Saturday, August 4, 2007

What the critics had to say about Akshaye

"Of all the actors in the film it's only Akshaye Khanna who really shines in the role of the luck-deprived Harilal Gandhi. It's a wonderful performance, and it's not easy since the role covers virtually the entire lifespan of the character.

"But Akshaye brings a rare concoction of innocence and despondency to that part and succeeds in making Harilal a pitiable figure. Just watch him in that scene in which he discovers his wife's dead, and you'll realise how much he conveys through body language alone. " Rajeev Masand, CNN-IBN

"Akshaye Khanna is absolutely inspired and gives the complex part all his conviction and intelligence. His breakdown scenes are especially heart-wrenching. Hats off to her, Khanna and a project that cares to state that right can be wrong. " Khaled Mohammed, Hindustan Times

"A real shocker (in a positive way) is Khanna, who has you stand up and take notice. He brings put the variations in his characters extremely well."--Sanjay Ram, Business of Cinema

"Akshaye Khanna might be doing a gamut of commercial movies but there is no doubt about the fact that he is one of the finest actors in Bollywood today who can carry off all kinds of roles. He is extremely natural and expressive as Harilal and this can easily qualify as Khanna’s best performance till date." -- Sneha Hazarika,

"Akshaye Khanna plays the troubled Harilal and every frame featuring him promises an absolute tour de force performance from the man forced to do inane comedies like ‘Shaadi Se Pehle’ and ‘Aap Ki Khatir’.He seems in super form as a harrowed Harilal going from pillar to post, bottle to brothel, to find his won identity." -- Debataru De,

"The handsome Harilal (played by a Bollywood matinee idol) " Philip French, The Observer

"Akshaye lives the part to the hilt, he manages to show abiding love towards his mother with a mix of respect and rejection for his father. " Shubra Gupta, Indian Express

"The person to whom your heart goes out is Akshaye Khanna. As clich├ęd as it may sound but from frame one, what you see is Harilal and not the Akshaye Khanna you know. Those who claim Akshaye to have stuck with his HUMRAAZ, 36 CHINA TOWN and NAQAAB kind of roles need to have a dekko at his impeccable act here. His entire body language and mannerisms deserve biggest applause. Watch him being in awe of his father in the initial scenes or his drifting apart inch-by-inch with every interaction of theirs.

The cake is taken by three sequences where it is impossible not to shed a tear - when he cries on realizing his wife's death, when he meets his mother [Shefali Chhaya] at the 'ashram' after coming drunk and when he brings an orange for his mother at the railway station. Flawless. These three scenes by themselves ensure that Akshaye walks away with the highest awards this year." Joginder tuteja,

"Akshaye Khanna as Harilal is outstanding and his performance will tear you up, especially the part where he goes to meet his parents at a railway station. He gives his mother an orange but refuses to share it with his father, stating that Mahatma Gandhi is the Mahatma because of her. "--Syed Firdaus Ashraf,

"With 'Gandhi My Father' Akshaye Khanna makes the transition from star to actor. He delivers a finely tuned performance as the troubled son Harilal Gandhi of the revered leader Mahatma Gandhi " Indu Mirani, Daily News & Analysis

"Akshaye Khanna is first rate as Harilal Gandhi. The pain and the machinations of being unable to match up to his illustrious father are so natural; probably his best performance till date.

He is amazing in a few sequences:

His confrontation with his mother after embracing Islam.
The drunken scene where he is rounded up by the police.
The breaking-down scene in his mohalla.
His final collapse after the demise of his wife, Gulab.
The scene after the death of Gandhi, where he merely reacts to Dhaba owner. Anguish mixed with anger. Amazing!

These sequences stay with the viewer." Amit Agrawal, Merinews

"It would be a shame and injustice if Akshaye doesn’t win an award for his performance in the film. The actor sinks his teeth deep into his character. In the initial parts he brings innocence and rawness into Harilal. But slowly this innocence develops into open rebellion against his father." N.K. Doshi,

"Akshaye Khanna must be one of very few actors in the industry to have gotten a chance to essay a character, hitherto unknown, in a film sensitively handled, considering the subject and emotions involved. After all, such films are not made everyday. Amitabh Bachchan is quoted to have told his son, Abhishek, that it took him 25 years to get a film like BLACK. For an artiste nothing is more creatively satisfying than a good role, felt passionately by the makers, essayed with aplomb. More of Akshaye later.....

Back to Akshaye Khanna, who plays Harilal Gandhi. In one word, this talented actor who everyone knew was performing much below his potential is outstanding. In trying to describe his brilliance, I’m afraid I may fall short of his genius. So let’s leave it at this, that he has portrayed Harilal with sincere innocence that leaves you wondering whether to feel sorry for him or hate him." Martin D'Souza,

"The acting is uniformly good, especially Akshaye Khanna as the inconstant Harilal - more his father's son than he would ever let on. After all, like his father, he is willing to live and die by his convictions, but not let go." Naomi Dutta, TimesNow tv

"This scene, at a railway station, is Akshaye Khanna’s finest moment; he registers beautifully the childish obstinacy that makes people believe that if they ignore a problem it will somehow go away."

"In the first place, it showcases Akshaye Khanna's acting skills as never before. As Harilal, the loser son who traverses the long road from being touted as Chhota Gandhi to a cheat, alcoholic and a waster for whom nationalism, Gandhism were dispensable 'isms', Akshaye almost makes you weep. Completely dwarfed by his father's larger-than-life personae, the boy had no choice but to rebel against the Gandhi label which became the proverbial crown of thorns on his head. And amidst all the confrontations and misgivings with his venerable father, the only thing that remained constant was his love for his mother, Kasturba. " Nikhat Kazhmi, Times of India

"So Gandhi My Father has ambition and craft. It also has a towering performance by Akshay Khanna whose trembling lips encapsulate a lifetime of frustration and sadness. " Anupama Chopra, NDTV


Beth said...

Thanks for putting the links with these quotes! Any chance I could beg you to do that every time you quote a story, so it's easy for readers to go back to the original source and read it in context and see all the comments that may be left there? ;)

Anonymous said...

I have watched Gandhi, My Father! It's really a fascinating and heartfelt story. Akshaye Khanna is extremely natural as Harilal Gandhi! No over-acting! Akshaye Khanna must win all awards for the best actor and also best performer of the year. Akshaye Khanna is really extraordinary as mentioned Taran Adarsh. In Gandhi, My Father, your heart weeps for Harilal Gandhi.

Anonymous said...

Extremely superb true story! Excellent Movie.It should be selected from india to Oscars,akshaye khanna has proved it once more that he is an excellent and best actor of Bollywood. He should win all awards next year. Congratulation, Akshaye Khanna. You are just too good and extraordinary!

Anonymous said...

Akshaye Khanna excels as Harilal Gandhi. He is an incredible actor. He proves that he is not a star but a great actor of great calibre. 'Star' means fame which Akshaye Khanna does not belong whereas 'actor' means all about good acting and performance and Akshaye Khanna belongs to this category.