Then and now...

Published On: 2020-03-05

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Hrithik & Rakesh Roshan: From ‘Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai’ To ‘Kaabil’

Source: Quint 
By: Bhawana Somaaya

Yesterday Rakesh Roshan released the trailer of Film Krafts’ forthcoming film Kaabil starring Hrithik Roshan and directed by Sanjay Gupta. Kaabil is set for release early next year and the Roshans look more than ready. I met up with the father and son over a cup of tea and chatted up on some old and new topics.

Q: Is it true that the Kaabil has been completed in 77 days?
Rakesh Roshan: Yes and Hrithik’s portion has been completed in flat 60 days. That’s the only dates we had of him so we had no choice but to complete the film within that time. It was a big challenge and we are happy that we were able to accomplish our goal and more important, are satisfied with the film.
Hrithik Roshan: The credit goes to my dad who cracked the whip and made certain that we followed shooting schedules to perfection. If a sequence was taking long he had alternate solutions and controlled us from indulgent creative pursuits.
For a film to be made in budget and on time you need a skilled and strong producer who puts his foot down. Dad did that and I think that’s how films ought to be made.

Q: Director Sanjay Gupta usually makes dark films shot in duo tones of blue, green, brown, this one looks different.
Rakesh Roshan: We discussed this in the very beginning and all of us agreed that the film should look naturally bright and happy which is why we signed cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee on. The same with the choice of writers be it Vijay Kumar Mishra, Sanjay Masoom and other technicians.
Hrithik Roshan: The idea was that we are making a film about the blind but there should not be darkness around till the time the protagonist makes a point.

Q: This is the third time you are playing a differently challenged character, how do you prepare for your roles?
Hrithik Roshan: It is strange but I have been sentimental about all these three roles and unwilling to let go of the character. Kaabil is almost ready except for my scene which I have been delaying shooting in order to not let go.
Actors go through anxieties film after film and role after role, I was fortunate that Dad was there to hold my hand in Koi Mil Gaya, Sanjay Leela Bhansali sir during Guzaarish and Sanjay Gupta to chat and connect in Kaabil. It is difficult to define preparation, something invisible goes on in an actor’s mind and heart all the time and may be that is the process.

Q: Looking back, did you expect your son Hrithik and your dream launch for him Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai to become the roaring success it did?
Rakesh Roshan: In all fairness I thought it was a well-made film with very good music and an interesting storyline. I thought if appreciated by the audience the film would become a moderate success, but not in my wildest imagination did I expect it to become such a huge hit but I was always confident of Hrithik, his talent and his screen presence. Not as a father but as an observer I can tell you that there’s something about him that pulls you to him.

Q: You have preserved props of characters that you have cherished, do you still do that? What will you preserve of your character of Kaabil?
Hrithik Roshan: Yes, I did that for a long time, in fact I once lost the spectacles I wore for Koi Mil Gaya during a performance for an award night and I was devastated, so I went back to the venue and found them! Everyone was astonished I could be so obsessive about it but for me it was a part of my life.
Then one day, I decided I had to let go and cannot cling on so I stopped accumulating but to answer your question, if I had to preserve something of my character Rohan Bhatnagar it would be the walking stick in Kaabil.

Q: There is a third family member who is a constant in all Film Kraft movies, music director Rajesh Roshan. What are the rules for families working together?
Rakesh Roshan: My younger brother Rajesh Roshan and I disagree over every tune and every song of every film and this is going on for decades and yet we continue to work together and suffer the pre-release labour pangs together!
As for Hrithik even though Kaho Na Pyaar Hai was our first film together as actor-director, he was always a part of my production and creative meetings and familiar with my working pattern. He was used to a professional environment but not used to being watched from behind the camera, so he was self-conscious initially but he got over the awkwardness within three days.

Q: After so many years of his stardom how would you summarise Hrithik as an actor and as an individual?
Rakesh Roshan: Hrithik’s strength is his sincerity, he is open to criticism. He is quality conscious and aspires for perfection. He is unafraid of challenges and this is evident in his choice of films. He’s simple at heart. He cannot say ‘no’ and will always try and view the problem from the other person’s perspective.

Q: Do you believe that every film has its destiny?
Hrithik Roshan: Yes, that’s show business and the show goes on. The magic happens when the timing is perfect, when the chemistry between the film and the audience is perfect. We have experienced it in the past and will experience it in future too.