On Target

Published On: 2013-03-26

Author: unknown

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On target



Source: TWF



When your maiden film is appreciated, people go to see your second film with a magnifying glass and make comparisons with the first. That's exactly what's happening with Farhan Akhtar who is ready with his second directorial venture 'Lakshya'. TWF correspondent Vickey Lalwani caught up with the young filmmaker.



'Dil Chahta Hai' was not a hit in B and C centres. Have you made a conscious effort this time to ensure that your film appeals to a wider audience?


(Sighs). I will never be able to make a film if I constantly keep in mind that who it should appeal to. I will always make what is close to my heart.



The trio- Aamir, Saif, Akshaye- became a rage post 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Were you not tempted to repeat either of them?


No. 'Lakshya' does not have even a wee bit of 'Dil Chahta Hai'.



What is 'Lakshya' all about?


Growing up often means that we do not know what to do in life. We don't know what time we should go to bed at night, what time we should wake up in the morning. No day is planned, life just goes on. I know so many such people. I went through that process too: finding your calling in life, finding yourself. That is what I identified with most, when the script was offered to me. It is about an aimless guy (Hrithik Roshan) who suddenly develops an ambition to get into the army. The film is set against the 1999 Kargil war. But the war is in the backdrop.



Which are the places you shot at?


Ladakh, Dehradun and Mumbai. Shooting battle sequences at night in Ladakh was tough. As you know, the Kargil war was mostly fought at night. Getting into the routine of shooting at -8C or -9C and running up hills at night was no ordinary task.



Does the film play on Hindu-Muslim sentiment too, else considering the recent bridging between the two countries, the people might find the subject a little outdated?


In fact, the bridging may work to the film's advantage. 'Lakshya' does not play on the religion card. It does not send out any strong India-Pakistan message. Indo-Pak relations are improving and everyone is delirious. But we cannot take the clock back. The film propogates that history should neither be forgotten nor ignored; else it could be repeated. Let us not treat soldiers as statistics but as human beings. Many soldiers' families have been shattered due to Indo-Pak problems since the past 56 years, and mind you, some of these have still not recovered.



What made you choose Hrithik Roshan?

The script chose him (laughs). My dad (Javed Akhtar), Ritesh (Sidhwani, producer) and I mutually agreed on Hrithik because he has the physique, aura and looks that suited the character. Plus my family has known him since he was young. So it was easy to gel with him.



With 'Dil Chahta Hai', the hairstyle of all the three guys became a craze. Expecting Hrithik's short haircut to attain equal craze?


(Laughs). First, let me tell you that I am not here to bring in new hairstyles. Hrithik's hair had to be short, he had to be clean-shaven. It was important that it should not be insipid and unnoticable. When you make a film, all the ingredients you put in should be interesting. So instead of a boring crew cut, we tried to make his hairstyle stylish, as long as it remained within the parameters of requirement. Again, blame it on the script. But yes, considering that the haircut is short, many parents may like it and ask their kids to sport it (smiles).



What does Preity Zinta play in the film? Seems, she has two looks in the film?


One is the younger look before Hrithik joins the army. The two are just out of college and she is her usual bubbly and peepy self. The second is her more calm, responsible and socially aware look as a journalist. We needed to get that slight amount of ageing, maybe three or four years. Actually, we researched a bit on her character. Had a couple of meetings with NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt. We asked her about her dilemmas and experiences on the job. We also read a lot of books. We needed to show the transition in her character very distinctly yet very subtly.



Amitabh Bachchan has not really been promoted in the film. Why?


He has not been sidelined either. He has an important supporting role. We simply did not want people to misunderstand that it was his story. That is why we have not put him in the promos. He has only nine scenes in the film, but all his scenes are very integral to the story. He plays Hrithik's mentor.



You had some problems with Bachchan during the shooting in Ladakh? Like, you were too hyper and shouted at him in a scene...


(Interrupts) These are all baseless rumours.



Have you added Prabhudeva's song for the masses?

No. Prabhudeva's song is not out of place because it comes during Hrithik's turbulent days when he is struggling to come to terms with what he wants from his life.



After 'Lakshya', what?


I am still to unwind from the shooting. I am going to go on a long holiday to the beach! After that, we have my sister's (Zoya) film coming up. Then I might start on my next project which will be again a totally different genre. I would hate to repeat myself.