Hrithik fears Kaabil-Raees clash will rob industry of at least Rs100 crore

The actor, who is having a rough time on both the professional and personal fronts, says it is a misconception that chaos distracts.

Mayur Lookhar

The forthcoming clash between Raees and Kaabil is generating a lot of buzz with both camps leaving no stone unturned in the pre-release marketing hype.

If the makers of Kaabil reprised the Sara Zamana track from Yaarana (1981), the makers of Raees went one better by reprising the ever-popular cabaret number Laila Main Laila from Qurbani (1980).

If it is a heated battle on the marketing front, off it, the actors and filmmakers are respecting each other. Hrithik Roshan and his Kaabil director Sanjay Gupta were in conversation with noted TV journalist Rajeev Masand, where Roshan played down talk of the big clash.

"It's unfortunate [but] without blame," the Kaabil star said. "However, it’s nothing wrong, illegal or unethical. It is just how it is. We have two films ready, one waited too long to have a release date, but they [the makers of Raees] had no choice.”

Asked whether the competition had created any awkwardness with Raees star Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan said, "It’s not awkward once you communicate and understand that it’s fine.”

He explained his point by citing his father and producer Rakesh Roshan's claim that such competition never happens in Hollywood. “We all have the same calendar. My dad pointed out how in Hollywood two big films have never clashed. They manage their schedules really well.

"This made me think that is such a thing [avoiding big clashes] possible in our industry. Ideally, I should not be okay with it, we should manage our calendar better, because that will be good for the industry. Even if both films are good, the competition will rob the industry of Rs100 crore.”

Hrithik Roshan has had a tough year both professionally and personally. His lone release in 2016, Mohenjo Daro, turned out to be a disaster while the star found himself embroiled in a legal tangle with actress Kangana Ranaut.

Asked how difficult it was to focus in the midst of chaos, Hrithik Roshan chose to look at the brighter side. "You just focus," he said. "It’s a misconception that chaos is distracting. Chaos can be very centring. When things are in chaos, the mind searches and seeks the centre. If you are a person who is inclined towards peace and centring yourself, you will get there. Once you do, then you will find such an incredible centre that you will thank the chaos. It’s because of all that chaos that I could just shut the world out and do what my heart was into. From there it becomes so peaceful.”

Kaabil director Sanjay Gupta, who accompanied Roshan for the interview, was not surprised by how the actor kept his focus throughout the film. 

“It didn’t come as a surprise to me," he said. "In a certain sense you get to know a person, you realize how strong that person is. It’s not surprising, but at same time you do appreciate that. You learn from it at times. It [the fear of Hrithik Roshan not being able to give of his best] never crossed my mind. I’m also pretty thick-skinned. These things never came into my mind at all.”

Both Kaabil and Raees are scheduled for release on 25 January 2017.