In 2000, when Hrithik Roshan entered the cine-circuit with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (opposite Ameesha Patel), he was crowned as the next Bollywood king. Girls went crazy, guys wanted those six-pack abs and no party was complete without the track Ek Pal Ka Jeena.
Then came the slump with Fiza, Mission Kashmir and Yaadein. Either his role was minisule or the films were women dominated.
In Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001), he bounced back as Rohan. But Poo (Kareena Kapoor) took away the limelight. After a string of back-to-back unsuccessful films (Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage, Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! and Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon), Hrithik sat back and did some homework with Papa Roshan for his character of Rohit Mehra in Koi Mil Gaya (2003 - the first installment of Krrish franchise).
The loverboy was transformed into a method actor and critics took note of it. His strategy of doing one film at a time and picking different characters everytime worked. His Lakshya (2004), though not a box office success, saw him in two starkingly different avatars (no, he did not have a double role) - one of an unsure youngman without a goal and the other as a disciplined army person.
Soon, the loverboy-turned-method actor metamorphosed into a superhero. His portrayal as Krrish (2006) was loved by one and all. He could now carry an entire film in his shoulders. Clap clap.
With Dhoom 2 (2006), he delved into the dark area. The actor played a suave negative hero and how! Many would agree that even Aamir Khan couldn't match up to his performance in Dhoom:3 (2013).
It is not an exaggeration to state that the actor is one of the strongest contenders of becoming a box office king. And yes, on screen he played a king with aplomb. His performance as Akbar in Jodhaa Akbar (2008) was completely different from what he had already done.
Not all his experiments succeeded though. His portrayal of a quadriplegic in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish (2010) couldn't make the film successful. His performance also got mixed reviews. Papa Roshan's Kites (2010) also prevented his career from scaling unprecedented heights.
The year 2011 brought back his lost glory with Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, where he played an investment banker.
Stepping into somebody's big shoes could be dangerous sometimes. Hrithik Roshan reprised Amitabh Bachchan's character Vijay Dinanath Chauhan in Agneepath (2011), and failed, though the film was a success. Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala was most appreciated.
Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra in a still from Agneepath
In 2013, he played a memorable double role as father Rohit Mehra and his superhero son Krrish. People loved his performance and the film became a super success.
His films might have flopped or succeeded, but it is his hardwork and his career graph that stand out. Happy birthday Hrithik; wish you more successful films ahead!
Hrithik Roshan in a poster from Krrish 3