He came, he saw and he conquered – That was the phenomenal rise of Hrithik Roshan in Bollywood the moment his dad Rakesh Roshan launched him in Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai! Suddenly, the entire industry dynamics changed. Here was this young hero who was super confident, certainly knew how to act and dance, and had seen a phenomenal jump to the top spot pretty much overnight.
What was the most positive aspect of the youngest superstar turned out to be a point of worry for his biggie in the making, Yaadein. The film was being produced and directed by Subhash Ghai who had just delivered a successful Taal, and before that Pardes. The showman hadn’t seen a flop in his career as a director and now with Hrithik Roshan at his disposal, who went on to deliver two more successes (Fiza, Mission Kashmir) while Yaadein was being made, the stakes had hit the roof.
The first casualty was the script. Legend has it that the film was originally designed as a Jackie Shroff starrer which was supposed to showcase the story of a grieving man (after the loss of his wife Rati Agnihotri) and how he raised his three young daughters, Kareena Kapoor being one of them. It was meant to be an out and out emotional tale, a story of beautiful memories, Yaadein!
However, with Hrithik Roshan right up there in stardom, his role was increased. Moreover, since this was the first time ever that Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor were coming together (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham came later in the year), the idea was to make the jodi special. Soon, the father-daughter story became a boy-girl love story and this is where the film went downhill. This Hrithik and Kareena starrer love story garnered them a huge chunk of young followers.
There was more to Yaadein. For the first time ever, there was blatant in-film plugging of brands that made audiences wonder about the experience that they were getting in the narrative. It was unheard of back in time to have a dozen odd brands being associated with a film and here they appeared scene after scene.
The film did take a very good opening of over 1.50 crores and sustained well over the weekend too. However, it’s huge budget of around 20 crores (a very big number back then) made it difficult for the film to recover as it folded up around the 15 crores mark. The film left a very mixed impression amongst the audience as the Hrithik-Kareena love story didn’t work and Jackie Shroff’s part wasn’t fleshed out to the fullest.
The film eventually turned out to be everything but ‘yaadein’ for the audiences.