Farhan Interview Big B or Hrithik?

Published On: 2013-03-11

Author: Sultana Khadija

Media Link:

Goal Chakkar



Source: Sultana Khadija (AA)



Farhan Akhtar is in search of a new Lakshya. His first film Dil Chahta Hai introduced a new spirit to the film industry. Lakshya marks the ongoing inner search of this 30-year-old director. This time around Farhan Akhtar is giving form to his father Javed Akhtar’s script. But his signature style is there for all to see.



You seem to be fascinated with the "coming of age" concept. Dil Chahta Hai first and now Lakshya. Any specific reason?


It’s a subconscious thing, I guess. There is something about the concept which attracts me to it. Everyone is in search of something or the other. We are all on a journey looking for, say, true love, the search for ourselves. Most movies are about some journey or the other. In my films the search is more internal.



Having worked with Aamir Khan, who is one of your favourite actors, why did you choose Hrithik for the role? And that too at a time when he was down in the dumps?


The reason has a lot less to do with his screen image, and a lot more with knowing him at a personal level. Hrithik is a guy who is really open about things, he’s a straightforward and fun-loving guy. It’s also a fact that he suited the physicality of the role and considering the fact that he had to carry off the role of a younger guy who matures over time, Hrithik was a prime candidate in the casting.



Preity Zinta also seems to be a favourite...


I’m really comfortable working with Preity. We share a wonderful personal rapport and understand each other. She knows what I want as a filmmaker and vice-versa. The relationship you share with your actors needs to be very good or the work always suffers. Such things eventually reflect in the film.



Is it very important for you to know your actors well?


Yes, it’s security for me. The fact that I personally know and understand my actors. In addition Preity is a versatile actress so it works well for all of us involved.



DCH was completely your baby, but the script for Lakshya was written by dad Javed Akhtar. Did it in any way give you less freedom to work around the movie?


I have to give my dad credit of being non-interfering once I started making the film. Before we started shooting we spent a lot of time discussing the basic sensibility of the script and how I could work around it. You do improvise on the sets while making a film, but there are parameters for improvisation as well. In my case it stayed very much within the parameters.



While making the film were you weighed down with having to live up to the expectations of DCH?


There wasn’t any mental space to think about anything while I was shooting. But now that the film is almost ready for release, I have free time to look back and think about that. If people have appreciated Dil Chahta Hai so much, I wouldn’t want to let them down this time. We have worked twice or thrice as hard on Lakshya mentally. Lakshya is very different from Dil Chahta Hai, I would request the viewer not to expect another Dil Chahta Hai.



There were reports that you had collapsed while shooting at a high altitude in Ladakh. Were there other memorable instances during the shoot?


Well, the collapse was more to do with foolishness on my part. We were told by the doctor that our bodies would react to the high altitude by loss of appetite and we were supposed to force-feed ourselves. And me being the non-cautious kind didn’t eat and that led to weakness resulting in the subsequent collapse.

The whole shoot was a memorable one with us shooting at minus 8-9 degrees. It was very hard on the crew and the actors. With that kind of weather we were chasing people around with hand-held cameras. The process was a very long and hard one. However, I do believe that the film taught everyone involved a thing or two about themselves.



The Big B versus the heartthrob Hrithik Roshan. Who was the better actor of the two? How different are they as actors?


Oh God! It’s unfair to compare Amitabh Bachchan with Hrithik Roshan. Mr Bachchan has such a big body of work behind him that there can be no comparison with any other actor. And they are from two different generations.

What I noticed was that they’re both there for the director, they’re sorted out in their heads about what they want their roles to be like. They are sure about what they want to do. An actor’s vision is relatively myopic, limited to his role alone. He is not really concerned about the overall picture. Both Mr Bachchan and Hrithik surrender to the director, they do argue and discuss but that is part of the filmmaking process. Both of them manage to balance what they want to do and submit to the director’s will as well which is the best part.



You seem to be creating another "hair story" with Lakshya. Why the fascination with hairstyles?


I basically do it so that people can break the link between Hrithik the star and Karan the character. Indian actors don’t have the culture of changing and reinventing their looks with every film. I want to create that difference between the actor playing his role as opposed to the actor playing his image. If you see Hrithik in a cola ad or in film magazines, you notice that he has a particular screen image. The minute you start applying his star looks in the film, it dissociates you from the character he’s playing. That is why I like to play around with hair. In Lakshya Preity changes two hairstyles and Hrithik three.



After Dil Chahta Hai, it looked like everyone was sporting a goatee or a spiky hairdo. Are you expecting to see the same after Lakshya?


This movie does not offer us that much latitude. The close crew-cut that Hrithik sports has always been a fad and will remain so. In this movie there was not much scope to work around that aspect. However I didn’t think of that during the making of the film.



You’ve written the English songs for Bride & Prejudice. What are the songs like?


It was the first time for my sister Zoya and me and we had fun writing the songs. Both of us enjoy writing, at some level it is like writing poetry and it was a tremendous experience.

Gurinder is a fun person and an intelligent woman to work with. As for the songs, we’ve penned five songs in the film and they’re all kinds — happy songs, a song that sets the mood of the film, and situational songs. I am told that Gurinder has also incorporated a traditional Punjabi song, but we’ve written only the English numbers.



What are your expectations from the film?


Lakshya is due for release on June 18 and expectations is a wrong word. I’d say hopeful. There are no expectations as such, we’ve done whatever we wanted to do in the film. It’s a thinking film and I request people to carry their minds along when they go to watch it (laughs).

Lakshya is an enjoyable film, just don’t go for it carrying the weight of Dil Chahta Hai with you. As for the box-office, no prediction can ever be true.



What are your long term plan, are you working towards something?


I think I’ll carry on making films for a while because it is giving me creative satisfaction. There is a vision I share with Ritesh (Ritesh Sidhwani, producer of Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya, he and Farhan run their company Excel Entertainment together) of creating a platform for people with really good ideas.

It could be in terms of scripts or direction. We have been fortunate enough to do what we want to do and we would wish the same for others.