Legendary Martial Artist Bruce Lee said,”the word star is an illusion”. He stated he’d rather be an actor than be labeled a star. So what is it that made Lee averse to the star-like identity? Maybe, the answer lies in the lives of our actors. Is Hrithik our mega star any different? Could his life hold an answer to understanding what Lee had quoted many years before.
Let’s find out!
When you speak of Bollywood you’d find that many A-list stars often succumb to the star-like illusion. Yes, complexities and controversies are part of the game, but few manage to keep their head above the so called ‘god-like’ that exists around them.
Of the many scintillating talents India has produced, Hrithik Roshan is one endearing name who has managed to keep the actor alive in him, despite being a super ‘star’. And he’s been doing it brilliantly if one speaks sans bias, in the big bad film world where dreams and high hopes are often crushed like breeze colliding with the rocks at the Marine Drive promenade or the Worli Sea face.
Doing all that he possibly can in defeating the commonality that Bollywood is often mocked for, Hrithik Roshan has managed to sway audiences while doing what he does best; making movies. And, it’s been 15 years since he first arrived on the stage.
Hrithik’s talent is superlative in the sense that it grows exponentially alongside his own career graph.
On January 10, 2016, easily Indian Cinema’s most dapper looking male ever since the days of Dev Anand, Vinod Khanna and Shashi Kapoor and, a charming souvenir of India to the world of cinema turned 42. In so doing, he has done it all; touched lofty peaks through a sensational film debut; Rakesh Roshan’s 2000 mega-hit Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, suffered personal blows; a heart-breaking fallout with ex-wife Suzanne, attained mega success through a bevy of box office biggies including Koi Mil Gaya, Krish series, Agneepath, Dhoom 2, Bang Bang among others, silenced critics who labeled him as a ‘one hit onder’ and has even found a wax replica at Madame Tussauds in London, apart from clinching 6 Filmfare, 9 IIFA’s, 5 Stardust’s and 6 Zee Cine Awards.
And guess what, he’s just 27 movies old.
In an age where the definition of an actor in Indian Cinema has often taken a beating thanks to numerable bloopers that many of our A-list stars have delivered, Hrithik Roshan has been the king of re-invention. This isn’t to say that his choice of movies have been as marvelous as his personality. The Mumbai born super star nearly attempted career hara-kiri with films such as Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage or for that matter the overbearing Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon or 2002’s Mujshe Dosti Karoge.
But, as they say, a man is the sum of his imperfections that he attempts to perfect, Hrithik’s phenomenal success as a top actor lies in his ability to experiment and amaze fans and admirers with something new every-time a role fancies his challenge. And, it is the handsome hunk’s famous acting trajectory that has touched nearly everything from playing a low-IQ simpleton to Emperor Akbar, a first class thief ruled by mischief to a Greek God partying away in luxurious locales that has caught the fancy of fans who remain star-struck the moment the sensational Mr. Roshan appears on the silver screen only to make it gold.
With Bang Bang firing all cylinders on the box office in 2014 where Hrithik became the only Indian actor to drive a Formula One car, something that he did with quite some gusto and no major film release in 2015, it is expected that with 2016’s Mohenjo Daro, Roshan will strike it big again at the box office.
But, before the action resumes on the enthralling Hrithik galaxy, we take a look at some of the finest works of one of the most strikingly good looking actors’ career.
Koi Mil Gaya
As the sweet, fun loving and mentally challenged school-going kid Rohit Mehra, Hrithik Roshan nearly bettered Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump in 2003’s mega blockbuster Koi Mil Gaya. Many recollect the film as a rip off of Drew Barrymore’s wonderful E.T., the Steven Spielberg directed sci-fi comic- drama, but conventional comparisons notwithstanding Hrithik’s sterling act as the happy go lucky fatherless child evoked major box-office emotion.
The endearing friendship between our own extra-terrestrial avatar, Jaadu and cute Rohit knitted a box office triumph that saw Roshan juggle between an interesting set of challenges. He was the harmless and pure child with a heart of gold all throughout and by the end of the movie, specifically in the span post interval, a smart and peppy youngster capable of handling his own challenges.
While his romance with Preity Zinta sparkled effervescently in the title track and the popular “Idhar Chala Main Udhar Chala”, his near flawless depiction of the helplessness expressed by the innocent Rohit crying his heart out to Lord Krishna’s idol complaining about how he is ridiculed by one and all who make fun of his intelligence removed the dryness in the eyes, making way for the wet.
Many have touted the original masterstroke of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan as one of the finest films ever made and the Karan Johar production, remade in 2012, directed by Karan Malhotra as several notches below the Big B and Mithun starrer.
But, those who distanced themselves from obvious comparisons and attempted to break away from the veneer of critique- bickering saw an impassioned tale of murder, betrayal and vengeance remarkably portrayed by actors of the class of Rishi Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and not least, Hrithik himself.
Born to poverty and scarred permanently by the tragic loss of his father, murdered mercilessly by the brutal Kancha Cheena, played to fine perfection by Dutt who looked several notches scarier than Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal, Roshan’s Viju was a brute force in action.
Hrithik, with a feisty punch of anger, controlled rage and depth of emotion brought to the forefront a remarkable tale of vengeance with great élan. With its awe-striking action sequences and heart-wrenching performances by an attractive list of heavyweight actors, Agneepath saw Roshan transfix fans in a back-breaking (consider Dutt’s Kancha nearly did him in) portrayal of a man keen to avenge his father’s death and undo a sinister world of wrongs which ultimately engulfed the soul in him.
It isn’t always that one gets to see two of the most beautiful people paired together on the big screen. 2008’s period romantic drama saw Hrithik as Akbar; the magnanimous Mughal Scion and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the breathtakingly beautiful Jodha Bai.
One has got to thank Ashutosh Gowarikar for concocting an intelligent pairing that swept audiences away in a highly enjoyable visual treat to the eyes, even if the explosive chemistry between the mighty actors stretched over three and a half hours.
Hrithik with his chiseled physique and mesmeric acting brought the legendary Mughal Emperor alive on the big screen to create a giant triumph, one wherein he fell, rose and created lasting memories through his love for Jodha Bai, the enchantingly beautiful wife of the Mughal king, a Hindu by birth.
Fans were treated to a delightful ensemble of picture perfect scenes that touched the battleground, the courtyard of the Mughal Emperor’s fortress and the luxurious interiors of living spaces where Hrithik breathed life through movement of those light eyes, that hazy but soft voice and that commanding presence that could have belonged only to an Akbar.
For a good part of 2007, nearly a decade before, audiences fell in love and still speak of a certain Mr. A., all thanks to the success of Dhoom 2, a major Yash Raj production directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, also starring Bachchan Jr. and Aishwarya.
Mr. A was no good. Actually he was a nasty prick, and an undeniable force sworn to wreak havoc in the life of honest dutiful cop, Jai Dixit, played by Abhishek Bacchan.
Disguised at times as a clown, on other occasions as a Baptist, sometimes masquerading as an old woman and on other occasions destroying the peace in the life of his pursuant, Hrithik Roshan was the charming master thief who powered a memorable triumph of his career, playing a daunting and refreshingly clever role in a career where he’s mostly been the good guy.
Dhoom 2 created buzz, scaled major box office summits and presented Roshan as a charmingly slick thief who had shades of grey, black and white. It is something that only an actor of Hrithik’s caliber could have done and the Dhoom Whistle that famously reverberates on smart phones of die-hard fans even today proves the point.
The greatness of an actor is often measured by the degree of his experimentation. On other occasions, it is his risk taking ability where one wishes to not be captured in a particular genre that paves way for success. Arriving on Bollywood with a thunderbolt called Kaho Na Pyaar Hai could have given Hrithik many options to portray the charming and likeable romantic lead.
The mega success of his debut film firmly positioned Hrithik as a top grade newcomer who was pegged for big things. This came calling albeit little commercial success in 2000, the same year Papa Roshan’s boy wonder struck big.
In Khaled Mohamed’s critically acclaimed action drama Fiza, Roshan echoed a sensitive and deeply moving portrayal of Altaf, a young man torn apart from family following the 1993 Bombay blasts. Deeply melancholic and smartly mature, Hrithik combined evocative acting with startling simplicity to project the pain, sadness, confusion and helplessness of a brother who couldn’t be re-united with an otherwise loving family despite several painful attempts by Fiza, played by Karishma with flawlessness.