The making of a superhero

Published On: 2015-01-29

Author: Prema K

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The making of a superhero


Source: Various
Date: April 25, 2006
By: Prema K 

All you wanted to know about Krrish, but didn’t know whom to ask. Here, the maker and stylist exclusively tell all.

According to film-maker Rakesh Roshan, Krrish is a simple story starting from where Koi Mil Gaya ended. For those who’ve come in late, Koi Mil Gaya was the story of a mentally challenged boy, played by Hrithik Roshan, who is one day blessed with supernatural powers. Despite his handicap, in true blue filmi style, he falls in love with Preity Zinta and the film ends with Hrithik getting cured, with superhuman powers added for an extra happily ever after. 

Cut to the present. Hrithik and Preity are dead but have a son, Krishna, who’s brought up by his grandmother (Rekha again). ‘‘I wanted to show what happens to Hrithik after that. There was nothing more to show in the Hrithik-Preity love story so I thought the best way to take the story ahead would be to show their son, Krishna, inheriting his supernatural powers,’’ Roshan Sr reveals. ‘‘But yes, basically, it’s a love story.’’ 

Hrithik starts as a village boy. ‘‘Rekha is frightened when she realises Krishna possesses supernatural powers too. People exploited her son because of his special powers, so she takes Krishna to the mountains to protect him from the world.’’ Lighting up a cigarette, he continues, ‘‘One day, a young group comes in from the city on a mountaineering expedition. This is Krishna’s first interaction with the outside world. Priyanka is part of the group and he falls in love with her. Using his special powers, he follows her to Singapore.’’ 

The USP of Krrish lies in the choreographed thrills of the film. ‘‘For the first time, you will see how action sequences can look like poetry on screen. It also had to be at par with international standards, so I hired Tony Ching Stiu, an action director from China, for this. He’s worked on films like House Of Flying Daggers, Kill Bill and Shaolin Soccer,’’ adds Roshan. ‘‘Ching has an edge over other action directors. His style is different, he makes action look pictorial. Every action sequence in the film looks like an item and there are five such sequences.’’ 

Roshan makes no bones about the fact that the music of Krrish is very different from the songs one hears these days. ‘‘The songs are very soothing. They are fast numbers but they sound melodious and have good lyrics. The Roshan stamp is there,’’ he smiles. There are four songs that have been choreographed by Vaibhavi Merchant, Farah Khan and Raju Khan. 

Currently Roshan is busy mixing the music of his film. ‘‘The background score is being done in Prague, the sound effects in Australia, and the special effects in Los Angeles. I’m assembling all these together,’’ he smiles. 

Though the film releases on June 30, the tantalising promos are already on air . And if history does repeat itself, the father-son duo are set to showcase the biggest film of the year. 

Rocky S on Krrish:

Hrithik Roshan has been a constant on designer Rocky S’ drawing board for years now. Rocky created the actor’s simpleton look for Koi Mil Gaya and his slick avatar in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, apart from the hundreds of ensembles he’s made as Roshan’s personal designer. But nothing had prepared him for Krrish, Roshan’s to-be-released sequel to Koi Mil Gaya. The actor has four distinct looks in the film, all of which are Rocky’s handiwork. He talks about the project which took him six months to complete: 

I started working on the movie right from the script stage, in mid-2004. Rakesh Roshan did a narration for Hrithik, Priyanka Chopra and myself, so we could get a feel of it. I quickly worked out rough references and made a large number of samples, but Hrithik and I both rejected those in our first meeting itself. 
He plays four characters in the film. Krrish is a simple boy who lives in the mountains. This was one of the most difficult looks to create, because I had to keep in mind that he had no access to fashion at all; he had to look hot, but real. 

I started out by designing a lot of different pants—distressed, wrap arounds and more, till we settled on big, gathered salwars. For the tops, I had to figure out a way to show his arms and body, but use a fabric that would keep the cold out. We chose unfinished tunics and wrap tops that reveal his arms and chest, in a clingy viscose fabric. There were a lot of knitted stoles as well. All these had to be tea-dyed to look old. 

Hrithik also has a glamourous role in the film, when he’s in Singapore. This was very easy for both of us. First I tried to source clothes from abroad, but we rejected that, because we wanted to make a style statement, not just look glam. So all his clothes in that part of the film are fitted, with an Oriental feel—lots of high collars, Oriental emblems and combats, no jeans. 
Another look was an older version of his Koi Mil Gaya character. This was very easy to do, we only had to make him appear a little aged.

The last—his superhero avatar—was probably the hardest. You’ll think it’s funny when you see the film, because it consists of just one overcoat and a mask. It took me six months to get the overcoat right and I was completely frustrated by the end of it. It had to look natural for whatever stunts he was doing, so by trial and error, I made about 30 prototypes, till we settled on the last design. It’s made of PVC, it had to have the right sheen, because they used a lot of lights during filming, and we scratched it to look worn. 

For the mask, we did 40 to 50 sittings. I got a guy from Pune, who experimented on masks in wax, rubber and steel. We finally settled on a wax mask coated with rubber, that Hrithik had to stick on and remove with chemicals. He was definitely going through some stress at that point. They broke easily, so we made about 80 masks. 

Hrithik and I met at his home almost everyday for the six months I was working on this film. We had arguments every day and got on each other’s nerves and Suzanne would come in, make some coffee and calm us down. But I’m completely satisfied and so proud of this film.