Most (read: all) filmy people love Bollywood for its idea of romance. You know, the side glances, long walks, cutting chai and everything in between that pronounces love without actually saying it. That’s what Bollywood is made of. And whether we like it or not, no one does it as Hindi films do.
At some point or the other we have rooted for an on-screen pair so much, that life just seemed disappointing. I mean, imagine watching a movie with couples who have undeniable chemistry when all you’re doing is swiping left and right with no success. That gotta hurt. And watching Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan in movies has contributed a lot to that feeling. The actors did like three films together, years ago, and we still haven’t gotten ever them.
If we really think about it, it’s not just about their conventional looks, it never is. As much as they look amazing together, their pair strikes a conviction for the story that they’re part of. So, for instance, Jodha and Akbar were nicely portrayed by them, individually, but their chemistry is what still lives in our heads rent-free. It’s usually difficult to outshine as an individual character in a film that is majorly a love story, but they somehow managed to do that. This is the case even with the songs, I cannot imagine Jashn-E-Bahaaraa any other way, without them.
It’s almost intriguing that all three films that they’ve done together are different in their approach and even the genre. Jodhaa Akbar, for instance, was an epic historical drama that was a lot about their marriage of convenience which ends up in love. Then there’s Guzaarish which is also a romantic drama, but the story and setting are entirely different from Jodhaa Akbar. Guzaarish is about love, life, hope, and letting go with a more present-day approach to romance and relationships.
Whereas, Dhoom 2 is a thriller. But, if it’s been years since you’ve watched the film, like me, you would have a clearer memory of Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan as Sunehri and Aryan, respectively, than the rest of the plot. This not only speaks of the lasting impact that they have as a pair, but also how we tend to focus a lot on the chemistry in any film.
This chemistry doesn’t even have to be romantic all the time, it could just be two characters so in-sync with each other’s screen space that they make it a very convincing story, as a whole. In the case of Roshan and Rai, the two are celebrated actors individually, but wanting to watch them together is what a lot of us have been manifesting. So much so, that some are even imagining what it would be like, if they were cast together in the Brahmāstra sequel. One can dream.
But what makes them good together, and a delight to watch, is that they have managed to acknowledge each other’s space. When in character, it’s important for actors to mark their space, but also create some of it for the other person – it’s not about outshining each other. And it takes a lot of effort to strike that balance, which, it looks like, they managed to do.
Given how there are very few on-screen pairs who convince us about romance, specifically in present-day Bollywood, it’s almost impossible to let go of them. Seriously, someone should cast them already, half of us will watch the film just to see them together. It’s almost nostalgia now – the good old days of Aishwarya-Hrithik.