The new emperor of Bollywood

Published On: 2013-06-19

Author: unknown

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Hrithik Roshan: The new emperor of Bollywood


Source: MN 

Date: March 5, 2007 


Hrithik Roshan is one Bollywood actor who could play any role with amazing conviction and assurance. His latest class act as emperor Akbar in Jodhaa Akbar is another feather in his feather-festooned crown. He truly has become the Bollywood king. IN ALL the clamour made about the banning of the Hindi period romance Jodhaa Akbar by the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh governments, the subsequent lifting of the ban by the MP High Court, the protests staged by a motley group in Maharashtra against the movie, and about the box-office collections that the movie has raked in worldwide (about Rs 74 crore worldwide within just ten days of its release), one gets a feeling that something is not being given the attention that it richly deserves. 


It is the emergence of Hrithik Roshan as the new emperor of Bollywood. Reams of pages have been written about the ‘Badshahs’ and ‘Shahenshahs’ of Bollywood. But if there is someone who is a worthy contender to the title Shahenshah, it has to be Roshan. There are reasons. A great actor is one who can get into the skin of any character that he is asked to portray and live the character on the screen. Though every actor worth his salt tries to do just this, very few succeed in their efforts. And that too, portraying a historical character on the screen is not something that comes easily to everyone. A comparison is in order here. 


Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor and can carry any role on his experienced shoulders. However, he belongs to an older generation and it would be unfair to compare him with the younger lot. Then there is Shahrukh Khan, or the King Khan, as he would like to be known, who considers himself the uncrowned Shahenshah of Bollywood. However, SRK has his limitations. He is a star, no doubt. But his inventory of acting skills is limited to a few roles that he is comfortable with: an obsessed lover or a happy-go-lucky romantic hero – roles in which SRK can be himself and not the character. Whenever, he has tried a different role, he, as an actor, has always fallen flat. The movie Asoka sank without a trace, because we got to see Khan on the screen and not Emperor Asoka. Nor could he do full justice to the role of an NRI in the Ashutosh Gowarikar movie Swades. In Swades and Chak De India, all that Khan did was cutting out being SRK. 


In other words, for once (or twice), he resisted playing SRK on the screen, which certainly made his portrayal of these two characters a bit different from the rest of his roles, which were invariably all about Khan being or playing himself. That leaves us only with Aamir Khan, who is undoubtedly one of the finest actors of the land. Aamir certainly interprets his roles in his own unique way and becomes the characters that he portrays. However, he has studiously avoided playing action roles in what is popularly known as the ‘masala’ genre. 


Roshan, on the other hand, has excelled in all sorts of roles. Starting from his first movie Kaho Na Pyar Hai (KNPH) to the latest Jodhaa Akbar, he has essayed roles that are as diverse and wide as the gamut of emotions and acting skills that he is capable of exhibiting. Just take a look at the range of roles that he has played in movies like KNPH, Fiza, Mission Kashmir, Yaadein, Koi Mil Gaya, Lakshya, Krrish, Dhoom-2, and Jodhaa Akbar, and you will understand what I mean. Be it any role - a romantic hero Rohit/Raj in KNPH, where he made his stunning debut and caught the imagination of the nation, or a convincing portrayal of a terrorist in Fiza, or a mind-blowing interpretation of a growth retarded man-child in Koi Mil Gaya, or a fantastic Indian superman avatar in Krrish, or a dazzling depiction of the mysterious Mr A in Dhoom-2, or a regal rendering of the role of a majestic and conscientious emperor in Jodhaa Akbar - Roshan has displayed an amazing repertoire of histrionics and breathed life into his on-screen personas so much so that you get to see the reel characters and not Roshan, the actor. 


No wonder that Dilip Kumar, the legendary actor who played the role of Akbar’s son, Salim, in the magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam, has reportedly said, “After watching Hrithik play Akbar I was reminded of my film Mughal-e-Azam and the role of Salim that I essayed. Besides, he plays any role to such perfection that he metamorphoses from being Hrithik playing a role to the actual character in the film going about as himself.” Need one add anything more?