Hrithik v/s John

Published On: 2012-01-02

Author: Subhash K Jha

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Making of a star

Source: Mumbai Mirror

By: Subhash K Jha

I don't know why but when I saw Hrithik floating through the air and creating a dhoom on screen I thought of James Bond. The new Bond, Daniel Craig had recently said, "I wanted to do as much of the action work as I could so that the audience could see it's me and it's real. If you don't get bruised playing Bond you're not doing it properly." I think Hrithik got there first by not just being desi-cool in Krrish and Dhoom, but long before with Na Tum Jano Na Hum .

I knew then that this star was here to stay. Five years ago on the day Kaho Na…Pyar Hai was released, I remember that exact moment at 3 pm outside a film theatre in Mumbai when Hrithik's life transformed. No one had a clue what was in store for them. But then did you feel that excitement as Amitabh Bachchan approached stardom with Zanjeer, after a string of flops? Or when, after the release of Yuva all those who said Abhishek was just a chip off the old block, suddenly sat up and gave him a second chance.

We are all aware of that magical career-defining moment. Not just the juncture when a star is born, but also that moment when a star is re-born. That's the moment I saw with Hrithik and Aishwarya in Dhoom. This is an ordinary film with extraordinary star power. Dhoom is undoubtedly a decisive career-defining moment for both Aishwarya and Hrithik. If he exudes the scent of a superstar in almost every frame, the credit cannot go to the stylist alone. Didn't the stylist work round-the-clock to get the formula right for Mohit Ahlawat in Shiva and James?

No, style is not about the stylist. It's about the one who carries it. Kareena exuded similar style in Refugee in a simply stitched salwar-kameez! You either have it, or you don't. Mallika Sherawat didn't have the 'IT' factor in her first two films. She hit pay-dirt with Film No 3. I remember the frenzy of crowds she faced on a national tour days after the release of Murder. She'd excitedly call from dusty small towns up North with Mahesh Bhatt in tow.

"Success cannot change me. At heart I'll always remain the little girl from Rohtak who had to virtually crawl her way to the top," she told me hours after the release of Murder. Then the calls stopped. She fell out with half the world. The other-half couldn't care less.

Sometimes stardom hits its beneficiaries with such force that they are on the floor before they know it. Others can take it in their stride. Abhishek, Hrithik, Priyanka, Kareena, Akshay, Aishwarya, Bipasha and Kangana haven't changed with success. Kareena's debut remains the most stunning I've ever seen. Weeks before the release of Refugee she spent an hour explaining to me why she couldn't do the things that her sister did. "I'm not glamorous enough…I'm more in the mould of the girl next-door…I spend hours watching the films of Meena Kumari and Madhubala." One film later, she transformed into this siren who could change the face of the Indian film heroine.

Today Ash has done the same. Her re-styling in Dhoom 2 is so radical and sudden that speculations on the motive behind her re-invention abound. If you ask me, Aishwarya isn't out to prove anything in Dhoom 2 except this….the entire short-skirted breed has done its two-bit. Now let the pro show the way.

Ms Rai's transition from the sari to the soiree is the most stunning make-over I've seen in recent times. Tell her about it, and she laughs with suave glee. I can see how happy she is to let the show-world know the difference between the girls and the ladies. And yes, the 'IT' factor has nothing to do with what you wear. It's about how you carry it off. Short skirts weren't invented for Ash neither was the cool image invented for Hrithik.

But for now, these two define sexy and cool in our cinema.