METRO PLUS

Superstar is here again

ALL ALONG you thought you were alone, but you are not. Though the tag line of "Koi... Mil Gaya" (KMG) does fit Hrithik's reel life, but it misses the opposite just by a whisker as a dozen flops and numerous obits later, the boy has just his father for company in the world of celluloid charmers where success and failure love to play the game of snakes and ladders. However, the boy is man enough to bear the bites due to his experiences of weightlessness with father much before Rakesh discovered the `K' magic in "Aap Ke Deewane" and "Bhagwan Dada" and later as an assistant in "Koyla".

"Though it is a challenge I am not feeling any pressure. Our part is to make a film sincerely. Box office collections are not in our hand," says Hrithik. He can't be straighter as he has suffered the tumultuous fate more than once. While a single "Kaho Naa Pyar Hai" put him in the Khan troika league and even beyond but after that failure has virtually become his middle name with a string of big-budget movies sinking without a trace. The situation has reached such a pass that the autistic character that he is playing in "KMG" is under glass for does the man of 29 years have the wherewithal to communicate the mind and soul of an11-year-child, considering he failed to deliver as a 14-year-old in "Fiza". He tries to sound confident: "It was not hard work at all as I was excited about the character right from the day papa narrated the story to me one midnight. I have so much enjoyed playing this character that even if any other director would have approached me with the idea I would not have refused."

Ask him about how he prepared for the role and Hrithik doesn't start knitting stories. "Nothing special. Before the shots I used to seclude myself and just patiently delve into my childhood memories. To me the character is just an extension of my childhood with the return of lots of chocolates and fun. It is a misconception that I am a playing the role of a boy with an abnormal mind. Actually, the boy has a normal mind of an 11-year old. So he does all the activities that a boy of such an age does and you know how witty today's kids are! Plus, papa gave me full freedom to innovate within the perimeters. Of course, the presence of talented child artistes added to the energy. However, what has made the film really special is the dexterity with which papa has handled the boy's simplicity against the fantasy element."

This shifts the focus to the fantasy element. Won't a sci-fi film with songs confuse the masses? "No, we should not misunderstand the intellect of our audience. Janta itni bewakoof nahi hai jitna hum samajhte hain", he remarks, confirming fluency is not his mate. But acting with an alien?

Superstar is here again

"Yes, I was apprehensive at the beginning. But all my nervousness flew away the moment I saw the remote-controlled Jadoo. Kolbe and Mumma have made it so lively with emoting eyes and gestures that I never felt that I was acting with a machine."

No chat could be complete without Priety-talk even when she has not made an appearance. That her previous "Mission" with Hrithik missed the target is not a point as she is a family friend. "You can't take your eyes off her. She is so good that sometimes I think that whether somebody will look at me. And she is such a child herself that her presence made my job of entering the character even easier," says friend Hrithik even revealing that his next aim "Lakshya" is also opposite her but shuts up on future realising that it's time to praise papa!

But what about papa's friend, to whom papa has loved to play a second fiddle from "Khoobsurat", to "Khoon Bhari Maang" to "KMG" itself. "I could not have asked for a better screen mother than Rekhaji. She has always treated me as her son. She has a very challenging role, the way she stands for her son is remarkable."

All said and seen, box office will decide whether the son will rise over the descent or even two as a company will take a beating.