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‘Krrish’ Completes 18 Years: Bollywood’s Best Superhero


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‘Krrish’ Completes 18 Years: Bollywood’s Best Superhero

Superheroes are easily one of the most likeable characters of any child while growing up. Marvel and DC are the giants they are today because of the diehard fans they made with commercializing the superhero genre. While Western kids had Superman, Batman and the other greats, Indian kids were seeing a void. Rakesh Roshan, in 2006, made a genius move by making Krrish – India’s first modern superhero. 18 years on, the character remains iconic amongst the now 20-somethings, who cherished him while growing up.

Krrish was more than just fresh air in the Indian superhero genre

Indian kids were never aware of the need for an Indian superhero, because they already had a few. Chacha Chaudhary and Nagraj were immensely popular comic book characters that brought the genre to India. Televisions became more accessible to the growing Indian urban class, and then came Shaktimaan. He is the Indian rendition of Superman, who is a superhero for the world, but also has a Clark Kent-like self (who also works at a newspaper). With all these characters in place, there was never a demand for more. But Indian kids still looked upto their American contemporaries, regarded as the best in the business.

Krrish, however, was an innovation in the realm of Indian superheroes. Krrish could fly like Superman and rough up goons in a similar way, and looked like Batman who could also walk at any fashion week. The X factor in this mix is undoubtedly Hrithik Roshan, with a physique and charm that was just right for Krrish. He also had a wonderful origin story, especially in what makes him popular as a superhero in the movie. Krrish was Krishna before he became famous, and lived a simple life in a village nestled in the hills. He was beyond kind-hearted too: It was in the pursuit of saving the life of a child that Krishna became Krrish. He even urges his struggling friend to play Krrish for the world, to help treat his physically challenged sister. India had a superhero that was vulnerable and down-to-earth, much before the idea got traction in Hollywood. And it was just what was needed to make Krrish the best superhero India has ever seen.

Krrish is India’s own modern superhero

The movie’s success made Krrish an unforgettable icon. His mask had the same craze in the 2000s that Iron Man’s helmet has in the West. India had its very own international-esque hero. Krrish had action figures, and was featured in every kind of school accessory there was. This was a character people irrespective of their ages could be proud of. Krrish’s success in giving Indian pop-culture a new shape was also translated monetarily. The movie was surprisingly made with only 40 crores, remarkably cheap for an internationally-shot superhero film. It made a little over 120 crores, and was one of the highest-grossing films that year. Krrish set the bar for Indian superheroes so high that even its later part, Krrish 3, couldn’t match. Despite that failure, the franchise will continue, with Krrish 4 currently being worked upon.

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Krrish didn’t have to fight aliens or shoot lasers with his eyes to become a superhero. The undying need to serve humanity, and being a dutiful son to save his long-lost father made Krrish stand out amidst other Indian superheroes. While Marvel and DC have the world in their hands with their billion-dollar franchises, Krrish will always remain special to us Indian 20-somethings. 

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