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April 22, 2002
Subhash K Jha
Hrithik Roshan's Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage, with Amisha Patel, released on Friday, April 19, opened to dismal collections at the box office around the country. In fact, a distributor in Bihar is also said to have backed out of promoting Hrithik's next film, Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, which stars Saif Ali Khan and Esha Deol.
Hrithik's father Rakesh Roshan who directed Hrithik and Amisha's debut film and 2001's raging hit, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, remarks, "Once you are part of showbiz, you have to be ready for ups and downs.
"Hrithik's job is to act. He has no control over how a film finally shapes up. He worked like madman for the film [Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage]. Critics say he has done his best. Failures are bound to happen.
"Hrithik is a good actor. Nobody can shake him from his place or pull him down. Films will come and go. But he will remain where he is."
Reacting to a statement that Hrithik has been dancing too frequently in his films, Rakesh Roshan says, "Why single him out? Rarely are there any slow paced, thoughtful songs in films these days. Every actor today is dancing in all the five or six songs in a film. Because he is the best at it, Hrithik is being targetted for his dancing. In Na Tum Na Jaano Na Hum, Hrithik has only one song and dance."
Rakesh Roshan's own film Koi Mil Gaya with Hrithik in the lead is 30 per cent complete. The sci-fi film is said to be plush with special effects. "About 20 percent of the film is special effects. The rest has human emotions. I hope to complete the film by March 2003."
Rakesh Roshan is very happy with the scenes featuring his son and Rekha, who plays Hrithik's mother in Koi Mil Gaya. "Both Rekha and Duggu have put in so much for their scenes together. You have to see it to believe it. It is a bigger film than my earlier ones. But I won't call it my most ambitious film. Every film I make is equally ambitious."
Rakesh Roshan is also irked. A story in the April issue of a leading film magazine linking Hrithik Roshan with Kareena Kapoor has provoked Rakesh to take legal action against the magazine. He says, "They [the magazine] have fabricated everything. They say my son got Amisha Patel out of a concert tour that he is undertaking shortly. What does Hrithik have to do with the people on his show ?
"What happened was strictly between Amisha’s secretary and the organisers. That article was written with an agenda. Perhaps it is their way of getting back at Hrithik for not granting them interviews, as he was extremely tied up completing the just released Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage, and the soon-to-be-released Na Tum Jaano Na Hum."
"They have even claimed that Hrithik changed clothes in Kareena's van. Has anyone seen him do it? And if the magazine is so sure about the facts, why haven't they put a byline to the story? Obviously, it means they are making up the story."
A Mumbai afternoon tabloid reported that Rakesh Roshan is suing the magazine, but the filmmaker says, "My lawyers will ask for a written apology from the magazine. If they don't comply, we will consider our future course of action. Let us see what they have to say.
"The damage, of course, has been done. They can't do this to my son. If they send me a letter of apology at least, I'll make sure it is published and made visible."
Dismissing rumours of the Kareena-Hrithik linkup as nonsense, Rakesh Roshan explains, "Today's generation is very friendly with each other. In our times even touching a costar's hand was considered improper. Nowadays they hug each other to show warmth, punch and fool around with each other. This open display of friendliness is being misconstrued by a certain section of the press.
"Kareena and Hrithik are childhood friends. That doesn't mean they are having an affair. All this does not affect our family a bit. They have to be made answerable, else other magazines will start believing they can write anything about Hrithik because he doesn't retaliate."
The man in question, Hrithik, is away in London shooting for Yash Chopra's Mujhse Dosti Karoge. Rakesh says, reflectively, "They [media and the film industry] first raise a star to the skies and then pull him down. It happens to everyone who becomes successful. Why should my son be an exception?"
"This film industry is an ocean. A good swimmer will always survive," adds Rakesh.
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