Amidst the pressure of working in his costliest film till date, rumours of three directors on board (including Rakesh Roshan and Hrithik Roshan), speculations around Kangna‘s role in the film, grapevine surrounding the eventual release of the film and a time period of as long as three years, filmmaker Anurag Basu is finally getting ready to unveil his Kites on the big screen. Despite the moment of glory that he finds himself in, Basu is unusually calm, composed and doesn’t sound a wee bit hassled. Yes, there is a sense of relief though, as is evident in his conversation with Joginder Tuteja even as the film is barely hours away from release.
In each of your earlier films, most notably Life In A Metro, Gangster and Murder, you were the hero of the show. This time around you had at least two other people around – Hrithik Roshan and Rakesh Roshan. Did that result in you getting out of your comfort zone?
(Laughs) Hua yeh that that this time around, the story was given to me and I had to develop it further. I couldn’t sit down and start writing immediately because I had to get out of my comfort zone. In my earlier films I had things ready before I started the shoot for a film. Here I had to do the entire writing and ensure that all people involved were on the same page. So I had to apply myself further and put down twists and turns on the paper. If someone else does it for me then it becomes a little difficult. So once this writing was done, I was back into the comfort zone. Shooting Kites after that was the easiest part.
10 minutes into the film and you will forget that you are watching Hrithik and Barbara
You just mentioned about the twists and turns. Do you want to elaborate on the ones that we would see in Kites?
See, I like lot of layers in my characters; they need to have grey shades. Same is the case in Kites as well. Even though the story is based in Vegas, the characters are very real. 10 minutes into the film and you will forget that you are watching Hrithik and Barbara that you know. Here, the characters that they play have their own weaknesses. They are not black and white; they are grey. They do their best to overcome their weaknesses.
How about you though? Did you ever feel weak calling the shots because for the first time ever, there were people involved who could ask you some questions as well?
(Smiles) I have not shot a single scene without being convinced myself. Achcha bura jo bhi scene hai, woh mera hai. Every part of the product is mine. When you will see the film, you will realise for yourself. Ek director ka chaap toh aa hi jaata hai. My attempt was to make a film which was better and different from my earlier films. This is my best film till date. All films should be better than earlier attempts. While I am writing my next film now, I know that it has to be better than Kites.
This is my best film till date
Talking about better films, you are definitely making bigger films for sure. From movies ranging in the budget of Rs. 5 crores, you have suddenly topped Rs. 50 crores here.
But I am the same person. The only difference is that in earlier films, I always had budget in my mind while scripting. I had to tweak my screenplay accordingly. This time I didn’t have to think like that. I kept writing without thinking much on how expensive would it be to shoot a scene. I also didn’t have to worry about the time that it may take for the actual shoot of the film.
Your producer Rakesh Roshan really gave you so much free hand here?
That’s right. This is where Rakeshji’s support and advice came in handy. In fact he used to tell me that the film would take time but I didn’t believe him. I used to ask ki ‘arrey, itna waqt kaise lagega‘. He used to explain. Today when I look back, I agree with every word of his.
So would you do a film with him again?
If Rakeshji asks me, then why not?
I can confidently say that Hrithik has rediscovered himself with Kites
I am sure you must be definitely ecstatic about working with Hrithik. After all it was stated that in the struggle of differences, Hrithik sided with you because both of you were on the same page as far as making a film for today’s age was concerned.
Aisa koyi thought dimaag mein aaya hi nahi tha (laughs). We enjoyed the process of making this film; that’s about it. Kaun kiski side le raha hai nahi socha tha. I and Hrithik actually had an amazing tuning. Even as I thought something, he used to read it quickly. This is film made by all of us. Yeh sab baad ki baatein hai ki what will audience feel – whether it is an actor’s or a director’s.
So now we have one more filmmaker who has given Hrithik something new to munch on. Kites seems totally different from what he has done in the past.
Well, I can confidently say that he has rediscovered himself with this film. Hrithik is just amazing. Moreover, this film was challenging for me as well. As for doing something different, Hrithik does that in each of his films. Kites is not an exception. He says ‘yes’ to a film only if it offers something different for him and expects something new from him. Look at Jodhaa Akbar, Krrish or any other film of his in the recent past. In Kites, his character is simple but to achieve that sensibility is very different. Dekhne mein sab bahaut aasaan lagta hai but it is so difficult to achieve. Even though he is superstar, you will forget that he is Hrithik once he comes on screen. You would identify and love his character.
Final question Anurag before the world gets to see what Kites is all about: Who gets the bouquets or the brickbats if the film succeeds or fails – Anurag Basu, Rakesh Roshan or Hrithik Roshan?
Soch soch kar questions laya hai, haan (winks)? Arrey, achcha ho ya bura ho, saari jimmedaari meri hai. You don’t call a director captain of the ship just like that. This is my film and the decisions while making the film were mine. Whatever is the fate of the film, I would own them.