By Utpal Borpujari in Cannes
It’s time for Hrithik Roshan, who many say has the looks to be a global filmstar, to go international.
A sizzling promo of his first international film “Kites”, directed by Anurag Basu of “Life In A Metro” and “Gangster” fame and with a separate international and domestic versions, was unveiled on the sidelines of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on Friday in the presence of the green-eyed superstar, his Mexican costar and supermodel Barbara Mori and Basu.
The $30-million film is expected to be released towards the end of this year, and Hrithik seems all set to make global hearts aflutter through this love story with a lot of action.
Produced by Big Pictures of Reliance Big Entertainment and Rakesh Roshan’s Film Kraft, the film is being pitched as India’s first film made for a global audiences, and not as a “crossover” film, Reliance Entertainment Pvt Ltd chairman Amit Khanna said.
Hrithik seems to have mentally prepared to go global with this film, as he spoke about how it was time for Indian mainstream cinema to become “realistic” and forego things like dance numbers “where dancers suddenly appear from nowhere”.
Yes, this film too has a scene of a dance competition to let the actor showcase his enormous dancing skills, but both he and Basu are emphatic that it is woven into the script as an authentic dance performance and not as a sudden number.
“The dance scene is not in the typical Bollywood style. It has been done more realistically. All our films are basically musicals because music is a very important part of our society and culture. But we are now realizing that it is more about being real (in cinema). Dancers appearing from nowhere in songs is getting obsolete now,” Hrithik says.
The actor plays a man born in Las Vegas falling in love with a Mexican girl played by Mori. Both, according to Basu, have shades of gray as they start believing that all their struggles in life would end if they can make lots of money.
That’s why Basu and Rakesh Roshan decided to have the film made mostly in English, with sprinkling of Spanish and Hindi. As Hrithik says, “Why would a guy born and raised in Las Vegas in love with a Mexican speak in Hindi?”
At the same time, he underscores that the film is not a verbose one. “You will understand it even if you watch it on the silent mode,” he says.
For Mori, it’s her first action role, that too in a Bollywood movie, which she never imagined she would ever get to do in her life.
But at the end of it, as Basu puts it, it is a love story between two Third World immigrants who meet in the land of opportunities, that is the United States. “And that’s where the global appeal of the movie would lie,” he says.