I wouldnt have made Mohenjo Daro without Hrithik

Published On: 2020-02-11

Author: unknown

Media Link:

I wouldn't have made Mohenjo Daro without Hrithik Roshan: Ashutosh Gowariker



Source: Spotboye 

Date: July 28, 2016 



The time was right to meet the director of Mohenjo Daro which hits theatres on August 12. See (video above) and read on for the chat we had with him in his Khar office, two days ago: 



How did the idea of Mohenjo Daro come to mind? 


I always wanted to do something on civilisation. We have seen films on Roman and Greek civillisation but not one on our civilzation. I had the idea of Mohenjo Daro from the days of Lagaan, but I started writing it only after Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (KHJJS). 



You were going back to history And your last two films- What's your Rashee? and KHJJS- hadn't done well... 


I make expensive films and it's very important to have box-office returns. But sometimes, films do not connect; mind you, it's always the script that may have gone wrong but not the audience; they always know a little better than you. After KHJJS, the idea of Mohenjo Daro which I had 15 years ago came rolling back. And suddenly I could I see a film full of drama and emotions, so I said why not go ahead now? 



And you wanted a big star? 

Just Hrithik Roshan. My experience of working with him in Jodhaa Akbar was tremendous, this role fits him like a glove. Hrithik has a larger-than-life persona, which lends itself well to the civilisation. It's a joy to work with an actor like Hrithik whose passion is complete, who is constantly giving, reciprocating and participating. With all these qualities, an actor's character always becomes more believable which in turn makes it easier to connect with the audience. 



Did Hrithik consent easily, considering that he has a tendency to go back and forth a lot? 


I know, but after he completed reading my script, he took 5 seconds to revert. The only hitch was that when do we schedule it with regards to his look etc. 



The heroine, Pooja Hegde, came in much later... 


Yeah, but I was clear about one thing. 





I wanted a fresh face who would come in without bag and baggage. 





The heroine's character is someone who is bholi and has to be graceful and dignified in the way she speaks and behaves on screen. Many times, the big stars have a lot of their residual characters around their halo, which tends to spill over into their next role- which I didn't want in this case. The very first time you spot Pooja on screen, you will wonder: Who is this girl and what is she all about? And I wanted that. 



There have been mixed reactions to your trailer and its' being said that you have distorted history. Your take? 


I respect those reactions. But look, firstly, history is debated among historians too. Ditto among archaeologists. If I am making a movie, I need to follow only one path, not combinations. I need to follow the path where I have maximum conviction. I faced similar reactions during Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar too. But I need to mix it up with my fiction to make an entertaining film. 



Mohenjo Daro is the Land of the Dead. How can inhabitants of Mohenjo Daro call it Land of the Dead? 


Suppose I had called the city Daro Mul Mun. People would have said that Ashutosh ko kya ho gaya hai? Archaeologists suggested that the audience will identify with the name Mohenjo Daro. 



People want to know why you have used Sanskritised Hindi in the film... 


It is not Sanskritised per se. For example, the word Annivari which I have used in not spoken in our day-to-day life, but is that Sanskritised Hindi? No, it is not. You see, I have only created a mix of certain words, so maybe that's sending out the signal of Sanskritised Hindi. 



Its' also being said that the film is a propaganda of Hindutva... 


It's too premature an attack on a trailer. If and when you'll see the film, it's not a Hindutva propaganda. It's typical my type of film I would say Ashutosh's typical grandeur. Am I right? But this grandeur is different. The Moghul period created in Jodhaa Akbar was far different. 



Grandeur has to be accompanied with a grand investment and I am sure that producers are not easy to get. More often than not, why can't you make a film at an economical cost? 


You are talking exactly like my wife- Sunita Gowariker. Every 6 months, she asks me why can't I make a simple contemporary film? Why create another world? Why go into another era? I think that cinema is such an exciting medium and I feel good when I can get several HODs to create a film. It may take 6 months to get finance for a simple film and in my case it might take 2 years. But that's me.In the case of Mohenjo Daro, Hrithik said yes and Siddharth Roy Kapur (UTV) came on board. So things were not that difficult. But yeah, I know you have a valid question. I know it's a time consuming process. I even spend sleepless nights during the scripting stage.Sunita keeps telling me to cut corners. She holds the entire production package. She is a very creative producer with whom I can fight and will have to be together (laughs). 



The crocodile scene looks exciting. Tell us about it... 


Massive crocodiles, flying crocodiles, it's the introductory scene of Hrithik. Better I keep the excitement for your screen experience. It took me 6 months to set the stage, it was not easy for sure. 



Going to the big Hrithik-Kangana controversy. Did it bother you that it might take the audience focus away from your upcoming film? 


No, I think the audience knows to demarcate an actor's professional and personal life.Whatever happened was tragic, but Hrithik never let it affect the movie. So, it didn't worry me. 



Would you say that you redefined Aamir and SRK's career with Lagaan and Swades respectively? They were not 'The Aamir Khan' and 'The Shah Rukh Khan' then,but those films clearly took them one step ahead. Will Mohenjo Daro do the same for Hrithik? 


That's a tricky one. But I think Aamir relaunched me as a director. SRK's great performance made Swades so believable. Hrithik's performance too will redefine me. 



Let me put it this way. Will Mohenjo Daro put him in a league which is one step ahead? 


I hope it does, but I think he is in a happy space. Once you have entered the elite club, the margin of victory is very small. It's just how you maintain your star status. 



Did you have anybody else in mind if Hrithik had not agreed to do Mohenjo Daro? 


Then, I wouldn't have made Mohenjo Daro. There is something about Hrithik which is very larger than life. He is made for Krrish and Jodhaa Akbar. At the same time, how beautifully he adapted himself in the multi-starrer Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara. 



I think we are forgetting Guzaarish here. He was outstanding in that... 


No, I am not forgetting Guzaarish, he was outstanding in that no doubt, but it was an author backed role and everything was happening around him. IN ZNMD, he had to blend his persona, behaviour and style into another filmmaker's world. 



It happened during Lagaan, and it's happening again. Mohenjo Daro has been chosen at the Locarno Film Festival and you will be off to Locarno on the release date... 


(Laughs) I am here on Aug 12 for the first half of the day at least. I will fly off to Locarno after watching the public reaction in Gaiety-Galaxy, Chandan and PVR.



The interview will be incomplete without asking you about the box-office clash with Akshay Kumar starrer Rustam... 


The clash is more a creation of the industry and fan base. Box-office clashes have often happened in the past, when you have so many films releasing every year. Even I had it during Lagaan andd Gaddar- and both did very well. My wish is that the people see Mohenjo Daro first- or even vice versa. The long and short of it is that they should see both films.