The birth of a hit?
Rakesh Roshan is ready with "Koi... Mil Gaya", kissing New Delhi cinema halls this Friday. But not quite ready to open up to media, finds ANUJ KUMAR... .
Rakesh Roshan... from "Kaamchor" to "Koi... Mil Gaya", hard work all the way. Photo: S. Subramanium.
YOU CAN'T ask for more from a father. He has already given birth to his son twice and Rakesh Roshan is once again smiling in the pregnancy pangs but the green eyes are revealing the pain that this is perhaps the last chance for the son to grow up.
After the son refused to mature in the company of the masters of celluloid, ruining the cherished memories of showman Subhash Ghai, the mission of versatile Vidhu Vinod Chopra and the unbeaten Sooraj Barjatya, the man with the Midas touch till "Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon" happened, the father had no option but to seek extra-terrestrial help to win that elusive place under the marquee for his dear Duggu alias Hrithik. Thus "Koi... Mil Gaya" took birth with inputs worth Rs.30 crores and Hrithik playing the role of a 20-year-old with the brain of a 10-year-old, because his mother played by Rekha met with an accident during pregnancy and his `emotional' interaction with an alien, "Jadoo". A Bollywood hero with an underdeveloped mind! Don't we remember the fate of "Eeswar", where all the prayers of Anil Kapoor went in vain!
Considering Hrithik, who got lost in the crowd in "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham", vanished in the battle of non-actors in "Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon" and switched off whenever he tried to hum a solo with the author-backed roles of Khalid Mohamed's "Fiza" or Vikram Bhatt's "Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage" the film is a risky proposition even if filial love is given precedence. "The film is by far the greatest challenge of my life. I have tried to be as honest as possible. Now it is up to the audience," admits Rakesh.
Why a science fiction? "I have explored almost all the human feelings. My first film as a director, `Khudgarz' was about friendship. Then I made `Khoon Bhari Maang' celebrating the power of womanhood. I loved `Ram Aur Shyam" as a kid so I made `Karan Arjun'. After `Kaho Naa Pyar Hai', I was looking for a new topic and got the idea from my granddaughter. I thought when even kids know about spaceships and aliens why not make a sci-fi film. But this is just a part of the film. Basically, it is an emotional story of a clean-hearted young boy. Believe me Hrithik has surpassed my expectations."
The budget is bloated because of the computer wizardry? "Yes, most of the budget has been spent on creating the lively alien and the related animation. We hired Marc Kolbe and Craig Mumma of `Independence Day' and `Godzilla' fame to create the remote-controlled Jadoo. The experts agreed to work within our limitations without compromising on the quality. Also we did the shooting and animation simultaneously so that the release doesn't get delayed."
Right from the days of "Kaamchor", Rakesh's films stand for good music. "It is imperative. After all, my father was a legend and my mother an AIR singer. The film has six songs beautifully composed by brother Rajesh."
But if previews are any indication, which are strangely not only hiding the alien aspect, but Hrithik's emotion-free voice as well, except for the two songs the rest don't have the magic to make even the gullible swing. And another potential winner "Haila Haila" is shot in such a way that reminds of `80s exercises of Jumping Jack with southern sirens.
He may not show but Rakesh is playing safe. Learning from Subhash Ghai, a single song "Idhar Chala" has four brands "Coca Cola", "Killer", "Sansui", and "Nescafe" swinging in the background to give company to Hrithik and Priety. Playing safe? Not only with his son but with media as well. Fearing an inquisitive Press after he turned a hostile witness in the Chota Shakeel case not to talk about Hrithik's elephantine appetite for failures, he picked and chose channels, which allowed him to get away with the goodies. But Rakesh should know that box office is as about `khatta' as `meetha'.
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