Rekha who was stunningly credibile as Hrithik Roshan's mother in Koi…Mil Gaya returns in the sequel as Hrithik's grandmother.
"She's the only link between the two films, the only character from Koi…Mil Gaya who recurs in Krissh," explains the softspoken Rakesh Roshan. "Audiences will love her in Krissh."
Though Rekha plays the grand-mom there's no overt aging involved. "No no, Rekha has just greyed her hair slightly, that's it. No more aging was required. After all Rekha played a young mother in Koi…Mil Gaya. So she's a young grandmother in Krissh."
Krissh carries forward the story from Koi…Mil Gaya. "My incentive to do Krissh came after I saw Lord Of The Rings. If they could do an elaborate fantasy- trilogy why couldn't I doa film that continues the story in Koi…Mil Gaya?"
In Krissh Hrithik plays the son of the character he played in Koi …Mil Gaya. "That's right. I was told sequels don't do well in India. It's not like that. Any well-made film runs. How does it matter to the audience if a film is related to something else?"
Made at an approximate budget of 45-50 crore rupees producer-director Rakesh Roshan has much at stake. The film is going to be released either on 23 or 30 June. "I'll take a call in a week. I'm waiting for all my special effects to come.
I don't think audiences have seen anything like this in Hindi films."
So far Indian cinema has lagged behind Hollywood in terms of spectacle. "That's because we never have budgets of 100 and 200 million dollars like King Kong and Superman. We can't play around with our visuals as much as them.
But given the financial constraints, we've achieved quite a lot in Krissh. If you liked the visual effects in Koi…Mil Gaya you'll find them far better in Krissh. I wish I had the budget to do more. I tailored my vision according to my budget."
Speaking of the whopping 45-50 crore budget the filmmaker says, "Whatever I've spent is visible on screen. I have't edited anything. I don't believe in over-shooting or bad planning. I make only one film every 2-3 years and I plan every detail in advance. Every location and its requirement is decided in advance. When I actually shoot I'm relaxed."
So how trendy is Krissh? "If you don't have a good story to tell all these visual effects will go for a toss. In that sense my formula hasn't changed. A solid storyline and strong emotions are always a film's backbone. But of course we've to upgrade the technique. That's the main difference between my Koyla and Krissh."
But he isn't nervous. Rakesh has recently moved into a sprawling new office complex spreading itself 35, 000 square feet. He knows he's on to novel concept in Krissh. "Let's see if audiences like what we've done."
Rakesh hasn't seen failure in a long time. "Our last supposedly unsuccessful film was Koyla and that made as much money hit films do today."
He gives a clean chit to his son Hrithik. "He's getting better with every film. Hrithik has a knack of getting into the skin of his characters. He's also of tremendous support on the sets. We work hand in hand during the shooting.
An outside hero cannot provide the same inputs because his contribution will then be seen as interference. I do accept Hrithik's suggestions. But we don't argue on the sets at all. When I place my camera he knows exactly what his father is doing."
Rakesh Roshan sees Hrithik's journey into direction as inevitable. "It'll certainly happen. He's helping me with the post-production of Krissh."
Speaking on the rest of the cast the filmmakers is all praise for his leading lady. "Priyanka Chopra is very disciplined. And that's a blessing. I've tried to change her look from her earlier films, taken her away from her skin-showing image. Still she looks very sexy.
An actress can look sensuous in a saree.. …And I've worked with Naseeruddin Shah for the first time too. He plays a scientist and an inventor. It was wonderful.
I had heard certain things about Naseer. But he was a delight. He came on the sets on time, sat in a corner reading…and when he gave his shot, it was revelation.
We never had any difference of opinion. He did want some changes in the script when I narrated it to him. But since those changes were within the parameters of my vision I didn't mind making the changes."
60 percent of Krissh was shot in Singapore. "I needed a concrete jungle. And the Singapore tourism board was eager to have us shoot there. They provided all the permissions to shoot outdoors including the blocking of roads which would be impossible in Mumbai. In Singapore they blocked all the main roads for us at heavy rush hour."
And finally the controversy. Salim-Sulaiman has done the background music Krissh when Rakesh Roshan's resident composer, the talented Rajesh Roshan has done the songs.
Rakesh laughs off the unnecessary controversy. "When I finished shooting in December and special effect shots were in by April. At that time a thought occurred to me. Why are we so sold on tapping the overseas territory only? The South territory is also huge.
A Rajnikanth film generates up to 70-80 crores. So I decided to release Krissh in Tamil and Telugu. I took the decision in February. And I needed the background music right away for all three versions. Rajesh couldn't handle both the songs and background."
The three versions will have exactly the same vocal tunes and background music. "Rajesh got busy doing the six songs in three languages sung by the same voices. Rajesh wondered how he'd handle both. I suggested I bring in Salim-Sulaiman for the background score."
Hrithik voice will be dubbed in Tamil and Telugu by the same voice.
Says Rakesh Roshan, "This the first time that a Hindi film is being released simultaneously in two other Indian languages. Earlier I had released my Karan Arjun in South Indian languages but not simultaneously."
Rakesh Roshan will be releasing above 800 prints of Krissh. "We shot from March 2005 to December 2006. But it took me another two years to organize everything. We zeroed in on Tony Ching from China who had done The Hero and House Of Flying Daggers and Kill Bill. Tony was amazing. This is my biggest film to date."
So, will the next Rakesh Roshan film star Hrithik's son? "No no. Hrithik will star in my films. He will make a film for his son. I'll be too old to make films for my grandson…I want to spend more time with my grandson. But the post-production of Krissh is keeping me busy at work."