Films with an emotional impact last longer : Rakesh Roshan

Published On: 2020-05-01

Author: Hiren Kotwani

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A film that has an emotional impact lasts longer in public memory : Rakesh Roshan



Source: TOI 

By: Hiren Kotwani 



Usually, it's safe to assume that a clash at the box office leaves producers feeling the heat and losing sleep over it. However, Rakesh Roshan comes across unfazed by the inevitable ticket-window war between his production Kaabil and Shah Rukh Khan's Raees. His composure screams loud. Few days before the release of his film, Roshan Sr talks about what makes him a confident filmmaker, his relationship with his son Hrithik and how he catches with the changing times. 



It's rare for you to not direct a film produced by you. What prompted you to support Sanjay Gupta on Kaabil after Jazbaa's commercial failure? 


I'm a fan of Sanjay's work. His films are technically well-shot. He has seen box office success, but I also feel that sometimes even when he chose a great subject, the screenplay fell short. When he came to me with Kaabil's story, I asked him if I could work with him on the screenplay . He understood my point. I wanted my emotions and his technique to blend in. He's done a better job of the film than I would have. 



Did you ever have creative differences with Sanjay? 


Sanjay and I walked together at every step. If we had differences, it was only to reach a common goal: This film has to work.



Krazzy 4 and Kites were also produced by you and directed by others. The films tanked at the box office. What makes you confident about Kaabil? 


I was confident about Kites and Krazzy 4 and I am equal ly confident about Kaabil. Sometimes, we just fail to match our thoughts with the audience. We miscalculate what our audience seeks from a movie at a given time. It's fine if you make a movie and don't succeed. Kites and Krazzy 4 were well made but I can only support a film till the day of the release. Friday onwards, it's in the hands of the audience. 



What went wrong with Kites, which was one of your most ambitious projects? 


I was heading into international waters with Kites. Maybe it was too early . The lead actress was Mexican, hence the foreign language. I always think and act progressively. It works and some times, it doesn't. I'm not concocting a commercial film with forced item songs and double-meaning dialogue to make it work. I always try to give something new to the audience. 



With three decades behind you as a filmmaker, do you keep abreast with the films around you? 


I watch every film that releases. I want to know what works for the audience. I don't like a few things that I liked earlier. The requirement of the audience is changing with every film. What doesn't change is the emotional quotient of films, whether it's Bollywood or Hollywood. Dangal, Sultan, Pink, Neerja and MS Dhoni: The Untold Story have strong emotional content. If your subject is wafer-thin and lacks emotion, your film will not have a great shelf-life. And I'm not talking box-office here. A film that has an emotional impact lasts longer in public memory . 



On the personal front, plenty has changed with Hrithik moving out of the family home.Do you miss having him around?


 He's always around. Even when he stayed with us, he'd sleep in his room and we'd seldom meet because of his busy schedule. Now, he comes home in the morning, we gym together, we discuss things, he goes to shoot and returns in the evening. It's good in a way . A person gains more experience with an ounce of freedom. Our bond is strong as ever. 



In a matter of days, Kaabil and Raees will clash at the box office. What are your thoughts now? 


We're ready and I'm sticking to the date announced. Maybe, it's my destiny that I can't have a bigger box office as it's not a solo release. I'll be fine with what I get. At least, I haven't encroached on someone's pre-decided date. 



In hindsight, do you think meeting Shah Rukh Khan and Ritesh Sidhwani was in vain? 


They asked me to shift my date and I told them I don't shift dates. So they said they were releasing the on same date, and I said fine. 



But you did change your mind about releasing Krrish 4 with another Shah Rukh Khan's film on Christmas 2018? 


Kaabil was ready in August last year. I could have released it in October, November or even, December, but the dates were taken by other films. I opted for January 26 as it was a free window then. Clashes are averted in Hollywood too, as everyone, including distributors and exhibitors get affected by it. As a mature and experienced filmmaker, I would've never chosen a date taken by someone else and I won't do that in future too. When I learnt that Christmas 2018 was taken, I immediately backed out. I'll find another date which is free. 



After Kaabil, what's next? 


I'm working on Krrish 4. It will take me a year-and-a-half to write and complete preproduction. While making a big movie, everything has to be ready on paper. Our budgets are not as huge as Hollywood. With the world shrinking, thanks to technology , an Indian filmmaker's work will be compared to an international counterpart. Our focus should be content and not high-end action.