In his latest film, Guzaarish, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the actor plays Ethan Mascarenhas, a sprightly magician turned death-seeking paraplegic.
Most Hindi films tend to trivialise such a subject by lending it a ridiculous twist wherein the blind begin to see and the lame begin to walk by some stroke of miracle.
On the other hand, world cinema treats such themes with remarkable sensitivity.
On that note, a look at the international comparisons Hrithik's well-researched performance may be up against.
The Sea Inside
Bardem's touching performance won him acclaim as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
He eventually won an Oscar playing the weird baddie Anton Chigurh in the Coen brothers's No Country for Old Men.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Even so, he establishes an astounding mode of communication by blinking, deciphered by his speech therapist to reveal the inner workings of his head resulting in a spectacular memoir.
Like Bardem, Amalric too decided to play a baddie after playing such an intense role; you may have seen him as the sinister Dominic Green whom 007 takes on in Quantum of Solace.
My Left Foot
Daniel Day-Lewis won the first of two Oscars and was hailed as the genius of his generation after he played Christy Brown who is restricted to a wheelchair as a consequence of extreme paralysis.
In the first of many roles where he tries to stay in character, the perfectionist Day-Lewis -- the son of the British poet Cecil Day-Lewis -- insisted on moving around in a wheelchair during the shooting of My Left Foot.
Born on the Fourth of July
But his pearly teeth sometimes get better notices than his parts.
As Ron Kovic, a paralysed Vietnam war veteran turned active pacifist in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July, Tom (who was born on the Third of July) turns in arguably a career-best performance (though Jerry Maguire must come real close).
Although not everyone was convinced about casting Cruise -- his distracting good looks, they argued, would be a distraction -- the actor erased every doubt and won an Oscar nomination (three noms for Tom, but alas no win yet).
Their relationship helps them see life with renewed optimism.
Voight's convincing work in Coming Home won him an Oscar (he has three other nominations), and the first of two Academy Awards his family would win.
Angelina Jolie, his daughter who recently patched up with her father after a long estrangement, won a Best Supporting Oscar for Girl Interrupted when she was just 24.
After a near fatal car accident results in waist down paralysis, the wheelchair-bound Law suggests someone else use his identity and DNA to pursue a career in aerospace.
Ethan Hawke is the main attraction in this something-of-a-cult flick. Also in the cast are Uma Thurman, Tony Shaloub (television's Monk), novelist Gore Vidal and veterans Alan Arkin and Ernest Borgnine.
Uma Karuna Thurman fell in love with Ethan Hawke on the sets of this film; they married in 1998, a year after Gattaca released, when Uma was seven months pregnant. They split up five years later.
The Bone Collector
Denzel plays a forensics expert who tries to nail a serial killer from his bed after an accident has left him paralysed.
Washington so dominates the movie with his Sherlock-like performance that most people forget that he has a worthy Holmes, Detective Amelia Donaghy, played by Angelina Jolie.
Giimpses of The Bone Collector's plot reappear in the first episode of Sherlock, the must-see, updated-to-2009, television serial on Sir Arthur's classic character, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch in the role Jeremy Brett made his very own.