Leading man Hrikhik Roshan and director of Kaabil, Sanjay Gupta, in conversation with Team Box Office India
Box Office India (BOI): The second trailer has more action and intrigue than the first. What was the idea behind releasing a second trailer?
Sanjay Gupta (SG): Nothing specific, as such. We released the first trailer in October and since there was a long gap between that and the release of the film, we felt it was time to come out with a second trailer. So, yes, it was a marketing decision and I am glad the second trailer is being appreciated much more than the first trailer; otherwise, it wouldn’t have served its purpose. The whole point was to up the intrigue factor.
Hrithik Roshan (HR): Everyone loved the first trailer and I hope they appreciate the second one even more.
BOI: What was the thought while cutting the trailers? How do you decide which scenes should be incorporated in first trailer and the second?
SG: With the first trailer, we needed a hook, which is a very important tool when you make a thriller. So the first trailer had to strike the right chord with the audience. We were discussing the pros and cons if the first trailer, when someone said, ‘You have made such a brilliant first trailer, are you sure you don’t want to come out with a second trailer?’ Until when the same people saw it and felt it was a good decision.
BOI: What works in this actor-director team, the Sanjay and Hrithik team?
HR: I think the number one will be… and it’s not just about Sanjay and me but even my dad. We have entered this venture with a lot of humility. We are very conscious that this is a small film with a very large heart. All of us needed to increase the largeness of our hearts to be able to make this film. That’s what I appreciate about everyone working in the film. Everyone came with a humble desire to do something special and that’s what has made Kaabil what it is.
BOI: How difficult or easy was it to come up with the title of the film?
SG: We were brainstorming on the name the film. I had another title in mind but the moment we knew Rakeshji (Roshan) was on board, I knew the title would have to start with ‘K’. It evolved very organically. We were sitting around and discussing a line and the word ‘kaabil’ came up and we said ‘yes’.
HR: It came from the dialogue in the script. I think there was a line from which Dad picked up the word and said, ‘Let’s call it Kaabil.’
SG: It all happened very naturally, it was an organic process. It’s such a wonderful title that I am surprised no one thought of it for so many years.
HR: But for us, it was so apt. It is the most incredible title for a film like this.
BOI: What was your instinctive reaction when you heard the script was about a blind man’s revenge saga?
HR: When I heard the script, I just knew in my bones that I had to do this film. If you ask Sanjay, after he finished the narration, it just took me only seconds to shake hands and say, ‘I am on, this is the film we are doing.’ It impacted me emotionally.
BOI: And what was Rakesh sir’s reaction?
SG: I got a call from Rakeshji and he asked me, ‘What have you narrated?’ That’s because he didn’t know about this one. Just before I started on Jazbaa, I spent two months with Rakeshji, talking about other ideas. I used to call these sessions my ‘tuition classes’ because I used to take back so much after meeting for just an hour.
Then he said to me, ‘You narrated something to Hrithik?’ So I narrated the script to him, and he said, ‘I am making it.’ I always joke with people, that filmmaking is not rocket science, it’s not all that complicated. But, in this case, it was truly like that and it involved a lot of hard work.
BOI: In our industry, we say ‘films don’t fail, budgets fail’. And you guys just mentioned that this is not a big-budget film. Was it hard to work around the budget or was it a cakewalk?
SG: I have a certain style of working, where I cannot sit on a scene and take days to shoot it.
HR: Sanjay is a very budget-friendly director. His vision is very precise; he doesn’t waste time shooting scenes that won’t make it to the final cut on the edit table. He knows what he wants and does just that.
SG: (Laughs) As a matter of fact, this is the longest time I have ever taken to shoot a film. When I started making the film, I told him, very pompously, ‘Sir, yeh film main 45 days mein kar lunga.’ He said, ‘No take 90 days.’ This was the first time my producer doubled the length of my budget. He said, ‘Take your time but dil se banao.’
HR: It’s my quickest film. He promised me 70 days and he completed my work in 60 days.
SG: Precisely on the 60th day.
HR: On the 60th day, my work was over… 60 days for a film. It proves that people love wasting time. In all the films I have done, I realise that all of that could have been done much faster. Everyone is quick and on the edge, like Sanjay, and with a producer like Dad, it is possible not to overshoot budgets.