This enjoyable, mainstream film is a result of the Bollywood superstar and the filmmaker's mutual admiration and respect for each other. Singh Is Bliing, produced by Grazing Goat Pictures LLP and Pen India Ltd that released on October 2, is the highest opener for this actor-director duo in India and overseas. The film managed a whopping day one collection, making it the second highest opener of 2015. The music has been appreciated too.
Rowdy Rathore (RR), their last cinema outing together, also broke records. This time around, the duo is hopeful that besides the initial box office deluge, they have already broken the opening records of RR.
Speaking to Bombay Times from London, Akshay says, "I've always loved working with my South Indian directors, be it Prabhu, AR Murugadoss (Holiday — A Soldier Is Never Off Duty) or Priyadarshan (Hera Pheri, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, De Dana Dan). They are soft-spoken and effective. Their heads are brimming with ideas but they work in a quiet, meticulous way. You cannot expect them to speak more than necessary. I admire their discipline."
The actor adds that SIB worked because of many factors. He says, "It was made in record time and budget and this time around Prabhu had a different bent of mind.'' Ask him to elaborate and Akshay quips, "Usually Prabhu's movies lean 80% towards the men and 20% towards women. In this film, he has given men and women a 50:50 deal. The characters played by Amy Jackson and Lara Dutta have equal footage as my own character, Raftar Singh.''
Akki, who is one of the biggest advocates of women empowerment, says, "I believe every single woman must see herself as an equal. In Mumbai, where my martial arts camp is conducted, it's terrific to see working women who come in their office wear — saris, business suits or skirts — to undergo training. They punch like professionals. Their goal is not to become martial art experts but to protect themselves in daily life. For me, a strong woman who can safeguard herself on a day-to-day basis is a path-breaker. I had mentioned this in passing to Prabhu and the writers of SIB, and I liked the way they included this in the film.''
Akshay, who is called a one-man industry as he does three to four Bollywood movies a year, netting huge box-office numbers and providing livelihood for a big work-force, concedes he believes in his own method of elimination. He says, "Some actors prefer to be choosy and do one film at a time. I want to continue with my own way of working and do three to four films a year. I don't need five months to get under the skin of a character. My objectives are simple; I'm here to entertain and ensure no one loses money on my account. Hence, my choice of scripts is a mixed bunch and the budgets of my movies are controlled.''