20 years of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, 20 years of Hrithik Roshan
Hrithik Roshan has emerged as one of the finest actors of our generation, winning accolades and awards in equal measure over the last couple of decades.
It has been a spectacular 20 years from the time Hrithik Roshan debuted as an actor in his father Rakesh Roshan's Kaho Naa… Pyar Hai (2000) to his latest release Siddharth Anand's action-thriller War (2019). The super star, who overcame a stuttering problem as a young boy (he faced it openly and spoke about it in his interviews to the media) – he would rehearse for hours before a shot. Today, he has emerged as one of the finest actors of our generation, winning accolades and awards in equal measure over the last couple of decades.
While some of his movies may not have fared well at the box-office, each one of his characters have been different from each other and always appreciated by critics and audiences alike. Finely nuanced, some of the actor's roles have had grey shades, including Sanjay Gadhvi's Dhoom 2, Karan Malhotra's Agneepath, and more recently, Siddharth Anand's War.
Starting off with a promising debut in Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai, the actor went on to sweep the Best Actor and Best Male Debut awards in 2001. Making his debut in a double role in his first film as the aspiring singer Rohit and NRI billionaire Raj Chopra surprised many, but the young actor's confidence in both the roles helped him pull it off.
In the same year, Khalid Mohammed's Fiza established Hrithik as an actor. His portrayal as Amaan Ikramullah won the hearts of many. Then, as Rohan Bhatnagar, a blind voiceover artist in Kaabil (2017), who decides to seek revenge when his wife is raped and killed, may not have won Hrithik an award, but nobody can take away his sensitively nuanced performance in it.
When we speak of Hrithik's emotionally nuanced performances, a special mention must be made of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish (2010). To lend authenticity to his role, Hrithik was instructed by the filmmaker not to go for his regular workouts as he didn't want him to look fit. Hrithik's portrayal of Ethan Mascrenhas, a paralysed magician-turned-radio jockey who petitions for mercy killing made his fans go crazy.
Later, in Mission Kashmir (2000), it was Hrithik's layered yet sensitive portrayal of young Altaaf Khan that stood out. He impressed as a young man who is traumatised by the discovery that his adoptive father (Dutt) had been responsible for the death of his entire birth family and his portrayal won him plenty of praise.
While his next few movies in the next couple of years, including Subhash Ghai's Yaadein, Vikram Bhatt's Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage, Arjun Sablok's Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Yash Raj Films production, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! and Sooraj R Bajatya's Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, didn't do well, his supporting role as Rohan Raichand in Karan Johar's ensemble family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham co-starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Kareena Kapoor truly stood out.
Hrithik struck gold again with his father Rakesh Roshan's sci-fi superhero flick, Koi... Mil Gaya (2003). Playing Rohit Mehra, a mentally challenged young man, who comes in contact with Jadu, an extra-terrestrial being, as Hrithik laughed, cried and bonded with his alien friend and gang of school kids, the audience did the same, and Hrithik swept all the Best Actor awards again. KMG also gave birth to a new Indian caped crusader, the superhero Krrish, and paved the way for successful sequels to follow soon after.
One of his finest performances perhaps is that of his portrayal as Emperor Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar in Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodha Akbar. Whether it was the brave warrior or a swashbuckling sword fighter or a wise ruler or a loving husband – every side of Akbar transformed into Hrithik. Among the actor's notable performances, which highlighted his versatility as an actor, is Farhan Akhtar's Lakshya (2004). For many, Hrithik's role of Lieutenant Karan Shergill was loved by many and won him Best Actor nominations by all.
We have also seen Hrithik change into an action hero in Siddharth Anand's romantic thriller Bang Bang (2014) and action-thriller War and as the angry young man, Vijay Chauhan, in Karan Malhotra's Agneepath. In Bang Bang (an official adapation of the Hollywood movie, Knight And Day), Hrithik pushed himself to the extreme and pulled off some high-octane stunts as secret agent Jaiwant/Rajveer Nanda.
When Aditya Chopra asked him to play the antagonist, a cool, stylish master thief, Mr A/Aryan, in Sanjay Gadhvi's Dhoom 2, Hrithik took it up. The multi-dimensional aspect of such seemingly grey, complex, nuanced characters are excitingly different for the actor. He showcased it to perfection as he played former RAW agent (Kabir) turned rogue in War. Hrithik can excel in action, romance, drama and emotions, but his ability to transform himself into someone completely different from him was proved once more, when he played Patna-based mathematician Anand Kumar in Vikas Bahl's biopic Super 30 (2019).
Be it playing a good, bad or grey character, Hrithik has swept all kinds of awards. For Hrithik Roshan, movies are not business. Acting is his all-time passion. With every role, the audience waits eagerly as to which award he will win next. Such is the jadu (magic) of Hrithik Roshan.
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