In 2001, this man changed Bollywood’s style of film making. Daring to come out of moulds of dancing around the trees, Farhan Akhtar set a modern trend of realism in Bollywood. Refraining from portraying an image larger than life, he settled for serving a slice of life to his audiences. Teaming up with his partner Ritesh Sidhwani from Excel Entertainment, the two ventured into delivering path breaking films. Though Farhan donned the director’s hat for the Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna starrer cult film Dil Chahta Hai, the first venture from their production house was a hit. Raking up a total collection of 15.75 crores, the film is still etched just as freshly in public memory.
Farhan went into production serious production in 2006 with Don. Refurbishing the script of the iconic duo of Salim-Javed, the film was a remake of the 1978 film Don. Making the film way more sleek and stylish in its modern avatar, this Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra starrer was a commercial success. Earning a lifetime total of 51 crores, the film was declared a hit!
In 2007, Farhan maintained his experimental vein by producing debutant director Reema Kagti’s film Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd. Starring an ensemble cast of many talented and bright stars including veterans like Shabana Azmi and Boman Irani, along with Abhay Deol, Kay Kay Menon, the film fared decently at the box office. The audiences received it smoothly without many hiccups and the film raked up an average collection of 11.80 crores at the box office.
In 2008, Farhan produced Rock On. Considered the hilt of bromance concept in India, the film launched Farhan as an actor and singer as well. Starring alongside Arjun Rampal and Prachi Desai in the film, the urban audiences received the story extremely well. Mostly earning its income from the multiplexes, the film put up an average show at the box office. The film earned a lifetime total of 27.46 crores. However, the film officially established Farhan’s strong inclination in acting as well.
In 2009, Farhan produced Luck By Chance by officially launched his sister in Bollywood. Zoya Akhtar, who perhaps has a greater command over the script and technical department as compared to Farhan, directed him in Luck By Chance. Starring opposite the powerful performer Konkona Sen Sharma, the film failed to spark off any magic at the box office. Giving a flop performance at the box office, this film fainted in the public memory too soon.
In 2010, Farhan came up with an interesting premise of a psychological thriller Karthik Calling Karthik. Dealing with schizophrenia, the film’s protagonist seeks solutions of his life’s problems by consulting his alter ego. Starring Deepika Padukone, the film did a below average business and managed to earn only 20 crores at the box office.
2011 was a pivotal year for Excel Entertainment. Farhan invested millions in three films over the year. The Abhishek Bachchan starrer Game was panned by critics unanimously. The audiences did not receive it well either. The film flopped badly at the box office and earned a measly sum of 7 crores only. However, Zoya Akhtar’s Spanish Travelogue Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara fared better. Starring Hrithik Roshan along with Abhay Deol and Farhan himself in the lead roles, the film was received favorably by critics. Earning an above average amount of 90 crores at the box office, the film left a remarkable impression that year.
In December 2011, Farhan released the sequel of 2006 film Don. Don 2 starring Shah Rukh Khan in the titular role along with Priyanka Chopra, went on to earn a plus amount at the box office. Raking up above 100 crores, it is Farhan Akhtar’s only film in Bollywood esteemed 100 crore club!
In 2012, Farhan Akhtar teamed up with his Dil Chahta Hai actor Aamir Khan and delivered a paranormal thriller Talaash. The film opened to mixed reviews from both critics and audiences. While some thought of it as a fantastic one time watch, others could not digest a supernatural plot from Aamir, who is believed to be radical and realistic when it came to films. The film however, was declared a hit. Earning a great sum of 93 crores, Talaash was a forerunner for all important awards this year.
Farhan’s success rate as a producer has been a mixed bag. But the man himself has a flawless understanding of cinema, and an impeccable far sighted vision of how a story is molded on screen. He can practically sketch a detailed portrait of how the story will be dealt with, which exactly is his forte. Despite few hits, his films have always left a deep and unforgettable impression on the audience which indeed is producer’s success. Besides the profits incurred, a greater success in the world of cinema is when a film is remembered by the audiences for the right reasons! And Farhan has largely had it correct so far!
Hoping that his upcoming film Fukrey with a relatively lesser known star-cast might have Akhtar’s trademark cinematic magic which should work in the film’s favour. With this, Koimoi takes the cue to wish the Fukrey team and Farhan Akhtar our best wishes for the film.