doing lately, and then defending their failures, Arjun is nowhere near the inflexion points of other actors he takes examples of.

No one can take away credit from him whenever he took risks and emerged with flying colours. But the way he reiterates those years down the line is also quite far-fetched. Arjun claimed that he was the first actor of his generation to deliver a 100 crore hit with Abhishek Varman's 2014 romantic comedy 2 States. His contemporaries Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor registered 100 crore hits with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 2013 romantic drama Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ram-Leela and Anurag Basu's 2012 rom-com Barfi! respectively.

If Arjun doesn't consider them contemporaries (despite co-starring with Ranveer in Ali Abbas Zafar's 2014 buddy action film Gunday), and is referring to Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra, let's consider his leading lady in 2 States, Alia Bhatt, who made her debut in the same year as them in 2012. She's delivered eight 100 crore hits in less than a decade. But Arjun wouldn't compare his trajectory to a female actor because it's convenient to feel superior to male actors of his ‘generation.’

Be a sport, maybe?

Arjun Kapoor has the gift of the gab and can articulate his process of dealing with failures fairly well. But the facade drops as soon as he's in a competitive space. During the pop culture quiz on Koffee with Karan 8, one can say with confidence that the questions were skewed in favour of Aditya Roy Kapur. And Karan also tried to keep them exciting by arbitrarily lending more weightage to questions Aditya had more chances of guessing right.

Those would have been worthy battles to fight, if at all. But Arjun kept fussing about “But I said it first,” “Your buzzer is louder than mine,” “I need a replay of that,” and almost walking away from the couch till he was given that point. The only time he got the memo for the quiz – to have fun instead of going all front-bencher mode on it – is when he joked that Karan is favouring Aditya because Arjun isn't DCA (Dharma Cornerstone Agency, the talent management firm owned by Karan).

Arjun could've channelled his wit into winning the Rapid Fire round. But he went for the bait and became more esoteric in his answers towards the end, instead of having fun with it. He acknowledged after losing the Koffee hamper for the first time in all these years that he should've 'been massy, instead of being multiplex’ about it. When Aditya was voted the winner, Arjun joked it's all about the ‘good looks.’

While those are wisecracks to live by, one can't say if they're just Arjun's grave retorts under the guise of humour. Arjun said he was surprised at how competitive Aditya turned during the quiz, but his own energy is always like that, raised to the power of 10. Aditya may not be more successful than Arjun, but his aloofness allows him to glide over it. Arjun could take a cue from him, an actor of his ‘generation’, who gave a worldwide 100 crore hit in Aashiqui 2, a year before 2 States.

Before the Koffee gets Cold' is a weekly column that goes beyond the froth to study the storm inside the Koffee cup.

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