By Chaitanya Padukone
The legion of his ardent fans were evidently thrilled when debonair birthday-boy Hrithik Roshan (he turned 48-years-‘young’) shared a surprise image-gift. The heart-throb ‘War’ actor who is chilling out today in Khandala, shared the ‘pehli jhalak’ from his upcoming film ‘Vikram Vedha’ on social media, where he plays the rugged villainish character, ‘Vedha’. Without having to flaunt his brawny biceps Hrithik (‘Duggu’) looks super-macho.
Way back in the year 2000, when I interviewed debutant hero Hrithik after ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai’ (2000) released, I recall him sharing with me, as to who was his macho-man inspiration. Right from his childhood he considered ‘he-man’ Dharmendra as his idol. Hrithik had said, “In fact I even had an inspiring blow-up (pin-up) poster of macho Dharam-paaji fixed on my wardrobe. Many years later, before ‘Kaho Naa…’ started, it was Salman Khan who was my buddy-guide for my fitness and body-toning and then Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone was also among my idol-icons,” the ‘Super 30’ hunky hero had revealed.
Cut to year 2013, when Hrithik (along with other top celeb-actors) was seen dancing for a while with Dharmendra on-stage as part of a pre-release promotional event for their Deol home-production movie ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana-2’ at the Novotel Hotel, Juhu. After he stepped down from the stage, Hrithik smiled and said, “Although I have never shared screen-space with him, in any movie, at least I shared ‘stage-space’ today with my childhood idol Dharam-jee.”
Also read: Hrithik Roshan’s first look as Vedha revealed by makers of Vikram Vedha on the actor’s birthday
What is that ‘X’-factor that has kept Hrithik ‘still-going-strong’ as a superstar on screen? The affable yet frank Shashank Jare, CEO Filmkraft Productions (Hrithik Roshan and Rakesh Roshan’s home-production banner) had his brief analysis. “As a human being, Hrithik is a gem of a gentleman, a man of total commitment—always there when you need him. As a super-actor, he is above everyone and his dedicated involvement in his movie-projects takes him to the top. Now Hrithik is a more matured person, a sentimental family-man, a matured professional actor. Must say that Hrithik has inherited many of his great qualities from his illustrious actor-film-maker father Rakesh-jee Roshan,” insists Shashank, who has also put in two decades being closely associated with the dynamic, creative Roshans.
‘Vikram Vedha’ (2022) is a slick Hindi remake of neo-noir action thriller 2017 film in Tamil with the same title. The film is expected to theatrically release on September 30 this year. The cast of the film includes Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Radhika Apte. The Tamil movie featured Vijay Sethupathi and R Madhavan in lead roles. The storyline of the film revolves around a smart police officer named Vikram which is played by Saif Ali Khan, who plans to eliminate an equally tough rugged gangster (Hrithik Roshan). The Hindi version of Vikram Vedha co-produced by T-Series (Bhushan Kumar) and Reliance Entertainment is co-directed by the talented (husband-wife duo) Pushkar-Gayathri who had helmed the original regional movie.
(The writer Chaitanya Padukone is an eminent senior film-journalist-columnist and author of memoirs book R D BurMania)