Dilwale is not a niche film; it is ‘in your face’ cinema
The end of 2015 is all set to be extremely important for Shah Rukh Khan. With two back to back 200 crore grossers behind him (Happy New Year, Chennai Express), all eyes are on him to score a hat-trick with Dilwale. This is also a rare family affair for the King Khan as the last time he did a film belonging to this genre was way back in 2004. The film was Main Hoon Naa, which too dealt with the brotherly bond. Now that he is reuniting with Rohit Shetty for Dilwale, there is fun, music, dance and of course a lot of cars. We get into a conversation with the man of the moment.
Dilwale is a major move ahead for you as an actor, as well as producer, right Shah Rukh?
Well, it is as commercial as it gets. It is not a niche film; it is ‘in your face’ cinema. The core ideology is that it has to be an extremely watchable movie with a lot of action, without turning gruesome or gory. It has got romance and drama. In the film, Rohit has surpassed himself. The way he has shot it is exciting and as producers, we have given it our best shot. It is one of our bigger films. See, usually he makes comedy or action films. In Dilwale, there is an overlay of romance and that too with two love stories – one with Kajol and me, another between Kriti and Varun.
Oh yes, romance is being keenly awaited in a film of yours for sure.
(Smiles) The love story between Kajol and me is classic yet modern. It is like audience experiencing the old world charm while seeing us in this age. They would get to see us romance and also witness the problems in our love story. Actually during the closing moments, you would be amazed to see that it is actually a family film. Ek sweet si film hai. Of course gaadiyaan hain, action bhi hain, comedy bahut achchi hai. Johny (Lever) bhai aur Sanjay (Mishra) kamaal ke hain. Par phir bhi aakhir mein aake lagta hai ki yeh ek gharelu rishton ki kahaani hai. I think woh mix agar jam gaya toh it would be a big entertainer.
Yes, sounds like a quintessential Hindi film entertainer.
Haan, woh toh hai. Kuch logon ko lagta hai ki Shahrukh aur Kajol ka romance achcha hoga. Doosri taraf kayi log Varun aur Kriti ki youthful energy dekhna chahte hain. Aur phir aur bhi log hain jinko gaadiyaan dekhna achcha lagta hai. Ab Rohit ki ek audience hai, meri bhi ek audience hai, toh isliye logon ko khush karne ki koshish ki gayi hai. Rohit told me that we will make this film if Kajol and I are together. Fortunately that happened. The overall mix has come out quite well. Distributors have seen the film and they all seem to like it. The story line of the film is very interesting.
From Chennai Express, Rohit and you had a mutual admiration society. How has that progressed further with Dilwale?
Rohit’s vision of cinema is in his own genre. He has a very specific idea of making films and this time he wanted to carry a really big vision. Chennai Express was a very cozy film with two people on the run in a gaon setting. With Dilwale, he was clear that he wanted to make a big film. I said that agar big film banaani hai then mix it with romance. Action theek hai par romance bhi hona chahiye because then you get an idea which is varied. He told me that he had an idea and if we get Kajol in there then we can call it Dilwale. He said that we could attempt the film without her but then it won’t be what you want it to be.
I heard the story and as always, found it very funny, especially since it was coming from Rohit. Action toh mujhe pata tha ki achcha kar hi lega. Ab kahaani achci thi toh sab aur bhi damdaar laga. The love story in here is very nice so hamne socha ki chalo ek baar Kajol ko suna dete hain. After all, we have a legacy to take forward, not backward. Her role is very different in the film; it is very unlike what we have done in the past and is yet quite similar. Still, there is newness to it all. It is edgy in a good way.
Needless to say, with Kajol and you returning, there is good curiosity. However, what is the kind of effort that the two of you put consciously when coming together with each other?
You know, Rohit said something interesting about this. He said that jab aap dono saath hoge to audience ko samjhaana nahi padhega ki love story hai. People will accept that this couple is in love and hence he won’t have to waste time as a director (smiles). In a normal love story, dedh do ghante toh pyaar hone mein lagta hai; yahan aapka 30-40 minute mein ho jaayega. Because there are other actors in the film as well, everyone has a balanced role. Kajol and Varun are big fans of Rohit. The combination was quite good. Rohit is in-house for us. He is an extended family like Farah (Khan) and Aziz (Mirza) are to us.
It is also quite apparent that the film has a strong brotherly bond coming into picture between you and Varun. Guess it’s after long that you are stepping into a ‘bhai bhai’ character for a film?
Haan woh bhai-bhai waali baat toh hai. Rishetadaari bhi hai. Woh mother-father waali rishtedaari nahi par jo ek younger brother ke saath hoti hai. How they stick together, then separate and then come back together. Haan theek hai, dukh hai but we have kept it like it happens with boys. Rohit makes macho films. You do choke up ki arrey yaar, inke beech mein sab theek ho jaaye. Since Rohit’s films are so cool and they have a lot of action, hence emotional scenes also don’t get into soppy zone. Of course it is not a social drama; Dilwale isn’t Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.