Category: Indian Film


It’s a rare thing to find that a film director’s sophomore effort is as good as his or her first. So much of what an artist wants to say to an audience has been piling up in their head for many years before they finally get a green-light to make one. It follows that, after giving us the proverbial “everything they’ve got,” they might, honestly enough, dry out, inspiration-wise, for quite a while.

This is definitely not the case with Zoya Akhtar’s second movie that opened this weekend, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which for those of us Hindically challenged, means something along the lines of “you won’t get a second chance at life.” Ms. Akhtar has taken her own title to heart and thrown everything she’s got, again, into this lovely film and come up with another winner.

Just the choice for the hot summer weather, Zoya takes us on a holiday ride through sunny Spain with her “Three Musketeers” Arjun, (Hrithik Roshan), Imraan (Farhan Akhtar) and Kabir (Abhay Deol) who have promised each other this trip for years. Kabir has just gotten engaged, and this is a way to celebrate their friendship now that their bachelor circle is about to be broken.

Using as assured and fresh a touch as in her first film Luck By Chance, the director has, once again, given us a feeling of really knowing these people and sympathizing with them as they muddle through life’s complexities. LBC showed us a fresh twist with a more realistic insider’s look at the workings of the Mumbai film industry, (written by a real insider), and even got us die-hard romantics to smile at her non-traditional bittersweet ending. In ZNMD, Ms. Akhtar again flips things on their head by giving us what looks like a rollicking fun bit of fluff and then makes us cry when we’re not expecting any deep emotions at all.

Resisting a western ninety minute format, in ZNMD the director takes the time to let us get to know each of these young men and the problems that they are dealing with, time to care about them all, when she could just as easily let us coast by on the sheer beauty of the film.
The scenery, wonderfully captured by cinematographer Carlos Catalán dazzles us as they visit Barcelona, Seville and other acres of glistening Spanish countryside. To add to this, our three amigos are a truly seductive trio, and I’m not referring (only) to their already famous faces and physiques. Now it’s obvious that these characters are a privileged lot, affluent enough to travel first class and stay in more fabulous abodes than most of us can afford, but the richness that they flaunt most flagrantly, and to greatest effect, is their obvious affection for each other.

Their chemistry is everywhere, evident in the banter, the practical jokes, always leavened with the humor of their past history. This rapport builds slowly at first, as “the bwoys” reacquaint themselves with each other after a few years apart, and gradually beats down their barriers, gaining rhythm and warmth until they hit a level of almost electric shorthand communication between each other that sings as well as any vocal in the engaging Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy soundtrack. It engulfs everyone they meet on the road, as well. It’s a tribute to the direction and the acting talent (and the personal charm) of the cast that we feel like one of the gang by the end of the film. By the way, where was my invitation to the wedding, if I may ask?

The only negative I might add, if one can quibble when I was obviously so entertained, was the need for more dancing. It’s become my standard request these days, because it’s what drew me in to Hindi film in the first place. And yes, I realize that full choreographed “item numbers” might be considered going backward in a filmmaker’s quest for complete international integration, but Zoya, Dah-ling, when you have dance talent like that at your disposal, one and a half dance numbers is just a tad…ungenerous. Share with those of us who will never be as close as you are to those Terrible Twins of Terpsichorean Talent (I swear that I heard Farhan use that very phrase on Koffee With Karan on one occasion. With Abhay getting to be so good, too, he’ll be promoted to a TTTT ranking, soon)…Please, Zoya, take pity on us! For those who don’t know what I refer to, check out the Making of the Senorita Video clip on YouTube, here.

Oddly, online buzz has been quick to stick ZNMD in a slot marked “Sorta-like-TheHangover-Crossed-With-DCH”. All I can say is that the slot must have evolved before these category-happy people had even watched the film. In The Hangover, the only similarity is the basic bachelors in a warm climate premise. The Hollywood superhit boasted a trio of argumentative, obnoxious bozos, whose so-called humorous hi-jinks are centered on solving the mystery of locating their lost hours and what is left of their dignity (not possible).

The only mystery in ZNMD is what the three friends find when they look into themselves and discover what parts of their youth they should discard or fully embrace. Growing up in this movie is about finding freedom rather than tying one down, and certainly not about “tying one on” in search of a lost weekend. As you can tell, The Hangover is a film experience that you’d have to pay me to repeat. Zoya Akhtar has given me a trip to the cinema that I felt the need to see twice in its opening weekend, dragging my friends along for the second ride.

The second comparison, where Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is just Dil Chahta Hai reworked, is almost as easy to dismiss. Granted, superficially there are some similarities, both are stories about three close male friends, and both have wonderful male bonding scenes and maturation of the characters. Nay-sayers cite the roadtrips in both, but can’t they see that the trips are used in completely different ways? In DCH, the trip to Goa was an enjoyable hiccup in the plotline; I can’t say that I wouldn’t miss the colors it lent to the film, but if you lifted the whole scene from the screenplay, it wouldn’t have hurt the character development much. It is a fun embellishment to an already well-nigh perfect romantic-dramedy script.

The roadtrip that the friends take in ZNMD is, in itself, the key to unlocking their future happiness and the cementing of their friendship. Other similarities between the two films are inevitable. Both have catchy scores by the same composers. Both films had the same dialogue writer, and Farhan has a unique way of finding just the right words to make a conversation ring true. It was almost inevitable that both Zoya and Farhan know their way around a script, a side effect of being raised by parents, Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, who surrounded them with excellence in writing for film.

Even given these similarities and the fact that they work together, frequently and to great effect, I don’t find that after viewing and thinking about Farhan and Zoya’s films, that I would end up ever confusing them with one another. Farhan has obvious fun flexing his cinematic muscles, trying on different genres and very diverse styles with DCH, Lakshya, and Don. Even his smaller films like Positive, all have solid, clear plots at their core, and he always sets a distinct mood and tone in each. He won’t be pigeonholed. If there is a common trait, it’s that his characters think and talk a good deal, and often they enjoy what they say, and how they say it. It’s all about the words, which is wonderful. Now, Zoya’s films seem to be developed more with visuals and silences than those of her brother. She has her characters say things more by a touch, a look, a single tear, than other directors say in whole speeches. What she has them say is eloquent, but often, as in the results of Kabir’s psychological “tests,” Zoya gives us her answers in what these boys don’t say or how they don’t say it. It is very effective directorial technique, plain and simple. You don’t have to compare Zoya and Farhan at all, just look forward to what they do next.

I guess it just goes to prove that not even my six month blog drought is deep enough to withstand the charm of Naseeruddin Shah. For half of the summer and all of the fall, nothing on screen moved me enough to wade back into e-critiquing. So much for my plan of being a household name. But then, one weekday, my intrepid film-buddy Jessica and I went to see David Kaplan’s delightful film, Today’s Special and Voila! I am catapulted out of my literary lethargy by a knowing smile and a certain twinkle in the eye. Mr. Shah comes on the screen as a charming NYC cabbie with a heart of saffron, and within a few well-modulated words, has me punching Jessica in the arm (Sorry, Jess) and whispering “Isn’t he great!” as if the high school quarterback just smiled at me in the hallway.

This started out as a review of Today’s Special, but as it is now, unfortunately, out of most of our theaters and awaiting a much deserved appearance on DVD, I won’t be making much more than a token recap here. In what seems to be director David Kaplan’s first full-length feature, and writer/star Aasif Mandvi’s first filmed screenplay, the two spin a much more mature attempt at romantic dramedy than I would have anticipated. It’s a warm, sweet, leisurely-paced love fest of food, family and finding your gifts. Check out the trailer.

Aasif, who has a very familiar face from years of work in television, seems, at first to be an unlikely romantic hero, quiet and unassuming, and his character begins in a very tense emotional place, but you really grow to care about him throughout the film. As Samir, he’s a dedicated sous chef in a tony eatery in Manhattan who runs a tight ship, yet seems in a personal straight jacket, unable to find the key to break him out of his boss’ shadow. When he’s passed over, yet again, for a promotion, determined to make Fate find him, he up and quits, ostensibly to go off to Paris to polish his French cuisine. But Fate, in the form of his father’s tandoori restaurant back in Jackson Heights, has other ideas. Instead, it turns him reluctantly back towards home. To get there, he steps into the cab of my man Naseeruddin, eh, I mean, Akbar, who offers to help Samir find the perfect blend of masala spices to make a young chef’s dreams of success (and romance!) come true.

But unfortunately for Aasif, as he’s done in many films before, Naseeruddin Shah pulls all eyes to him with his understated suavity and Akbar’s sexy experienced attitude. It then becomes a bit “Samir, who?” after the door of that chili-bedecked taxi opens to us. But in Aasif’s defense, it’s nothing that he’s doing or not doing. Naseerji has been slowly gathering speed as he rolls along, role after role (some 160 now, according to IMDb), achieving some sort of gravitational pull of his own on our emotions…You just can’t look away. Example, a scene from Shekhar Kapur’s Masoom (1983).

Even in early films, in smaller roles, like Gohar Mirza of Umrao Jaan (1981), he added a jovial appreciation of Rekha’s obvious charms that said, “Of course she’ll notice me”. And we did. His wonderful portrayal of Gulfam Hassan, the Ghazal singer in Sarfarosh (1999) had so many layers and complexities that I felt like I was seeing more than one person. Amazing. As with many of our cinema heroes, the eighties and nineties threw many an odd film in Mr. Shah’s path, yet even in a goofy production like Tridev (1989), he could emerge relatively unscathed, with tongue firmly in cheek, even sporting a Crocodile Dundee hat with a red fluffy plume…no mean feat.

If I were theorizing, I’d say the secret must be that he takes each role not as a step in a body of work, but as a unique piece unto itself, and he tunes his performance to that center, true to the director’s ideas. The result being as varied as the films he chooses. How else could he do equal justice to the loving father of the bride in Monsoon Wedding (2001), the free spirited prisoner in Teen Deewarein (2003), the pot-addled sculptor in Being Cyrus (2005) and then galvanize a courtroom in Khuda Kay Liye (2007) as a Muslim seer with a truly holy outlook. It’s a gift.

Yes, I’ll admit as a reviewer, I’m biased. I can’t help responding to an always adroit line reading added to a large dollop of adorable. Like Akbar, Naseeruddin Shah always has all the right ingredients. Yes, I know my cinema fixation is over sixty…I say, “Who cares?” And also, I riposte, “Why don’t you tell Big B that he’s over the hill, while you’re at it!” Some men wear mileage like a very jaunty classic fedora which will never go out of style…here’s hoping someone similar tilts his brim my way. Keep them coming, Naseerji!

Reviewer’s Note:
Oh, I almost forgot…how could I??? As this blog is supposed to coordinate things I like with things you can enjoy in Washington, I am happy to announce Naseeruddin Shah’s theater company, Motley is coming to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this March. The festival, Maximum India, is chock-full of wonderful artists, actors, dancers and musicians celebrating the vast and complex culture which is India. It runs from March 1st to March 20th. Motley Theatre Group is performing Ismat Apa Ke Naam celebrating the works of writer Ismat Khanum Chughtai on March 5th and 6th, for three performances. I’ve got my tickets; act quickly before they are gone. And Mirch Masala (1985) starring Smita Patil, Naseeruddin and Om Puri is showing on closing night! Here’s the schedule: Maximum India

I can’t belive my bad luck! The first time, at least in my awareness of his work, that Sukhwinder Singh is in town with his own musical tour, and I’m scheduled to work! You may not know it, but this is an actual verifiable tragedy. Sukhwinder Singh is one of the most popular playback singers in current Hindi music, but more importantly, his voice hits me in a very elemental place which can often, though I have no idea what he is actually singing about (love, I’m assuming…given my involuntary heart palpitations) reduce me to an emotional state of romantic sticky-sweetness roughly the consistency of gulab jamun. Every time. Darn him.

You’d never know to look at him. Nice face, pleasant, even, but they don’t pay him to look good…they pay him to SING! And boy, does he deliver. In films, his voice often dubs in the singing voices for the most popular film heroes, sending all of their female fans over the edge of the Prem Kahani Abyss (Love Story Canyon, so to speak). How can a man who seems so wardrobe-challenged (no, I mean it, google his pictures… he’s gone through so many different looks on his search to look current and trendy that he may have lost his way completely…), how can he hold me (a costumer, no less) in complete thrall, just hearing a half dozen notes from his golden voice. Similar in effect to the rough-hewn tones of Nicholas Reyes, of Gipsy Kings fame, but perhaps more modulated, Sukhwinder sings as if he’s channeling the voice of Nature itself. Listen… Don’t ask me what’s going on the video, I have no idea who most of them are.

Sukhwinder has many wonderful songs out there to sample, the two most familiar to US audiences are the final song from Slumdog Millionaire, “Jai Ho”

and earlier, the very famous “Chaiyya Chaiyya” video from Mani Ratnam’s amazing film, Dil Se. Spike Lee liked the song so much he used it to bookend his film Inside Man. The vision dancing on top of the train is Shah Rukh Khan (and Mallaika Arora Khan, too, of course–no relation)

Though Sukhwinder can write and produce his own wonderful works, like Ghar Aja, above, some of my favorites are his collaborations, most notably with A.R. Rahman in Slumdog, Taal, Meenaxi and Lagaan but also with Vishal Bhardwaj whose film Omkara really showcases Sukhwinder’s voice. Here’s the most popular hit from it, the Beedi song. Actors: Bipasha Basu, Saif Ali Khan and Vivek Oberoi.

I’d list more links, but we’ll get Youtubed out. If you’d like more, check out the following links, just add the http://www. thing in front.

Nasha Hi Nasha Hai:
youtube.com/watch?v=I1M8ko3jOMc

Pyar Hota Hai:
youtube.com/watch?v=CeFbCTb5y1Q

Ramta Jogi:
youtube.com/watch?v=hBl7Ito6W7Q

And if you’re interested, go see his show at DAR Constution Hall on Saturday, May 8th…if I can’t be there maybe some of you can go for me. I’ll probably be the gulab jamun hanging out at the stage door with her ear stuck to it (Eh…actually, gulab jamun’s shouldn’t even have ears…What a visual…), if I can swing by after my show gets out. Darn that paycheck…don’t suppose I could call in sick?..No, Susie, I won’t. Tickets at, of course, http://www.JaiHoTickets.com.

UPDATE: I’m devastated…I bit the bullet, I bought a ticket to the event, even though I knew that I could only attend half the event. I went to work, alarmingly overdressed for theater work, yet still primarily in black. I looked great…or as great as they will ever see me at work (it takes a lot out of me, at this age, let me tell you!). I rush over to DAR, find a parking place alongside…now, that begins to worry me. No noise, no parking problems…all is not as it should be. I walk to the front entrance, dark as a tomb. I wandered around to the stage door and ring the buzzer. “That show was canceled this morning, ma’am.” What? When did that happen? I only bought my ticket three days before!

Sigh…so close, and yet, so far from my musical idol… I am needless to say, a bit perturbed. Online it looks as if the concert has been rescheduled, but no news is posted except the date, June 5th. Same venue. We’ll see if it all rings true. Gulab jamun, signing off for now.

ScreenWrithing 101

[NOTE: My photo source fell apart and removed or randomly posted new and not always apropos photos. Looking for a new source. Sorry if it’s confusing.]

No, it’s not a typo. I’m making a point, or rather a stab at trying to define why today’s film comedies in the US constantly leave me disgruntled and dissatisfied when I leave the theater. I want to analyze it, and look back over films that I have enjoyed and find out when and why I stopped enjoying them overall. There have been exceptions, of course, but let me tell you, they are few and far between.

The box office itself is in the midst of an upswing of sorts, so perhaps I am in the minority, or perhaps just too old. The financial pundits keep insisting on telling me that I, of the over thirty set, don’t count where prime box office numbers are concerned. I’d like to think that we just haven’t found enough comedies out there to draw us in. Comedies these days tend to be in an ever-burgeoning genre that I am forced to call Cinema of Bodily Fluids.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=Up+animated+film+pixar&iid=4776202″ src=”c/3/b/c/Cannes_Film_Festival_f16a.jpg?adImageId=12459588&imageId=4776202″ width=”234″ height=”352″ /]If it doesn’t squirt, squish or scream and writhe in either ecstasy or embarrassment, it won’t hit number one, we’re told. The only non-cringe inducing comedies, or what used to be called sweet comedies, that are still allowed to leave Hollywood’s hallowed gates are the animated ones, like Pixar’s UP! We are allowed to respond to them, as they are aimed, ostensibly at our children. Needless to say, they are breaking all previously known records for adult attendance of these “kid-flicks” and even, like UP, get nominated for Oscars.

Don’t get me wrong, I know sex can be humorous as well as exciting. I get the premise that negative behavior can be giggle-producing, but what I’m asking is why it has to be the only type of film comedy that we produce? Subtlety and wit can have their place, too, even though it is increasingly hard to find writers and directors who seem to be able to manipulate it with just the right comedic touch.

Basically, the most satisfying comedies for me, follow a traditional pattern, call it Formula One. The plots introduce you to a character or characters that you hopefully like, or at least understand and relate to, to the extent that you can see their potential. Then they are given a quest or obstacles to overcome. How they do it or fail to do it will show us who they are and who they are going to become. All the humor happens by mistake or misunderstanding, and not through intentional perpetration by the characters on each other. When the plot’s twists unravel neatly and our heroes come through their travails successfully, so do we; and so we leave our seats with that final sigh of satisfaction that lasts.

In Formula Two, the more prevalent these days, the pattern is similar, but is coming from a different place altogether. You still recognize the characters, but all the humor is based on a sense of shared inadequacy, the lowest common denominator. You know they’ll steal it/step on it/swear at it because you would, yourself. How can they/we resist the lure of bad behavior? How can we not laugh at the inevitability of that banana peel? But even though we laugh, we know the joke’s on us, too. Then the humor fades as fast as a smile.

Okay, to test it, let’s take one of the best of Old Hollywood’s comedy pairs, say, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, and try to put them in a contemporary Formula Two-style film like The Hangover or Something About Mary. Can you see it? Neither can I. Could you instead, twist their classic films to make them follow the rules of Formula Two? What do you come up with? Bringing Up Boogers? His Ho Friday? No, even Cary Grant couldn’t make that one play, and I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want him to try.

Kate: “Dexter, this is definitely NOT yar.”
Cary: “Red, I think we need another script.”

Giving it a trial, I went to a few films recently to see how they used these two formulas. I tried to squash my natural aversion to physical comedy, and see what everyone was finding so fascinating. But I thought it was okay to go easy on myself and start with a low-physical level, calmer film, first. Right before the Oscars, I went to see Up in the Air with George Clooney. Now, George is never hard to look at, and he’s adept with comedies. The film was well made, it was subtle, it was, indeed funny…but it’s really a Formula Two, wrapped up in an attractive package. George is a corporate hatchet man who flies almost 365 days a year going from corporation to corporation whittling down the human deadwood in the cleanest way possible. He prides himself by being able to do this professionally and without emotional involvement, with the corresponding low level of angst all around. He is rudely awakened when his boss tells him his chosen way of life is about to be downsized, too, and he will be slotted into a little cubicle with a computer for his “hatchet” and no more free-winging lifestyle for him. I found Clooney’s character’s choices and lifestyle alienating in the extreme. I couldn’t identify with him, and then bad behavior became the basis of all the humor. He tried to change his pattern halfway through, but when he met another like himself he went back to hide in the skies again, safe in his untouchability.

Two weeks back I went to see Hot Tub Time Machine because of favorable reviews and from my fondness for John Cusack. Cusack has always delivered portraits of sweet, interesting oddballs from the days of Say Anything, to Bullets Over Broadway, Grosse Point Blank, and Pushing Tin through to the extreme oddness of Being John Malkovich. He makes you identify with him in his “everyman-ness”. Natural Formula One potential, right? I’m not so sure. The premise of three down on their luck buddies (plus one practically under age nephew, to the left in the picture above) going back to the ‘80s to fix their sorry lives was funny the first time I saw it, back in the ‘80s…Back to the Future did it better and without underage drinking and full frontal nudity. Imagine that.

To give them their due, John and the boys give some sweet performances here and there amidst that alluvial plain of alcohol, excrement and hot tub water they are wading through in HTTM, but as they changed their lives without changing the behavior that caused their problems, there was no character progression, and I didn’t really like them in the end. Formula Two elements killing the Formula One bits. And Thomas Lennon’s uncredited cameo appearance near the beginning of HTTM in the dog grooming shop didn’t help, as it just made me compare this film unfavorably to last year’s much funnier 17 Again, a Formula One disguised by Lennon and Zac Efron’s inspired slapstick camouflage to masquerade as a Two.

Steve Carell and Tina Fey’s first joint venture, Date Night, managed to deliver another very creditable stab at a Formula One. I hadn’t expected it from Mr. 40 Yr. Old Virgin, but I shouldn’t be so pessimistic, it seems. Steve and Tina work brilliantly together combining their shared background in improv comedy to great effect, playing an ordinary middle-class suburban couple just trying to get a fun night away from the kids in the big city. But their quest goes comically awry when just a few random spontaneous choices send them careening into imminent danger and instant hilarity. Yep, Formula One again, excluding one scene of goofy pole dancing, et al that even I laughed at because it was…so wrong. Funny…not Some Like it Hot classic, but definitely a sure fire Date Night, if you’ll pardon my making the obvious pun.

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? Starring Ajay Devgan, Paresh Rawal and Konkona Sen Sharma

The last movie I’d recommend is an Indian offering which is probably out of the local Indian cinemas by now, but as it is a good example of what I’m talking about, it stays in. Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? is a broad comedy starring Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen Sharma as a happily married couple with an impossibly angelic little boy, who make the mistake of inviting Paresh Rawal, an unexpected guest, to make their home in Mumbai, his own, for an undetermined period. This one-joke premise holds on desperately throughout the first half, and as is typical of a piece this frenetic, I was beginning to lose interest. But in the always romantic style of the true Bollywood screenwriter, the second half softens into a gentle, but hilarious lesson on what the Eternal Guest can teach this middle class couple who have unintentionally lost their roots and sense of family through living in the impersonal big city. That this film succeeds is mostly due to the skill of veteran actor Rawal, who brings us home with smiles and tears as all good Hindi melodramas should. Formula One with subtitles.

So, wrapping up, I do have hope for the future of comedy, but I think we should vote with our feet and hold out for a bit more of a balance between One and Two. We can and should ask for more from our screenwriters. Happy viewing.

This is going to be the first of a proposed series of A.W. recommendations for particular performers that you may or may not have heard of before. People who, for one talent or several, just scream for a wider audience and I’m going to do my small part to make you aware of them, if you’ll allow me.

“Hrithik Who?” I can hear you ask…And as most of India and the greater part of it’s diaspora is already well aware of Hrithik Roshan and his larger than life dance talents, I can speak directly to the unalerted of the American audience. Especially that part of it, like myself, who still yearn fervently and hopelessly for a current day Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire or Tommy Tune. Yes, I know these legends can’t really be touched, but the joy that they brought us should be constantly sought, reached toward, their images held up as an example for our current crop of poppers and lockers.

Indian films are, for me, where our musicals of the fifties and sixties went when they left us; left us, regretting our loss of innocence and the sweetness of young love. Audiences seem to feel ashamed of themselves to admit a craving for just these qualities, and now we have no expression for them here in the US except for in animated films. Well, in Hrithik Roshan (the H isn’t fully pronounced, just lightly brushed by) I have found my song and dance man of those older films, even given the lipsynching by another vocalist, obligatory in popular Indian cinema.

Though, he’s a young man, and it has only been ten years since he stunned the Hindi cinema world in his father’s film Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (Say This is Love), Hrithik has starred in sixteen films with five more in the can or in production. And there doesn’t seem to be any let up in the desire for seeing him on screen or in live stage shows when he does them outside of India.

As far as I know, Hrithik doesn’t choreograph his own work, as Kelly and the others did, but works diligently to achieve an almost effortless fluidity and grace for choreographers like Farah Khan and Prabhu Deva. While Indian choreography may seem a bit unusual to the Hollywood tradition of partner dancing, it is from a rich tradition and can be very satisfying. Cinema dancing in India seems to draw more from a classical Indian dance tradition of soloists in front of back up dancers, emphasizing arm and hip work, rather than a traveling footwork style, as in western ballroom based styles that we are more familiar with.

And Hrithik, though he’s quite an eyeful, is not just a pretty face with gifted feet; in each film he has been seriously working on his acting craft, not always considered a necessary skill in a film industry almost exclusively built on a nepotistic tradition. In each film he takes on he tackles another challenge, whether it’s giving us the first successful Indian Sci Fi film Koi…Mil Gaya or tackling a lush historical romance like Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar (both performances were awarded a Filmfare Award for Best Male Performance).

And throughout all of them, he’s given us the gift of his dancing, and seemingly maintained his own unruffled sweetness and an unexpected attitude of self-deprication. He’s a rare pleasure to watch, and I recommend that you take a gander at some of these video links, and perhaps rent or buy a few of them when you feel the need for that lightness of feet that lightens your heart.

Note: Blockbuster and Netflix both have many of his films available for rent, and to buy, I’d always go via Nehaflix.com (good prices, fast delivery and an fair return policy).

Some of my favorite Hrithik Roshan dances:
“Bole Chudiyaan” from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (with Kareena Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan):

“Jab Dil Miley” from Yaadein (Memories) (also with Kareena):

The circus themed “Baware” from Luck by Chance:

“Dil Laga Na” from Dhoom 2 (with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan):

and my favorite, “Main Aisa Kyun Hoon” from Lakshya, as a young man who feels he never fits in: