April 3, 2010

Hrithik talks about Kites - Filmi girl's view!

Filmi Girl reads an interview with Hrithik Roshan!
I don’t usually devote this much time to actor interviews but this one was too good to pass up. (And if you enjoy reading it, perhaps I’ll make it a regular feature.)

I know that actors usually have a set of canned responses to unimaginative questions and the more interviews you read from a star promoting a film, the more you can see what points he or she wants to hit. I’m not hating – just explaining. I understand that it probably gets really obnoxious answering the same questions over and over and knowing what you will say in advance saves everyone time and effort.

That said, there are certain stars who will gladly say the most ridiculous things that come to mind when given a platform – usually those ridiculous things have to do with a massively inflated sense of self-importance.

But this guy… well, follow me as I turn my trust bullshit detector on and venture into… The Times of India’s Interview with Hrithik Roshan!

We open simply enough.

So, how busy was he with the Kites blitzkrieg, the session continued. “I am already a little tired, but it’s fun.”

It’s understandable that Hrithik is tired and I hope he is having fun! It’s nice to hear an actor say something like that. So far so good… how bad can this be, right?

"And it’s an honest film – that was the brief my dad (Rakesh Roshan) and Anurag (Basu, the director of the film) had given me."

Okay… to be fair I’ve only seen the trailer but ‘honest’ is not the first word that came to mind when I saw it. Unless that ‘honest’ was referring to the fact that it HONESTLY looks like a delicious cheese fest.

“It’s not within the safety zone of a manipulated commercial film.”

I’m sorry – he is talking about Kites, which for all intents and purposes appears to the be the Brazilian part of Dhoom 2 set in Las Vegas and with more dancing from Hrithik and blissfully free of Uday Chopra…?

Yes, he totally just called Kites a) unmanipulative and b) uncommercial.

Hrithik then segues from Kites to one of my least-favorite topics: How Bollywood Can Be More Like The West.

“Take films like Scarface or Once Upon A Time In America, for instance. Nobody breaks into a song. So, we too should let go of the safety nets,” he opined.

Now, perhaps he is not drawing direct comparisons between Kites - which I emphasize is about a salsa dance instructor and his steamy love affair with a Mexican woman– and two classic early 80s American gangster films, so I will let that one slide until I’ve seen the film. But how dare he imply that Hindi films are not as worthy as Hollywood films because of songs. You made your career on those films, buster, and I refuse to listen to Mr. Lakshya tell me that you can only make ‘safe’ films with songs in them.

I’m not saying that every film needs songs but commercial Indian cinema has a specific narrative structure that is built around them – it’s not better or worse than the Western-style, just different.

This attitude always makes me think of the kids in school who wanted to be part of the popular crowd. They would get a make-over and trash their own friends and family if it would help them get into the inner sanctum of coolness but really, is it worth changing who you are to be accepted by the rest of the world? Maybe you should let THEM come to YOU… stop trying to please Los Angeles and Berlin and Paris and work on pleasing Mumbai.

But he himself sang for the film. “Like I said before, it’s an honest film. The guy wanted to sing at a given point, and Anurag was very sure it had to be actually me. Good singing, bad singing, it didn’t matter. But the singing had to be from the heart.”

Ah... the interviewer is also calling ‘bullshit.’ So, now, according to Hrithik, singing is fine as long as the person singing is the same person that the song is picturized on.

He would doom us to a world of Himesh Reshemmiyas... I don't want to live in that world.

We glide back into safer pastures…

Like Kites; the film’s tagline could have very well been ‘controversy.’ Says Hrithik, “It was a catharsis of sorts – working with people like my dad, Anurag Basu and Barbara. I had to do a lot of unlearning, and let go of all the things I was good at, or had built up as my forte.”

I don’t even want to know how it was cathartic working with his father – unless by ‘carthartic’ he really meant ‘comfortable.’ Or maybe he did mean ‘cathartic’ and he needed to cleanse away the remnants of Ashutosh Gowarikar.

“After movies like Dhoom [2] and Jodhaa Akbar, I had worked out the camera angles, watching myself to see if I was good, and those sort of things. But with this film, I unlearnt all that, and learnt to let go in front of the camera.”

So, he was not, like, checking himself out?

(Bad joke, I’m sorry!)

"And I was working with impetuous, spontaneous people – like Barbara, my dad ... I was the odd one out. I was the one who had always graphed it out, and planned everything, act and scene."

I’m going to remember this later, when I review Kites. Note to self: Hrithik was being forced to be spontaneous.

"But the grammar of this film is different. There is no interval in the film, for instance. In India, we always judge a film in two halves. You know, ‘interval se pehle achha tha,’ or ‘interval ke baad achha tha,’ is how people decide whether they like the film or not. That’s not the way people the world over watch movies. They go, watch the whole film, and come back and comment about whether they liked the whole film or not. That’s how it should be. No half measures. It’s either a six, or out.”

Again, bro, we like the interval. It gives us a chance to go stretch our legs, get some snacks, use the toilet… Who cares if Woody Allen refuses to give an interval, do you really need to do everything he does? The idea of the interval is built into the narrative of commercial Indian cinema! I’ll say it again – Indian movies are structured differently than Western ones – it doesn’t make them worse.

And, since I'm on a roll, I refuse to hear a discourse on How The Interval Is Stupid when the guy talking is the same one who brought us one of the great pre/post interval set-ups in Kaho Na Pyaar Hai.

“And my dad has always been like that. [Like what? Bold? -FG] When everyone perceived Krrish to be a foolish kids’ movie, he boldly went ahead with it. And with this film, he’s again taken a bold leap.”

The bullshit is flying so fast and furious at this point I can barely keep up. So, Kites is going to be a bold leap out of the safety net of commercial cinema… in the same way that Krrish is not a silly movie targeted at the inner 13-year old boy in all of us?

This, of course, raises the question of whether or not Hrithik has seen Krrish.

To be fair, perhaps Hrithik said something else… maybe he said Krrishqiya, the unconventional and witty film in which he starred with Naseer and Vidya or was it Krrishq, the one where he played a rich playboy son who romanced the poor but spunky Kajol?

Jokes aside, Rakesh Roshan is going to make a Rakesh Roshan film. He just is. I don’t care who is telling me how groundbreaking and it’s going to be, Rakesh Roshan makes overly earnest and blatantly commercial films that creepily fetishize his son and I like them. We all like them. That’s why there is going to be a Krrish 2!

All this talk about 'honest' and 'just like the West' smacks a bit of Hrithik wanting to be all serious about Kites, a Rakesh Roshan film, while his pappa was trying to get on with making the movie – and then being serious about counting the cash that will come rolling in.

The interview asks about arguments between Junior and Senior Roshan.

“Oh, it happens everyday,” he replies, “We disagree on many work-related issues. And that is bound to happen because each individual’s creative perceptions are different. And that’s a good thing, because when working, there is no ego coming into play.”

*Pulls out shovel*

”It is never ‘my thought’ or ‘his thought.’ It is a thought, and that thought becomes important. I believe that where there is ego in the mind, there cannot be creative space. And for everything that is truly creative, there has to be a space of ‘no mind.’ I don’t have any ego. I’d like to keep my creativity brimming all the time, and for that, I listen to everybody who has any creative inputs that will add to my work’s calibre.”

This is just… I can’t even… that sound is the sound of my mind be blown by the magnificence and guaranteed 100% falseness of this quote.

You think it wouldn’t get better than this but you would be wrong. The interviewer asks about L’affaire de Barbara Mori.

“A certain section of the media has tried to instigate me to come out and talk. But that is one of my... let’s call it shortcomings – that I don’t get into all these things when I do a film. I am totally into it, in the world the movie demands me to be. I am focused, and don’t want any distractions.”

He is basically admitting that he has affairs when he goes on set because he is ‘totally into’' his character. Right? Right?

Read the rest HERE


ApexHeights said...

Funny read.

HR is such bore when it comes to interviews.
For Kites it still looks too early to decide which way is this one is going to flip. Lots of hard work and resources have gone in here , but delays and internal squabblings have raised a question mark.

Female lead is a weak link unless this one is aiming more on overseas audience.

ApexHeights said...

If this is really based on Matchpoint as the rumors had it earlier and then half as good - this will be a plus for hindi cinema.

ApexHeights said...

"He is basically admitting that he has affairs when he goes on set because he is ‘totally into’' his character. Right? Right? "

LOL ! But HR is so boring that one can never expect an affair even if he tries hard.

Recently Sayali Bhagat admits in a toi interview:

You had told us “I am extremely close to Shoaib but it is too early to talk about love and relationships”. That sounds contradictory to your statement.

(Sighs) Woh sab film ki marketing strategy thi. You know how the film industry works. Aren’t co-stars linked up to make the films a talking point? The production house of the film was successful in getting publicity for the film..."

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