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November 9, 2001
Hrithik's lonely this Diwali...
It is undoubtedly one of the most awaited films of the year.
Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham first hit the limelight, thanks to the casting coup Johar had managed to pull off. Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, Hrithik Roshan and Karriena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee in a cameo, what more could one ask for?
Karan who first tasted fame with his debut film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, hopes that K3G, the costliest Bollywood film to date, will be a repeat feat.
We stepped onto the film's set at Film City, to find out if it would.
A palatial mansion doubles up as the humble onscreen abode of the Raichands, played by Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan. We find Hrithik, seated in a corner, as the camera zooms in onto him. There is pin-drop silence. He looks straight into the camera and then turns away. Hrithik is thinking of his brother, played by Shah Rukh Khan, who has left home and who is no longer with them. His 'fond memories' will be added at the editing table.
"Cut!" Karan yells and the shot is okayed. Every one rushes to the monitor to see how the scene has shaped up. Hrithik however isn't too pleased with the shot, but Karan thinks it is great.
The next scene, the young director explains, will be one with Hrithik decorating the house for Diwali. All at once, he imagines Shah Rukh helping him too. With Shah Rukh's absence from the celebrations, Hrithik's mind is swirling with mixed emotions. His face must reflect that pain of loneliness. A couple of takes later, the scene is canned.
As Shah Rukh isn't shooting with them that day, the combination shots will be taken later.
Hrithik looks exhausted; he's been working two shifts round-the-clock for a week. But the light-eyed hunk says that working on this project with its talented cast has been a privilege.
"I'm overwhelmed. They are all so good, so accomplished. I at a loss for words, when it comes to talking about working with them. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, has me sharing the screen with India's finest -- Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh and Kajol. What more could I ask for? All I can say is that it has been an honour.
"I hope my fans are enthralled by the film. I want people to stop comparing Shah Rukh and me. He is a dear friend and more like an elder brother to me. He is a wonderful person and a great co-star. I was pretty much at ease as the younger brother in the film. I hope all these baseless rumours of our rivalry will be put to rest once the film releases and people see us together. I have given all I have as an actor to the film, though I need to improve with every film," he adds.
Director Johar is not as forthcoming. He doesn't want to say too much. But he is very vocal about his heroines who are "doing a great job." He is all praise for Kajol who has always been his favourite. Karriena, now finds herself on Karan's 'favourite list' too. Rani, who also starred in Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai will step in for a special appearance.
Karan is obviously delighted with the way his second film has shaped up. But he is also a worried about the audiences' expectations and if he will be able to live up to them.
The cameraman beckons as the next shot is ready and the director needs to get back into action.
Hrithik checks his makeup and the other boys set up the props.
It's just another shot, another day, another film. Or is it?
India News Feature Service
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