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In this special four part feature, Joginder Tuteja would be taking readers through the 10 years journey of Hrithik Roshan which has been nothing but a roller coaster ride. Seeing early success, Hrithik saw himself starting at the bottom of the barrel before a great resurgence brought a turnaround in fortunes.
(Concluding) Part IV of this feature takes readers through the risky route that Hrithik has (successfully) undertaken during last three years and is expected to follow in the years ahead
That scary feel
Jodhaa Akbar had more wrongs going for it than rights throughout its making. An exhausting schedule took it’s toll on the actors, period drama meant that research was always a challenge (something which also saw controversies building up around the release), there were tell tale marks of tiredness setting in as the film struggled to come close to the finishing mark, industry detractors too had their daggers out as attacking a period drama is always a convenient exercise, the music (by A.R. Rahman) too didn’t find
much appreciation before the release and there were talks that even the producers (UTV Motion Pictures) were worried about their product’s eventual prospects.
Their worries weren’t ill placed though. On release, the morning shows opened to a lukewarm response. This was the age of multiplexes and it was the first weekend that announced a film’s success or failure. In case of Jodhaa Akbar, it seemed that the film was headed more towards being a box office disappointment since despite pick up in collections, there weren’t any huge roars from audience that would have brought the film into a comfort zone. And then a miracle happened!
The film hung on to his life and started showing good sustenance even on week days. By the time second weekend came calling, the writing was clear on the wall – ‘The hit run of Hrithik Roshan was there to stay’. Despite it’s near four hour length (with no trimming coming in despite criticism), Jodhaa Akbar found good money coming its way. Of course no major releases for weeks at stretch meant that the film had a clear run but still the fact remained that this Ashutosh Gowariker film added on to Hrithik’s successes. It may not have come anywhere close to the benchmark created by Dhoom 2 but ensured nevertheless that audience would have their hearts beating for the man when his next film comes calling.
A landmark year ahead
Though it wasn’t designed this way (Kites could have released in 2009 itself), the fact remains that yet again, it was time for a two year break for Hrithik as far as his big screen appearance was concerned. Are the audience complaining? Well yes, they were till last year but not anymore as the promos have finally hit the screens, hence ensuring that the
film is pretty much for the keeps. For them as well as industry in general, the film is a huge bet by itself since Bollywood is going through its lowest phase ever, at least in the current year. Roshan family, with an outsider Anurag Basu, had a job cut down for them and this time around, nothing less than extraordinary would be acceptable by anyone. To the film’s credit, buzz is quite good already and though there is still a month to go for the release, there is huge amount of anticipation build up that has taken place.
However, the man amidst all the action, Hrithik Roshan, can well be expected to be the most worried (or shall we say anxious?) of all. For audience, Kites is just another film from which they are expecting three hours of non-stop entertainment. For industry, Kites is just one of those 5 odd films this year which come with the potential of doing a business of 100 crores plus. However, for Hrithik it is a big risk which could result in terrific gains or terrible losses. For him, this is one film where he has given two years of his life and faced some in-house issues at work as well as home front. He knows that he cannot disappoint the audience or the industry but the biggest of it all; he can’t afford to disappoint himself. Yes, there is a Guzaarish coming before close of year as well but when it comes to Kites, which is a home production where a sum of dozens of crores has been invested, nothing, and really nothing, can afford to go wrong.
Will he get it right? Well, if he is indeed following the Aamir Khan model of working, something which has taken the shape of a magic potion that always works, he certainly will!