Breathless 2004: Faud Omar's Review

Published On: 2012-05-24

Author: unknown

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By Fuad Omar
April 11th 2004.

This review is copyrighted to Mr. Fuad Omar in association with HrithikRules and used with permission only.It is not to be reprinted, distributed or used without permission of the author.

The excitement in the air buzzed around like a thousand bumble-bees, causing restlessness and unease as 30,000 fans sat, fidgeted and called out, awaiting for the London stop of the Breathless 2004 live in concert tour to begin. Looking around the arena, it was clear to see whose show this was, only two names dominated the presence that surrounded the arena and its cheers: Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai. Two superstars in their own right, completely different in style, looks and as artistes. Both mastering their fields and appearing on the UK stage after a few years gap. Aishwarya's last stage performance here was in 1999 when Taal and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam released, when she accompanied Aamir Khan and Akshaye Khanna on a world tour, how much has changed since then. 


Hrithik Roshan has spent much more time in the UK by comparison, shuttling through various film shoots that reach the UK and gracing the stage with his first world tour in 2002 in the Heartthrobs tour that sold out everywhere and provided justification to anyone who wanted it that a superstar of our era was right before our eyes. Tonight was no different, except the number of items may have been less for Hrithik than his previous tour, but the polished delivery, gravity defying moves and technical wizardry that Hrithik brought with him was second to none, it was quite simply something never seen before.

The show began with Celina Jaitley performing a number from Janasheen, followed by Lara Dutta getting everyone out of their seats to a medley when host Sajid Khan tickled everyone's ribs with his antics, and seriously commenting after a 'show of hands' poll how happy he was to see nations that are divided by geography and desputes united under one roof to be entertained by those who had come to perform for them before introducing Aishwarya as the most beautiful girl in the world. She appeared to the songs of Devdas, dressed in elegant red and holding a diya in what was a feast for the eyes as choreography brought to life the magic of the film and its sets, complete with dancing flames, elusive lights and Aishwarya's body swaying to every flick of a switch causing rapture among the audience, when everyone dashed forward to cheer and get as close to their golden idol as possible. 


After an energetic and spellbinding performance she greeted the crowd and thanked them for their support, stating she couldn't believe how warm a welcome she was receiving. She in turn helped Fardeen Khan come on stage who was brought out on crutches, recovering from a fracture that has resulted in him requiring 3 weeks bed-rest, but he was to inject an entertaining interaction into the evening with an open Q&A session with the audience, while seated on a chair, resulting in him meeting fans on stage, receiving many requests for his phone number, his mobile number and even room number.

After this came the turn of the one whose very name brought with it ecstatic screams, a throng of heads running forward and even the most VVIPs of the audience standing to attention to catch a glimpse of the man they had come to see. As Hrithik Roshan's name was announced the Taandav from Fiza played on the big screen fading to black generating enough electricity among the crowd to cause panic in the neighbouring suburbs. A figure in a smart suit and cowboy hat emerged from the shadows as light beams danced around him as he stood almost perfectly still, causing hysteria taking one back to the days when Michael Jackson was a demi-god, and announcing to everyone in the audience that a new genius was in town. 


The music played and he became one with the shadows, breaking into a dance move once or twice - just enough to create ecstatic sighs from his ever-loving audience. On one beat his body was set on fire as it moved to a rhythm that just took control of matter and then he threw his hat into the audience causing a near-riot just as the aforementioned singer had when he performed Billie Jean at the Motown 25 event - just as that day, this too would be one to be etched in history. A girl in the 7th row had clamoured and caught the hat, near fainting as Hrithik moved forward and the lights went on. Breaking into a dextrous dance never before seen, which involved his legs touching the ground one minute, being in the air the next and him falling, rolling and becoming one with the beat all within moments, it's no wonder the music was near-drowned out by the screams. 9 rows from the stage and to the center right, a woman dressed in black was fixated on the man weaving his spell on the audience, her eyes lighting up with his every move and her mouth stuck with a permanent smile just for him: this was Suzanne Khan who was watching her husband with bated breath, her heart beating with his every move and sitting with such joy on her face as though she was watching him for the first time all over again. If Hrithik was on stage dancing, she was his backbone and driving force edging him on - on-stage and off-stage. 

As Hrithik sang 'It's Magic' the crowd never disagreed and cheered every time his feet stomped on the stage, generating an earthquake that sent shockwaves throughout the audience, his rhythm sparking up a near fire each tiem his body stopped in one position, switching to another almost instantaneously. The man was on fire and everyone knew it, he had done the impossible: outdone his last performance. As he stripped away his suit revealing a chiselled body that was now an example of perfect muscle in proportion to his frame, Hrithik evoked ecstacy with his new leaner look that tonight wowed the world. After a medley of crowd-pleasers, the applause would not stop, as would the screams which all called his name as he caught his breath, stole a glimpse of his wife and smiled, inhaling the adrenalin and atmosphere deeply before releasing it into the audience and thanking them for such affection. He spoke of how he was standing in the wings of this very stage a few years back seeing how an audience gave another star such love and he wished one day he would be here, well ask and you shall receive certainly rung true today as Hrithik Roshan for the first time captivated and controlled Wembley, missing it last time due to renovations and a different arena in London, but the delay was worth it: he had finally done it.

"I am so grateful and love you all so much I just want to come out there and hug all of you!" he exclaimed still trying to compose himself after a breathtaking performance and welcome, which only succeeded in creating an even greater cheer. He spent the next few moments picking people out of the crowd and giving them autographed gifts and taking photos with them, before sending them back with a hug and a kiss, while always looking towards his doting and still glowing wife throughout, as the audience never knew as they remained under his spell. When he left the stage, it felt like we had just experienced something unique and extremely special, other-worldly almost akin to his previous blockbuster Koi Mil Gaya which garnished every major award in the past year and deservedly so, given his amazing performance. He left mentioning how Lakshya was releasing in June 2004 and he would now premiere the new trailer for it, which caused even more applause as the clip followed showing some of the moves he had just gifted to us live, yet appearing this time on screen as he was clad in white and amost mimicking himself to the performance he had just delivered.

The remainder of the evening had highlights in Sunidi Chauhan singing recent hits, Fardeen reappearing to invite audience members to dance with Celina and Lara (a cute small boy named Gopi who will never be forgotten by Lara or the audience and an elderly Cha Cha to dance with Celina), Celina and Lara's resurging performances and a unique first time live performance by Hrithik and Aishwarya that blew everyone away. A medley of both their films including Kuch Naa Kaho, K3G, a fabulously choreographed Koi Mil Gaya sequence using shadows and the blue screen people first witnessed at one of Hrithik's first performances at an awards show and an awesome dance competition between Aishwarya and Hrithik that left everyone breathless was among the highlights of the evening. 

The other highlight was a medley of romantic numbers through the years, a special item only to be seen in London which had all the stars performing for a good 20 minutes on songs through the 50s through to today, with choreographer Ganesh Hedge stepping in to fill Fardeen's performance earning himself a league of fans as an artiste and performer as he had everyone in the palm of his hand each time he stepped on stage, watch this one, he may have been in the wings until now but after this performance before the whole of London, there's no chance he'll be allowed to remain hidden behind the scenes for long.

Hrithik excelled as he became Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna complete with mannerisms and expressions, performing what was a definite award winning role as he displayed with finesse and style how much he loves doing what he does. He commanded the stage with his presence but had everyone mesmerised with his acting and performance. Whether it was him donning a tuxedo and becoming Shammi Kapoor, sporting black and the trademark red-striped scarf as he became Rishi Kapoor from Bobby or the made to not measure suit and bowler hat complete with umbrella when he became Raj Kapoor from Shree 420, Hrithik paid tribute to Indian cinema in a feast for the eyes that gave everyone something they didn't expect: a fabulous acting experience combined with cool choreography and a lot of fun as he did each one. If there is a superstar today that anyone had any doubt about, they won't any more. 

Aishwarya matched Hrithik in everything, be it style and finess or performance with her facial expressions, body language and performance playing off whoever she was paired with, and leading in her inimitable style when on her own. Aishwarya is someone who has conquered the world three times over and now has ensured nobody can take from her what is a true story of hard work, dedication and hard-earned success that is truly inspiring. Both Hrithik and Aishwarya are role models not only because of their talent, but also because they've made it through hard work and on their terms; Tonight was a night it seems, of the truly spectacular.

When the medley ended and the stars came on to say goodbye, there was nothing short of love emnating from the audience with energetic waves, cries and screams piercing through the air thanking these artistes for coming and gracing the London stage for one night only... a night not to be forgotten and one that showed the world that ever doubted the two superstars who performed tonight, that legends cannot be stopped.