The verdict is out. Rakesh Roshan's latest venture KITES may not be getting a 5-star review, but the actor-turned-filmmaker is confident that it will become a trendsetter in Bollywood. He speaks to our correspondent during a post-release promotional visit to Kolkata.
Are you happy with the reviews you are getting for KITES?
I don't make a film for reviews. I don't make films with any expectation or deliberation. I make films that touch my heart…not run-of-the-mill Bollywood films that have six songs; and KITES is a film that is close to my heart.
You have invested an amount as huge as 30 million dollars in KITES. Do you think the film has finally been worth it?
See, when we decided to make a global film, we knew that we had to compete with a lot of films because the world has become smaller now. People are aware of the kind of films being made in Hollywood. So if you have even one action sequence that has to be able to meet the standards of those films. We released the film in that world too. So the expense was required by the script. And the film has justified the expense.
You have become a trendsetter in Bollywood with films like KOI MIL GAYA and KRISSH. Do you think KITES has been successful in carrying forward your signature style?
Yes, I can say that. The main motive when we started KITES was to bring in a new era of cross-border collaborations. Hopefully we should achieve it in the coming days because it is a film that is different from what Bollywood has seen so far.
Every filmmaker says his film is 'different'…
(Smiles) True; everyone says that. But KITES is different in many ways… from location to music to taking of photographs, lighting…everything is different….and above all, it's an unconventional narration.
Was it a conscious decision to make KITES a cross-over film?
It was not a conscious effort (to make a cross-over film). But it's just that we thought if they (Hollywood) can make a global film, why can't we? We didn't stress upon it…that let's take a story that's different, make it in Hollywood style. We decided to put our own emotions inside…after all we Indians are really rich in emotions.
From KAHO NAA PYAR HAI to KRISSH; and let's say, even KITES, Hrithik has got to play the most varied roles and been most successful when he is starred in your films. Do you make films for Hrithik?
Not really. Hrithik has been successful with a lot of films made by other filmmakers, say, JODHAA AKBAR. He will also surprise you in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's GUZAARISH. It's just that he first got noticed as an actor in KOI MIL GAYA…nobody thought he can play such a role (of a mentally-challenged boy), and I knew if there is anyone to play Rohit, it has to be him. And yes, when I work on a new script, I do think of Hrithik, but only cast him if he fits the role.
In your earlier interviews you said it's high time that the world market recognizes Hrithik's talent. Was KITES an effort on your end to put him on a global platform with Mexican actress Barbara Mori?
KITES is a project that was made aiming at global audience. But Barbara's presence in the film is purely out of the script's demand. We could have well cast someone from Bollywood to play the role Barbara has played; but then, I thought it would not look real.
KITES has some really intimate scenes between Hrthik and Barbara. Was it difficult for you, as the father, to watch the shooting of those scenes?
Not at all. Why should it be difficult? We are shooting a film. When I can see Hrithik jumping from 50 feet in KRISSH, why can't I see him making some intimate scenes! That's the part of the film. And it's not Hrithik Roshan but the character who is doing it.