So. Akshaye Khanna. You all know I love him - he was my first Fake-Pretend Movie Boyfriend, pretty much from the word go of seeing him in Taal on the big screen at Ebertfest in 2005 - but he is not always an easy actor to love. Most importantly, he makes some unfathomable choices in roles. He has too many films in which he is the best thing about them by leaps and bounds (Hungama, Shaadi Se Pehle, Aap Ki Khatir). I can't even bring myself to watch Mere Baap Pehle Aap, Naqaab, and Shortkut. I know a man's gotta work, but...ugh. On to the more fun and inscrutable aspect of The Mystery We Call Akshaye Khanna: his hair. What is with his hair? I am but a humble student and have no answers; instead, I offer you a three-part chronicle (consisting of all of his films that I have seen and a few I haven't) so that we can all inform ourselves by using the primary sources and then discuss at length. Our collective brain power is needed to solve this one.
As demonstrated by Briyanshu, things started out...swimmingly in his first year of films.
He's got almost Shashi-like waves. All good. Plus he holds his own...sort of...relatively, anyway, with Madhuri in the 90s-riffic "Don't Break My Heart."
Can you imagine having to dance with Madhuri in your second film? Scary! Also, from Madhuri's point of view, can you imagine having to romance the son of one of your former on-screen romances? Even scarier!
Doli Saja Ke Rakhna 1998
More of the same. Sometimes wavy (yay!), sometimes a little weird in front (brow furrow), and sometimes mullet-ish (boooo!).
Dahek: A Burning Passion 1998
Akshaye and Sonali Bendre are so cute in this film; too bad it's communal trauma-drama-o-rama!
Uh-oh. The mullet is beginning to sneak in.
Somebody needs to keep an eye on that thing.
When I wrote up this film, I labeled this photo something like "quite possibly Akshaye's best hair ever. Ever."
I'm willing to stick to it.
From the very cute girls vs. boys engagement party song "Ab Tak Hai Puri Azadi."
However, Kudrat has some major continuity errors regarding his haircut. For example:
See? I told you the mullet would come back! Aiiiieeeeee!
Aa Ab Laut Chalen 1999
Evil, evil Amrika seems to be generally good for his hair.
Again foreign-returned and with Aishwarya Rai in a statement about India and the west (among many other issues), things have headed way downhill. I adore this film but I cannot pretend I don't laugh at certain shots. Taal features a horrendous puffy mullet.
If you use your hand to cover up the right quarter of his hair, it's so much better.
Why? Why, wardrobe department, why? Even without the back visible, this is not a great look. It's still the 1990s, but it's way to late for this kind of nosesne.
I'm not a huge fan of hats normally, but I like the ones he wears in Taal because they sometimes help hide the back of his hair.
Ahhh, that's better. You keep brooding with that beret, my friend.
That's six of his ten films released in the 1990s. Maybe some of you have some treasures to share from Himalay Putra, Border, Bhai Bhai, and Laawaris? Next up: the shorn head for the new millennium in Dil Chahta Hai - off with the mullet of yesteryear! - and other looks of the early 2000s.
(Click for part 2 and 3 of this series.)