Hrithik Roshan is happy with the global response to his latest: the West is raving about Kites, with many leading dailies in the UK and the US additionally giving him a ten on ten for his sculpted bod.
While he’s kicked at the overseas response to the film, he does make it clear that the domestic market’s response dampened the celebrations a wee bit. “Our country should be proud that, finally, one Indian film has made it to the US Top 10 list, that for the first time, 37 countries have shown an Indian film for the very first time. No other Indian film has entered these markets ever before, and these places have bought it on the strength of the film, after having watched it. Thirty-seven new countries! Kites has done it for the first time – but it’s sad that our people, instead of nurturing this new passion that has conquered so many new markets, are putting us down.” The media in the West has surely given him raving reports ... “Yes, LA Times, New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, everyone has said good things about the film, and God, our country is putting it down. For what agenda?” he asks.
Putting aside the question for the moment, what does he have to say about everyone talking about his sexy body in the film rather than Barbara’s? “I am ecstatic. They are taking a look at Bollywood in a different way, and we have done it,” says Hrithik, and his sense of humour returns, at last, as he says, “But here, they are so used to biryani, I tell you. They’ve been served just that for the last 10 years, and I said well, here, try some pasta now. Try something different,” he says, “My Twitter page is going crazy with 90 per cent of the people who’ve seen the film sending me messages of love – and that’s what’s keeping me bright and happy. The film has a target audience. It’s not a formula commercial, concocted film.
And see, it’s finding its own audience. The fact is, just because it’s my film, people are going with strings attached, of my image, the kind of films that I have done before – the larger than life ones, promising them Dhoom and Krrish – well, I have done something different. But that’s no reason to put down the film.”
There’ve been reports that one of the reasons why the film didn’t do as well as expected is because 90 per cent of it is in Spanish, with English subtitles. Does he agree?
“But even if it is in English or Spanish or Chinese, you can’t say the film is good or bad - how can you judge that? You can say it didn’t cater to this audience or that market, but you can’t judge the merit of the film, you know. That’s the honesty of the film – the character is born in Las Vegas, he knows only English. He meets a foreigner, who is a Mexican. Now, why will he speak in Hindi? We are just being honest to the film!” says Hrithik. He makes another pithy point, then, “Had the character spoken Hindi, the same critics would’ve said how dishonest, how can someone who’s never seen India speak in Hindi. It is so ridiculous. You can’t please them either ways.”
And what about Sussanne? How has she reacted to this, sort of, global love-hate reaction to the film? “She’s like my spiritual guardian. She is so bright and happy all the time - she’s constantly all smiles,” says Hrithik. And as to Barbara, reports of her not being too happy with things, of leaving on a note of disappointment...? “Barbara is right here in the country, in fact she is here till May 27; she is excited, she is happy, and she’s been tweeting saying just that,” he signs off.