Superman Rakesh Roshan moves ahead

Published On: 2014-09-20

Author: Praveena Bharadwaj

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Superman Rakesh Roshan moves ahead!


Source: Praveena Bharadwaj Filmfare


Ever since news of Rakesh Roshan’s sequel to Koi... Mil Gaya leaked out, the rumour mills have started working overtime over the central role—played, obviously, by Hrithik Roshan. The curiosity is understandable, since the Roshans’ last two films together have busted the b-o. Only one man can set the record straight. So here I am, talking to Rakesh Roshan in his suburban office. As always, the film-maker is clear, precise and forthright in h

The answers everyone wants to know: What is the name of your new film and what is it all about?


It’s called Koi Tumsa Nahin. It’s going to be an action film with romance. And I am going to have action sequences that have not been seen before in Hindi films. Actually, they should be called thrills rather than action sequences. 
The film will take off from Koi... Mil Gaya but this time the hero will have super powers. It will be the story of Hrithik and Preity’s son, who inherits the power Jadoo had bestowed on his father. 

In KMG Rekha had to deal with a sub-normal child, here she will have to handle a super hero. 

Hrithik’s been growing his hair for the last few months, and has been trying out different looks. Have you zeroed in on any particular one? 

We’ve finalized the long hair, but we have yet to decide on the entire look. 

Tell us, how does it work—do you plan a film with Hrithik in mind or do you choose a subject and then work out his role? 

As a film-maker, my first priority is my product and then the actor. Whether Hrithik is in my project or not is secondary. I don’t design anything specially for him. I make a film for myself; Hrithik is a part of it. 

Yes, he is a very fine actor and I have given him a platform to do good work. But if not Hrithik, anther actor would have done the role in my new film. Film to yehi banti. 
You know my subjects have always been hatke. Very few film-makers are ready to take on such a challenge (Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an exception; his Black is totally different from his earlier films). 

Most film-makers who claim they’re making a different film end up repeating themselves. And actors are hampered because they have very little choice even if they want to experiment. That applies to Hrithik too. The time has come for film-makers to leave behind the shaadi-baraat, gaana-bajana and similar themes. 

Your budgets just keep going up and up. And we hear Koi Tumsa Nahin will be no exception. 

Ultimately, the budget depends on the requirements of the subject. Tomorrow I might decide to make a small-budget film of Rs 5 to Rs 6 crore. But it’s easy for us to make a big budget film at this stage because we have four in-house creative pillars—producer, director, actor and music director. If I don’t take risks, who will? 

But tell me, which other film-maker would place Rs 50 crore at stake when he has four creative heads in the house? People put in money to make money. But I pump in money to make my product better. For instance, if my spaceship in Koi.. Mil Gaya didn’t look real, I would be a laughing stock. I don’t want that to happen. That’s why I’m always on edge till my film releases.

Do the big budgets add extra pressure?


No, because I’m sure what I’m going to make is not a routine film. Even though film-making is risky business, I believe that only if you take bigger risks can you pull the audience into the theatres. If I keep repeating myself, I won’t feel inspired and when I’m not inspired, how can I make a good and successful film 

On the other hand, a new subject is challenging; it gives me sleepless nights. My new script took me 10 months to complete. So often I thought of dropping it and developing another idea because this one would have required a lot of money and effort. But it kept haunting me so I finally decided to go for it. 


We hear you’re spending a huge amount on Hrithik’s martial arts training. 

Yes, Hrithik will spend a month in Shanghai training in martial arts with Tony Ching who will handle the special action sequences. Tony did the action for The Hero, a Chinese film that’s done a business of over $ 500 million in the US. He’s way ahead of the times. 
I want Hrithik to master the art of wirework action. I can’t have him appearing uncomfortable during the action scenes. If he hasn’t perfected his skills after a month, I’ll send him right back till he has mastered the art.


Suna hai you were all keen to sign Aishwarya Rai for this project. True or false? 

False. I never approached Ash for this role. I’ve only had Priyanka in mind from the outset because she’s best suited to the character. She’s a very talented girl who hasn’t been presented well so far. The right role in the right set-up will transform her. And let me tell you I signed her before Aitraaz. I saw the film after finalising her and I think she’s done a good job in a difficult role. She has a very good role in my film too. 

Considering your stupendous success, you’ve always maintained a very low profile. Why is that? 

I’m a firm believer in karma. I speak through my films. I’ve never tried to grab the headlines because temporary hype will not make any difference. The only thing that matters is your work. That the audience likes my films and comes to the theatres to watch them is enough for me. I know what my audience expects from me and I try to fulfill their expectations.


Your films have always been mainstream but zara se hatke. Which film-makers have you been inspired by? 

Oh, I’m a great fan of Raj Kapoor. I must have seen Shri 420 at least a hundred times. That man had great vision, a great sense of music, script and screenplay. His shot- taking was simple, yet very different. His story-telling was even simpler. I, too, believe in simplicity, in avoiding complications. I believe that leaves a long-lasting impact. 


We have a whole new breed of film-makers in the industry now. In your opinion, are they on the right track? 

The basic requirement for a film-maker is a script sense. Sad to say, most of the new breed don’t have any. Also, it would seem most of them don’t believe in emotions. Whereas film-makers of my generation are still rooted to our traditions. We touch our elders’ feet when we leave the house, we still believe in the joint family system. We understand one an-other’s feelings. The current generation doesn’t. It lacks soul.


Do you think there is too much of a Western influence in their cinema? 

Yes, Hollywood films influence them heavily. For instance, they want to make shorter films. Now, that’s okay but can they portray Indian emotions? They have ideas but the screenplay goes haywire. They can’t put across what they want to convey. In films like Lagaan, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Devdas or Titanic the audience can get a glimpse of the director’s soul. That’s what’s missing in most of the new breed. 



Having been an actor before you became a director, how do you work on the sets? Do you act out the scene and ask your actor to imitate you or do you give them the freedom to do the scene the way they want to? 

While writing the screenplay, I can visualise my characters, what they’re doing and how they behave. I have to be convinced about a scene as an actor as well as a director. On the sets, I may not act out the scene but I explain what I want clearly. If required I tell the actors to pep up or tone down their performance. I do inspire them to the extent that they can perform well. 

I still remember the time I was an actor and a particular director couldn’t quite explain to me what he wanted. He’d tell me, ‘Woh baat nahin aye. Kuch kar de yaar, tu toh actor hai.’ This kind of thing happens when the director isn’t exactly sure about what he wants. 
I’m totally clear about my script. I can even tell you which scene is on which page, along with which bit of dialogue. Once my script is finalised, there is no room for re-shooting or cutting the length.


After all these years, is film-making a bayen haath ka khel or is it still as tough as it once was? 

I still get as restless as I did before my first film. As I said, I spend sleepless nights before I start work because I keep thinking about my film all the time. Sometimes 24 hours simply aren’t enough for my work.