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Rediff.com  » Movies » Happy Birthday, Farhan Akhtar: Bollywood's All-Star turns 40!

Happy Birthday, Farhan Akhtar: Bollywood's All-Star turns 40!

January 09, 2014 12:18 IST

Happy Birthday, Farhan Akhtar: Bollywood's All-Star turns 40!

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Bollywood's most versatile star of his generation, actor-director-singer-dialogue writer Farhan Akhtar turns 40 today, January 9. A look at his many cinematic feats so far.

When Karan Johar asked Zoya Akhtar if she ever thought her brother would be the man he is today on an episode of his celebrity chat show, Koffee With Karan, she answered, 'He's always tried something and been really good at it.'

Then, she laughingly added, 'He was a bit of a wastrel at a point (flunking in school, playing rummy with star kids) so I didn't think he really intended to do anything.'

Of course, the *he* in question -- Farhan Akhtar -- left no room for doubt by turning out just fine in not just one but many areas of creative expression.

Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani’s son hit the scene quite memorably with his debut behind the camera (Dil Chahta Hai) and ended last year on a high note with a career best performance in front of it (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag).

The Bollywood All-Star turns all of 40 today.

Perfect occasion, we thought, to celebrate the fascinating attributes of this multifaceted talent.

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Image: Farhan Akhtar in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara


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The Yuppie Filmmaker

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Farhan Akhtar’s slice-of-life urban dramedy (Dil Chahta Hai) about three friends struck a chord with Generation X like no other.

Its new age humour, youthful vibe and hip aesthetics against believable emotionality set a benchmark in modern-day Hindi cinema.

What’s commendable is that he never chose to play it safe and went on to work in brand new genres like Hrithik Roshan’s coming-of-age against the backdrop of Kargil war in Lakshya and reworking Amitabh Bachchan’s Don into a successful Shah Rukh Khan franchise.

Not to forget all the deft, dazzling dialogues he penned for Talaash, Rock On!! and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.


Image: Farhan Akhtar in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Photographs: Abheet Gidwani

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The Artist

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There’s a dedication in Farhan’s approach even while facing the camera.

Though he doesn't strike as typical hero material, his accessible persona and easy-going charm are an easy fit for a leading man today’s audience is more than open to.

And so whether he’s channelling his inner dude to play a rock band sensation in his acting debut, Rock On!!, conveying the anxieties of a regular guy in Karthik Calling Karthik, chronicling the journey of an aspirant in Bollywood in Luck By Chance or undergoing grueling physical training to transform into The Flying Sikh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, FA is quite the artist.


Image: Farhan Akhtar in Karthik Calling Karthik


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The Rockstar

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Besides the actor, Rock On!! revealed a brand new side of Farhan Akhtar to the viewers -- the singer.

Agreed, he’s no Kurt Cobain but the man can sure carry a chartbuster or two.

The thrilling response to Rock On!!, again a home production, reaffirmed his connect with the urban audience.

The Magik frontman even formed a band called ‘Farhan Live,’ which performing at college fests across the rock concert-starved nation.


Image: Farhan Akhtar in Rock On!!


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The Family Guy

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Be it professional or personal, there’s extraordinary compatibility and mutual respect between all the creative folk in his family (Javed, Honey, Zoya).

Doing the perfect balancing act, Farhan cuts quite the happy picture with his hairstylist wife Adhuna and kids -- Shakya and Akira.

Honey Irani talks about her son Farhan here.


Image: Farhan Akhtar with sister Zoya, wfie Adhuna and mum Honey Irani
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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The Trendsetter

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It’s not just his movies, the man is no less stylish.

From rocking cool casuals, getting adventurous in bold colours to settling for a suave red-carpet look, FA dabbles fashion with the ease of film genres.


Image: Farhan and Adhuna Akhtar
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
Tags: FA

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The Excel Half

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From school to screen, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani are a rare blend of buddies and business.

Their company together, Excel Entertainment is at the helm of National award-winning fare like Dil Chahta Hai and Rock On!!, huge successes like the Don series while fearlessly promising fresh talent on the scene -- Zoya Akhtar (Luck By Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara), Reema Kagti (Honeymoon Travels, Talaash), Mrigdeep Singh Lamba (Fukrey) and Karan Anshuman (Bangistan).


Image: Farhan Akhtar with Ritesh Sidhwani


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The Activist

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Following a series of disturbing crimes against women in India, Farhan Akhtar felt the need to make a change.

MARD -- Men Against Rape and Discrimination -- is his initiative to campaign through powerful slogans and make a conscious change in passive sections of the society.


Image: Farhan Akhtar with Atul Kasbekar and Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Farhan Akhtar/Twitter

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The All-Rounder

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Directing, producing, acting, activism, writing scripts/dialogues/lyrics and singing, have we covered it all?

Not really!

Even after donning so many hats, the Bollywood all-rounder still finds time to host an informal TV show (Oye It’s Friday) endorse prestigious brands, walk as a showstopper on the ramp, grace magazine covers.

Live it up, Farhan style!


Image: Farhan Akhtar
Photographs: Abheet Gidwani

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