EXCLUSIVE It’s unethical. Had met Shah Rukh Khan twice, explained why we shouldn’t clash: Rakesh Roshan


MUMBAI, Dec. 9: No one likes a clash especially if it’s between two big ticket films. Rakesh Roshan who announced the dates of Kaabil prior to anyone else now has to contend with Raees releasing on the same date. In fact, the makers of the SRK starrer film even preponed their release date to January 25 (a date announced by Rakesh in advance yet again) thereby making it a head-to-head clash. The veteran filmmaker, who has directed SRK in his heydeys, tried his best to make the superstar and the team of Raees understand why the two big ticket films clashing on the same day is not a good business proposition but in vain. Shah Rukh Khan, however, justified the decision to bring the release date forward.

Speaking his heart out for the first time, Rakesh, in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com said, “This February I planned the release of Kaabil. My film was getting over in August. I had October, November and December to release the film. But when I saw all the films which were releasing on these dates, I said I will not want to clash and so I looked into January then. In January, we had a clean slate. So we announced the film in January. Now all of a sudden in the last month or so, I also learnt that they were also planning to come on the same date. So I met SRK and explained it to him that there is a well and we both are jumping into it. Because there is a box-office limitation of not crossing Rs 300 crore, either you will be at Rs 170 crore and I at Rs 130 crore or vice versa. I also told him Hrithik is not your contemporary. Your contemporaries are Salman Khan and Aamir Khan who have already crossed Rs 300 crore. So it is better that we don’t clash and you choose some other date. He understood and then he again announced it to clash with our film. I met him again and tried to tell him but again and again when I met him, I got the impression that they were thinking that I am scared and that is why I am telling all these things. On the contrary, I was as a businessman trying to tell them that two big films should not come together.”

Explaining why he can’t shift Kaabil, Rakesh said, “I can’t shift because I have a superstition. I had shifted one film of mine – King Uncle – by four weeks because of my daughter’s wedding and it didn’t do well. After that when Kaho Na Pyaar hai was being released, January 7 was Aamir Khan’s film Mela, 14th was my film and 21st was SRK’s Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. All distributors told me to shift because you can’t come in between Aamir Khan and SRK. But because of my superstition, I didn’t shift. Two or three distributors also left my film. And it was my good luck that my film did really well. So once I announce the date, I don’t shift. I explained to them properly. And they are youngsters. I love them. I know SRK and his family well, Ritesh and Farhan well. So I tried to explain it to them.”

The veteran filmmaker is evidently anguished at SRK and the young makers of Raees not heeding to his advice. “You can guide and tell a blind person that there is a well and he will change his route. But if your eyes are open and you are seeing and still jumping in the well, I can’t do anything about it. And it is not just affecting us. As a filmmaker from the last 50 years in this industry, you have to see the growth of the industry. This is not affecting just us. The clash will affect all the working crew members, the exhibitors, distributors and it will also affect the audience because they will be divided. So you are not clashing with me. You are clashing with the whole world. So how do we go then?”(TIE)

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