A chat with Anurag and Rajesh about Kites!

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Date – 18th May 2010

Location – London

Event – Kites Press Junket

Attending the event for BollySpice, Amrita Tanna and I, Rima Bhatia had thee opportunity to sit down and have a quick chat about Kites with Director Anurag Basu and Music Director Rajesh Roshan on the morning of the Premiere. What followed was a very relaxed chat around a cup ….. Read on to see what was actually on their mind at the press junket organized by Sterling Media….

Amrita Tanna: Did you land today?

Anurag Basu: No, yesterday… but I am jet lagging… I couldn’t sleep…. Timing sarah uppar neechay hogaya. (My timing has all gone haywire now….)


Amrita Tanna & Rima Bhatia: Because you have come straight from New York?

Anurag Basu: Yah yah

Rima Bhatia: And how did the premiere go there?

Anurag Basu: Good. Yah it was good. It is a good acid test when you are watching the film.

Amrita Tanna: But I think it was received well there?

Anurag Basu: Yeah, it was really received well there. I was watching their [audiences] faces while they were watching the film gauging audience reaction… how they are reacting….

Amrita Tanna: How come you chose London as the location for the European premiere?

Anurag Basu: London becomes the first choice for any Indian film premiere because of the large Indian audience here. See the people that are here in London are more aware of our industry than anywhere else in Europe, so it becomes the first choice. And it has been lucky for me and Rakesh-ji. My last Hindi film Life in a Metro was premiered here and it done well…. There are a lot of things…..

Amrita Tanna: But aren’t you sort of scared that the audience here and the audience in the sub-continent could receive the film differently. Aren’t you sometimes scared that it could all go horrendously wrong?

Anurag Basu: It’s always there, but it didn’t go wrong last time with Life in a Metro… See it is always a challenge for us to make a movie that will work well back in India and work everywhere else. Slumdog Millionaire worked everywhere else but in India, so it is really challenging. I think that is why we made a film that doesn’t depend so much on the language, you don’t have to understand Hindi, English or Spanish to understand the language, even if you don’t understand Spanish you will enjoy the film. I think that is the USP of the film. It doesn’t depend so much on the language or the culture to understand the film

Rima Bhatia: Did the Ash Cloud issue cause any concern while trying to fly everyone in for the premiere… Airports were closed and flights were cancelled up until yesterday evening…?

Rajesh Roshan: Yeah, we were very worried, even in the flight we were told that the flight might turn back to NYC.

Anurag Basu: You know something is happening everywhere because when we were in NYC we were told that there is a bomb scare in Time Square and we were premiering in Time Squear. Then there was this Ash cloud…


Rajesh Roshan: Now it is not there right? Today it is not there? (Sounds concerned)

Amrita Tanna: I think the airports opened yesterday.

Rajesh Roshan: So tomorrow also…..

Anurag Basu: So, now we are going to be stuck here… I was watching the news and I think it is all cleared now.

Rajesh Roshan: Yeah… (Still concerned).


Amrita Tanna: Your previous films have been on a smaller budget. How does it feel Kites being on a bigger budget and your premiere being done across the world?

Anurag Basu: Yeah it’s huge… When we started making the film we didn’t know that is was going to become so big and so huge. This is a great responsibility….I never felt so nervous when Gangster or Metro or earlier films released. I never felt like this before… I was quite cool quite and okay with it, but now because of the big budget and the big scenario yeah, I am feeling a little nervous.

Rima Bhatia: What do you think is special about the music of Kites?

Rajesh Roshan: Now that you have heard the music you must tell me……I have given my best. (Laughing)

Rima Bhatia: How was it incorporating Spanish lyrics into the songs?

Rajesh Roshan: We were very happy. It was something new for us… We always wanted to do something new and different with the album… It [the project] was given to us by initially the director and the producer. It was they who asked why doesn’t Hrithik sing… no one knew that he can sing only the director did… So even I got a shock at first when I heard him sing for the first time. Then the song that he has sung is not right on the beat, it misses the beat when singing, which is good for his first song…

Amrita Tanna: Why did you think that Hrithik was a good choice to sing a song?

Anurag Basu: See there is no playback – all the songs were background songs there was no lip sync songs in the film. We were planning this little part of the song which is supposed to start with a lip sync and that was the initial idea. Then we thought if we are going to have a lip sync why have a playback singer sing it. Why not have an actors voice instead? I remember being at a party and Hrithik sang a Rajesh – ji song from Yaraana – “tere jaisa yaar kahan“.

Amrita Tanna: At the IIFAs?

Anurag Basu: No, no this is before. He always sings that song most of the time and this was much before the IIFA.

Rajesh Roshan: Yes, yes.

Anurag Basu: Then at one of the parties when Barbara, me, my wife, Sussane and Hrithik was there. Hrithik sang this song and he sang another song from a Rakesh Roshan film back to back and he was very good in it and that is how the idea came about. The song was already composed and I asked why can’t Hrithik sing it? We made him sing it and I think it is a nice song…..

Anurag Basu: I think it is in his genes.

Rajesh Roshan: Yeah, definitely – I agree.

Rima Bhatia: Very cheeky question then…. Whose song do you prefer yours or Hrithik’s?

Rajesh Roshan: Mine of course…


Amrita Tanna: So, what inspired you with ‘Fire’?

Rajesh Roshan: ‘Fire’ actually was inspired by Hrithik. He is very fond of trance and hard hitting beats. Hrithik has a collection of that genre of music and he got that beat. That is the groove he wanted and that is how ‘Fire’ came about.

Rima Bhatia: What attracted you most about the story?

Anurag Basu: There was an initial idea that Rakesh – ji gave me… the nutshell idea… it had meat, a little bit of love, romance, betrayal and you can write a whole film on it. That is how it all started, there is everything in this film I cannot say the genre of the film – it is a romantic film but it has everything in it action, thriller, betrayal, dark passion….

Rima Bhatia: And your expectations from Kites- the Remix because it is the first time something like that is being done….

Anurag Basu: I am very anxious to see the reaction of that version of the film. Hrithik is very confident about that version of the film. We have all seen it and we all love it. And I am waiting for the reaction, I hope it gets the same reaction that is got in NYC for the Hindi version it will be very interesting to see what happens with that film.

Amrita Tanna: Coming back to ‘Fire’…. When you first heard the song…how you picturised it… were you instantly inspired that that was how you would shoot it?

Anurag Basu: It just happened automatically because we were all part of the process when the songs were being made…. So, while you are hearing it being made you can imagine how it will be shot. We wanted to make it very real… we didn’t want that song to just pop out and become a song-song…. The idea was to make it real and still be a song that everybody would enjoy so we made it like a b-boying type of song… where everybody was competing – it was not planned. Hrithik knew the steps and it was Hrithik and me who did the whole thing. It was Hrithik who was coming out with the shapes and I was shooting them in the best possible angle…. It wasn’t done with choreographers and that was how the song was done…..

And with that our time with them was up…. Thanking them for their time we left to get our gladrags on for the Kites Red carpet and premiere. Discussion on the film and coverage of the Red carpet will be up on the site soon so keep checking your favourite site for all things related to Bollywood…BollySpice.com

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