Will Krrish return?

Published On: 2015-07-09

Author: unknown

Media Link:

Source: Mumabi Mirror

Date: June 30, 2006


A super-hero always arrives ahead of a super-successful film. If the reverse proves true, there should be Krrish part 5, by 2015


Growing up, like most of the entertainment-starved generation I was a part of, Sunday was the sole day for television. Our 30-minute appointment with friendly neighbourhood Spiderman had a huge role to play in that. My brother, who had an admirable collection of Tintin and Asterix, besides Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton titles, ran a free lending-shelf from home he called the 'Superman Library'. I was his humble assistant.


I didn't love comic strips much. I could never figure out why. Later, I'd boast to friends that even as a kid, I felt comics were 'kiddish'. Though that may not be the reason I missed out on a pleasurable experience. I think it had to do with how, when I was little, super-heroes in glossy American comic-books looked too foreign to me. For one, they spoke much better English than I did. People I shared my skin-colour, broken English and some hours with, were Chacha Chaudhary, Chachi, and Sabu, their sidekick from Jupiter. I liked them. I wouldn't have admitted that in public.


Cub-reporting for a newspaper's school supplement, I remember walking through filthy brick lanes of Old Delhi, desperate to interview the creator of Chacha and Sabu. I was 12. Meeting the portly, dull Pran, it remained no mystery to me why his characters never moved up levels in a world of Marvel and DC.


In more than 100 years of Indian films too, but for makers of mythological movies, nobody had taken the universal idea of larger-than-life super-heroes with supernatural powers seriously enough to turn into obviously scintillating cinema. The one who did, I am not surprised, is a money-spinning movie-director Rakesh Roshan. The expected narrative couldn't have fitted his oeuvre better. Besides Roshan's fascination with film titles with the letter 'K', he could also rank among the most serially repetitive story-tellers of our time. Almost all his successful films have been two-part (pre/post-interval) account of his protagonist donning twin identities before revenge, or a happy life thereafter.


If you don't see my point, consider his best-known movies: Koi Mil Gaya (a mentally-challenged transforms into adult super-boy); Kaho Naa Pyar Hai (Hrithik's slick look-alike gets even with his face-sake's murderers); Khoon Bhari Maang (Rekha's battered housewife comes back as a hot supermodel); Kishen Kanhaiya (a twin with opposite personalities, brighter one avenges injustice); Karan Arjun (murdered brothers return, reincarnated, looking the same)…


So, it's with Krrish which, but for its genre, could have been a small-town entertainer called 'Baap Ka Badla', or 'Sheher Ki Ladki': A villager with supernatural talents gets smitten by city-girl; morphs into Singapore's sensational super-hero; seeks revenge for injustices toward his supposedly deceased dad. He had to go to Singapore. A life-like creative adaptation of western comic strips cannot be set over Third World garbage dumps like Mumbai.


My only problem with the extremely exciting enterprise was that it was but about 15 minutes long. Every extra minute of flashing special-effects of course would have cost several extra millions. My only reservation over Krrish was that expensive super-heroes arrive in mindscapes much ahead of their super-successful movies. Warner Bros spends $260 million on Superman Returns because the character has a ready, captive audience. It matters little who plays Spiderman, Batman, X-Men… Watching a TV news-station's spot-poll on "India's first super-hero flick" late last night, I was curious to note if the kids said they loved Hrithik, or Krrish. Some mentioned they loved "Krrish's stunts". For whatever it’s worth, this tells me the producers may not just be sitting on a picture. If polished and pushed right, they could be on to a pop-cultural product in a country that has a weak tradition of strong, indigenous, animated icons.


In a much-repeated piece on "Asian domination of entertainment", Shekhar Kapur argues that by 2015, when Spiderman, in sequel no. 5, takes his mask off, Sony will have to ensure he is either Indian or Chinese. Or they'll lose out on 75 per cent of their market.


That's really nice to know. I'd be happiest for my kids if this superhero weren't Spiderman at all.