Akshaye Khanna's Follicular Filmography part 1

(Credit for the awesome idea of this series goes to Asim Burney of upodcast!)

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.

Mohabbat 1997
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!

So. Lovely.

Uh-oh. The mullet is beginning to sneak in.

Somebody needs to keep an eye on that thing.

Kudrat 1998
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.


Taal 1999
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.)


Ness said…
Hahahahaha! OMG THE MULLET OF DOOM! Oh the apple didn't fall far from the tree as far as 90s Khanna hair is concerned....how Rahul escaped the bad hair curse is a mystery in itself...
Pooja said…
I know this an AK post but I can't believe you didn't comment on the terrible-ness of they lyrics in that Madhuri song (Don't Break My Heart! I will! I Will!) and how incredibly young Ash looks in AALC!
rayshma said…
Awww...!!! WHAT a way to start my morning!

I also had a HUGE crush on him till I saw Aap Ki Khaatir (yeah, till that late!). And I thought he looked VERY cute in Dahek & Kudrat! I've sat through Naqaab (again, in a theater), Shortkut and Mere Baap as well! :)
I totally am loving Khanna-O-Raama! :)
ajnabi said…
I just about spit my coffee when I beheld this post's title. You are hilarious! And, man. The Taal "style?" Tragic. The reason they had to fake kiss is because Aishwarya started to die laughing every time she saw that mullet heading her way.
Anonymous said…
LOL! Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought Akshaye's hair was a mystery.
Filmi Girl said…
You know I find Akshaye intolerable but DANG! He looked pretty good back in the day - I may have to revisit my No-Akshaye policy of film watching...
Ness - Definitely doom! Wonder if we could dig up a mid-90s family portrait? Mwahahahaha! I think Rahul had the right stylists all along (and is just generally savvier about and more interested in style, judging by his tweets).

Pooja - So true! Egregious oversight! I will take a listen right now and pull out any special treasures other than "I will I will I will! I won't I won't I won't!"

rayshma - Yay! He's so lovable. Can't believe you've seen all those - do you recommend any of them, even just for him? I might be willing to try if I've been told something specific....

ajnabi - Then my work here is done! :)

myra-nora - SO MYSTERIOUS. And ever-changing!

GF - Oooh yay! I thought some well-chosen early pictures might tempt a few people. I disagree with Indie Quill that neither beta looks like alpha - they don't as much as, say, the Deols or Abhishek, maybe, but at certain angles or with certain looks you can totally see it. Akshaye might be the one example I can think of of an actor who looks better in the 90s than they do now - I don't have any shots of him in really horrible 90s clothes. Though I still find him yum now when they let his hair look normal, like in Aaja Nachle.
Kanan said…
I actually fell in love with him after watching Hulchul. OMG! What a handsome man!!! He truly is one of the macho Khannas! I think the unshaven look suits him so much. I wonder what he'd look like with glasses... *drool*
Natty said…
Love this post and his hair. Akshaye used to be so cute. I do think that he is a pretty good actor. :)
Nicki said…
LOL!! Had me laughing so hard. This is so true. Akshu does look adorable in some of the hair caps :D
yves said…
oh, Beth, that was soo funny! I loved every bit of this great post! I wish I could've done it!! that "horrendous puffy mullet"!
Thanks for the laugh!
Shivani said…
Oh Mohabbat, Aa Ab Laut Chalein, Border. My teenage, come back to me already *sigh* Also, Dahek. I haven't seen the movie but that song 'Sawan Barse' with a shirtless & wet Akshay & a simpering Sonali -- pure gold! I thought his downfall began right from there. In Taal, as if Aishwarya wasn't enough Akshaye actually made me reconsider if I would prefer 3 hours of nails clawing at a blackboard to his OTTness. I didn't care for any of his movies after that (also because I grew up :P and there was Hrithik Roshan), but I'd mentally written him off. Nothing could get me adore him as I did before, but then DCH did the trick and HOW!

You should watch Border. It has meagre doses of history & is swimmingly high on Bollywood draamebazi, like any Bollywood war-movie should be :) But hey, there ain't a better way of leching at our man than this ;)

Came via Amrita. I'm discovering so many kickass Bollyblogs, thanks to her, woohoo! :D
Rosie said…
How many heroines did Akshaye play against that Vinod had already played against? Was it just Dimple and Madhuri, or were there more?
Onlytaniya said…
Bloody bullshit ! Ur missing the quality of an actor.... just try to wash your own dirty linen in publi...spare him parleeeez !
movie was so and so..
Jenny K said…
I do like the early ones, especially when the stylist was kind and kept it simple. He looks best in clean lines to show off his great shoulders, etc. Though I have a fondness for that silly yellow sunflower bandana in Mera Dil Tera Deewana...if you're doing the article on his hair/hatstyles, you must include it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-33ecbkvVk
Jenny K said…
BTW...Border is definitely worth a view. Besides nice shots of AK with lots of stubble, it's actually one of my few war films that I enjoyed.

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