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Return Of The Roshans
Text by Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena and Photographs by Sameer Belvalkar
Published: Volume 14, Issue 4, July-August, 2006

Undeterred by the risk element, he has always eschewed the expected and made movies that touched his soul. As his mega-release, Krrish - his third film with son, Hrithik - releases nationwide, the normally low-key director, Rakesh Roshan, rewinds to his trials and triumphs in Bollywood and looks forward to many more years of challenging projects. The actor turned film-maker caught in conversation with SHRADDHA JAHAGIRDAR-SAXENA

Never mind his penchant for the letter 'K' (with which his successful film productions invariably begin) - or the two 'R's that make up his initials; it is the letter 'P' that throws up epithets that can be applied to his persona. Prompt, punctual, polite…and a perfectionist too...

Rakesh Roshan is prompt…I discover, as I try to catch him in the midst of his round-the-clock schedule of final mixing and editing for Krrish (his sequel to the immensely popular sci-fi flick, Koi... Mil Gaya). Thanks to the modern marvel of messaging, it doesn't take long to fix the meeting for a Saturday morning at his well-appointed triplex in suburban Mumbai. We reach Ghumman Villa - the relatively new address for the Roshans - a little before the appointed hour. I pat his pet pug on the steps within his apartment and stroll into the living room on the tenth floor (incidentally, the floor below and above are also the family's) admiring the many Ganesha statuettes that dot the spaces and see the 56-year-old director sitting all-ready, sipping a mid-morning cup of hot chai. As our chatathon progresses, leisurely meandering into a photo-shoot, he politely entertains our requests for poses...

Friends, colleagues…and the world say he is not playing to the gallery - this is the quintessential Rakesh Roshan. The actor turned film-maker who over the years, has remained - unusually so in a profession given to public posturing - rather low-key, preferring the private spaces of his personal and professional worlds to the glitz of filmi functions or social dos.

Roshan has a credible body of work behind him (as producer and director, not to mention his earlier oft-forgotten forays on the screen as an actor), yet he brushes aside any notions of eminence in Bollywood's firmament. "For me, every new film is like my first one. I work 30 hours a day and believe that my work should speak for itself. I do not believe in blowing my own trumpet," says Roshan, even as the noon sun glints off his bald pate. "The media never really took me seriously as an actor or even as a film-maker…and I learnt one thing - one should keep on working no matter what people say or think. I still work as much as I did when I was directing my first film."

Talk inevitably gravitates towards his latest offering, Krrish, starring but naturally, his son, Hrithik - a movie that marks the return of the 32-year-old superstar (who turned papa this year) to the silver screen after Lakshya two years ago. A lot is at stake for both father and son - the movie is being talked about for its risk factor, its similarities to other superhero films and, of course, its budget. Shot primarily in Singapore and the Kulu-Manali region - with a reported budget of Rs 40 crores - Krrish is all set to explore new cinematic territory with special visual effects (by Marc Kolbe and Craig Mumma) and action sequences (by Tony Ching Siu Tung).