Considering Krrish is such a rage among children, how did your sons Hrehaan and Hridaan respond to the films third edition
They loved it. I am just glad that in their range of superheroes there is a Krrish involved now in fighting with Spider-man, Super-man, Iron man and apparently, Krrishna wins! They were very curious while the film was being made, and they kept asking what was going to happen; which was good because they were really involved. And its the greatest joy, because if your own kids and family dont like the film then well, its not satisfying enough. As much as you get from the outside, you need that tank to be filled up first by the people you love so much.
And did it live up to your own expectations
Well, the facts and figures are there to prove that it has gone way beyond any expectations. I could have expected the world, but I still would have been shocked by the way its doing right now.
I think by the end of the first week wed cross Rs 200 crore ( worldwide). What else can one ask for The kind of acceptance and love that is pouring in from all over, it reaffirms your belief that as much as you put into something, thats how much you will get back. So my belief, that I am on the right track and that I must continue have been reaffirmed. I must always take this as a blessing. I am very fortunate that I can add so much joy to the lives of so many people. When I visited the theaters, I saw that euphoria and it was such a huge compliment; a pat on my back that I have done well. And to be able to put a smile on someones face just by being there is a blessing. I will never take that for granted.
Were you disappointed that the reviews were not entirely flattering
On the contrary, we have had an average of 4 or 4.5 stars. I have never had a more critically acclaimed film in my entire life. Even Koi Mil Gaya didnt have so many stars. All the papers, except Mid-day have given an average of 4-4.5 stars. To add to that is the success of the film, so this is in every way my biggest hit.
So what do you think worked in the films favour
We have added so much variety, which I think people have never seen in their lives in a film. Its the vision that has worked. You can point a lot of flaws in the film, and I would sit with you and join that charade but what actually works is the essence of the vision. That vision has gone through the eye of the needle. The message has come across and people have imbibed it. They have understood it. The nitty-gritties of how good some things were, or how bad some things were, are all points which you could listen to, to think of various possibilities for the next time. But on the whole it is still the biggest success ever so we definitely have pushed our cinema; we have evolved in every single way. This definitely is path breaking.
My father started with me in 2000 with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, then he made Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish and Krrish 3 four back- to- back historical hits. I am really happy that he took on such a challenge when he started with this film, because we had to put our remuneration on the line to make this film. It was such a fantastic idea that instead of being pushed, we were pulled towards it. The universe supports evolution. Right from the day when we were apes, its all about evolving, so if you are trying to evolve your cinema, and trying to push the barriers to find out what is the extent of your ability then the universe supports you. And thats what has happened. The universe has supported us because we chose to go where no one else dared to go. And there is so much variety in this filmmutants, Kaal, Kaya and everyone has done a great job. There is of course Krrish, Rohit and the emotions are there. I think thats what films are about. We have instilled the essence of being a superhero. I have heard kids in the theater say, Mama, even I can be a superhero because all I have to do is help someone and then I am a superhero. So, the message has come through, and thats what has worked for the film.
Was taking the concept forward as a sequel, a part of the original plan right since the inception of Koi Mil Gaya
Not at all. It was something really organic. Koi Mil Gaya was a film that stood by itself. But in my head, the thought that dad would get a brainwave that would take the film further always lurked. When he did, it just sounded absolutely right. At that time we were thinking of some other films but nothing was working out. I remember he offered me some eight scripts after KMG and none of them worked. And then he came up with this one and I just jumped at it. And because of the success of Krrish it manifested into Krrish 3, and because of the success of Krrish 3 we are going to see Krrish 4 sooner than we think.
A common critique of the idea of bringing the superhero to our movies is that Hindi film heroes, in any case, have superpowers. So was there a challenge in making this acceptable
Its a challenge for us, because when you see Hindi films, all our heroes are already superheroes, so our superhero has to be bigger, better and needs to be more overpowering than the hero. The costume and the mask could even end up looking rather funny and people could actually laugh at it, because our heroes even as regular folks have superpowers in the films, so the challenge is even greater for Krrish. It really is about creating that world with those powers, the fantasy, the sci-fi world and then the challenge is that when he fights, he cant fight like a normal hero. The fights, the stunts have to have an edge. There has to be something fantastic in every single thing that he does. Yeah, so it really goes beyond our conventional superhero.
Okay, so what distinguishes the hero from the superhero Is it just the costume or that he is saving the world as opposed to just settling personal scores
A superhero is someone who is there in service to the world. But really, it goes much beyond. With a superhero, the differentiation between super-strengths and super-weaknesses are very, apparent in the films, so its a good way to teach our children that it is your super weaknesses that actually fuel your super-strengths. Because for every Spider-man there is a Peter Parker who has a vacuum in his life; who is a have-not or who does not succeed as Peter Parker, but he finds the strength inside him to be a Spider-man. He uses the strength in service of the world and thats what sets him apart and makes him a superhero. A superhero film is a great way to educate and motivate our children and not have them feel weak because of their weaknesses.
There is also a feeling that our superhero films lack novelty as they borrow heavily from Hollywood flicks. Given the success of Krrish 3, do you think an Indian palette will evolve over time
Every single time an actor cries you cant say hes got tears in his eyes and even hes got tears in his eyes. Its such a lethargic view point. If you are looking for comparisons, you can compare this chair (points to a chair in the room) to every single chair you have seen in your life. And say, Whats new about this chair Its got four legs, a backrest, two arms. But there is something individual about each piece. We all look the same, we have two eyes a nose and ears and a mouth, and yet we are individuals; so you have to look at that one quality that the film is talking about. I can give you ten thousand things that are same in Thor..., Iron man and I can go across the spectrum and compare every single Hollywood film to each other and show you about the 30-40 thousand punches which are alike. But that doesnt mean they are all the same. I think it is the stimulus that matters. What is stimulating, that punch that action If emotion and the content that is stimulating is the same then you can say, yeah its a rip-off, or a copy. But if the catalysts or that one content factor is different, then those comparisons dont hold water.
How do we compare with international productions
I think you should compare us to whatever... Go ahead compare it to Man of Steel. We have come to that stage where we dont need to shy away and say, we are an Indian film. All the VFX films that you have seen has been done in India. This is the first film where people have started comparing it to the West, and more than 90 per cent have given us a thumbs-up which just goes to show our competence. And we have done all this at two per cent of the cost or actually just one percent in a film budget of say Rs.100 crore, which is not even the remuneration of an actor in the West. Its the kind of budgets they have and the time they can afford is massive. So if we can do this in two per cent of the cost (of a Hollywood production), anything is possible. Now its going to go through the roof. The scope is going to inspire film-makers, stoke their imagination, because now they know its possible here and they dont have to look to the West or anywhere else. I think Indian films are on the brink of evolving at a breakneck speed now.
First an alien (Koi Mil Gaya) and now mutantswhat made you introduce them in this edition
Adding mutants was a very good idea and it also added a lot of excitement for the children. We felt that just a villain is not enough. Lets build it even more. Lets make it even harder for Krrish. Let there be levels in the action sequences which differ from each other. When you fight with a mutant, your action has to be completely different. When you are fighting with Kaal its something else. Adding more variety to the action, would also make it look more interesting; for instance, fighting with the frogmans tongue or with Kaaya with her powers.
Whats been the learning on this film
I have learnt that its important to focus on something that your heart completely resonates withdad spent three years with it! You have to believe in it no matter how difficult it seems. If you can see the vision in your head and keep going forward, you will see that light of day, you will see victory. I say this because Krrish 3 started as one of the scariest things we would ever do. I remember dad shelving this film because it was too risky, too costly. Now, it makes me realise that the universe will support you if you are truly moving ahead with courage and power and total belief in what you do. I think life is about being enthusiastic about what you are doing. The greatest success about Krrish is not even the success, I think the greatest success is the three years, where each day was spent in pure enthusiasm about what we were doing. And that co-relates with the saying that its the journey that matters and not the destination. So our victory was already achieved. We were enthusiastic during the journey and the destination was reached automatically, so its been a victory even before the victory.
Are there any specific qualities that an actor needs to be able to pull off a superhero film
To play a superhero role, an actor has to be a superhero fan. I am a fan of all of them and fairly inspired by the fact that all superheroes are about their super weaknesses. And so you need an actor who has been able to accept his weakness and overpower and overcome them to identify with that character because you cant really fake it. You have to really have had to experience it. Thats true for any role not just the superhero, but what really sets a superhero apart is the body language. From the costume, to the mask to the way he stands, I think the aesthetics are the most important aspect of getting the superhero right. What I said earlier is for every character, but for a superhero, the body language is of supreme importance. It should be consistent and identifiable even from a mile away. If hes walking, you should know its Spider-man Iron Man or Krrishna. The way he flies, the way he jumps or lands, it should all be identifiable. It cant just be anything, so Krrish has his own style of taking the leap or his own style of flying.
There were some visual moments that felt almost mythological such as Krrishna towering over everything with a chakra like motion in the backdropwas that a conscious move to sort of Indianise the content for the audience to connect with
We went with it because Rohit prayed to Krishna and Jaadu came as an avatar of Krishna, because he was blue. So we just took all that and named Rohits son Krrishna. And then theres a scene where he has to tell the girl he saved, his name. She asks him who are you And hes about to say Krrishna when he remembers the promise that he gave his daadi that he would not disclose his identity. He begins to say Krrish and stops at that, and it sticks. So we called him Krrish.
When can we expect the next edition And what are your other films that are coming up Is there a sabbatical on the cards
Theres going to be no sabbatical. I think, we will see the next Krrish sooner than people think or even what we think. It will probably be very different. Maybe we can make it even more human...actually I am just thinking aloud.
My next film is Bang Bang and we are starting on the 27th of this month, so Id better get ready for my next journey. Hopefully, by then my head would have stopped hurting. It still hurts, so I am giving that as much time as I can for repair and Shuddhi starts almost simultaneously because of the disruption of my dates due to the surgery. I am planning to put both the films on floor so that I complete however much I can in the shortest span of time. Its also a complete action film.