December 4 2015
It was a whirlwind tour but India’s no 1 movie star didn’t disappoint and his supporting cast gave as good as they got, reports our correspondent
by Suman Bhuchar
THEY dubbed it the #DilwaleUKTakeover – and it certainly felt like it.
And has a Bollywood star ever talked so expansively about love publically?
On Tuesday (December 1) the leading cast of the yet to be released (December 18) film “Dilwale” (meaning literally, ‘big-hearted’) descended on London, led by actor, producer and megastar Shah Rukh Khan (below right) to talk to the UK media and fans about the forthcoming Christmas season blockbuster.
Directed by Rohit Shetty, the film – mixes comedy, thrills and romance.
Audiences have already been treated to the music from the film (in an album release) and an action-packed thriller trailer – including a stunning scene set in Iceland – but not too much else.
Red Chillies Entertainment – SRK’s own production company – and UK distributors UTV have kept people guessing as to what kind of love story is in store – and just where do the car chases and violence all fit in?
Tuesday was certainly a Red Letter Day on that score, and as the media pack waited at the Montcalm Hotel near Marble Arch, London to hear more and meet, ‘King Khan’, co-star Kajol (next left), emerging star and heartthrob Varun Dhawan (below middle), and newcomer Kriti Sanon (below far left).
Having landed at Heathrow that very morning, King Khan as he is known in parts of the industry, headed straight to the ITV’s “This Morning” Studios to explain to presenter, Eamonn Holmes how to pronounce “Dilwale” and not confuse it with Diwali, Eamonn! (SRK and Dhawan also appeared later on Sky News with Eamonn and Sarah-Jane Mee).
When they did make it to the press conference introduced by Ameet Chana, the impeccably and always polite Shah Rukh Khan along with his support acts, treated the audience to a bit more of the story line than has hitherto been revealed in the trailer.
“Everyone has a heart, but not everyone is big hearted,” goes the mantra on the trailer that mixes long languorous looks between the central protagonists with car chases and comedy.
Presenter Chana, bravely asked the burning question: “We need to know a little bit about this film, what is it about?”
The film has a mix of two very clear cut ideologies, explained Khan: “The main one, being the Rohit Shetty kind of cinema, a full entertainer blockbuster – holiday time, a funny kind of film, which will have songs and dances, fight, action and a huge dose of comedy.
“But for the first time Rohit has also tried something different – to create the magic of love or a prevailing love story throughout the film.”
Love has certainly been the mainstay of the Shah Rukh/Kajol romantic couple duo and as he warmed to his theme, King Khan continued to explain the logic that prevailed for this film.
The two have been seen as a golden couple ever since Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayange, which recently marked its 20th anniversary, and is still being screened in one theatre in Mumbai and was also the subject of a special screening in London last month (read about that here).
Khan said: “Kajol and me have done so many love stories over the last 22 years, that it’s very difficult to find a new kind of love story for us. So, the kind of love story we’ve done before – the sweet, pretty, nice, energetic (and) lovable is now being done by Varun (Dhawan) and Kriti (Sanon) in the film and I must add, much better than we could have ever done before.”
But, he continued: “We also have to have a love story, and our love story is very intense and different – we call it the ‘fast and furious’ – as an ode to the film and to Rohit Shetty because he’s dealing in cars and (he’s) very fast and furious – so ours is a fast and furious swift, intense love story.”
He explained that the film features an an element of the past and present and the trailer was a montage of everything in the film.
So, the older couple pairing or ‘jodhi’ has been replaced by the two talented emerging actors who were then asked to describe their own interpretation of their love pairing.
Kriti Sanon, who plays ‘Ishita’ kicked off the reply by explaining that she saw her relationship with Varun Dhawan who plays ‘Veer’: “Our love story is more like today’s generation because it’s more sweet, it’s honest, its real, it’s more like how you talk to your girlfriend these days,” she enthused.
Dhawan was unwittingly more blunt.
“The love story we tried to keep it more today, the banter is more comical in that sense, because we don’t take ourselves seriously. I look at it this way, their love story is more intense, ‘janam janam ka’ (for life-long) ours is a lust story theirs is a love story!” Dhawan said.
Love was definitely beginning to emerge as the theme, de-jour, because a French journalist asked SRK about his own definition of ‘love’?
And ever the philosopher, he replied: “I think the definition of love will always change with age and space and time and your heart and you can’t have one definition of love.
“For this film, the definition of love is to be able to forgive each other when you love each other. Then there is a French definition of love which I am not allowed to say, they will ban me,” he joked. “I think the whole idea of love, is being able to have the space, being able to have the freedom; being able to be yourself with your partner whoever he or she may be,” he gushed.
“We’ve been romancing in films(turning to Kajol) and we show some very magical moments, fantastical ones at times, perhaps even extremely unreal – like the ones you read in poems and books, but I think the bottom line for love is if you are able to respect each other’s space and still be yourself and partners allow you to do that, then there is no greater love.”
So, how different is Rohit Shetty style of romancing as opposed to the Karan Johar’s or the Yash Chopra’s? Kajol was then asked by an Indian broadcast journalist.
“Well honestly, it has been very, very different, it has and that’s the reason why I agreed to do the film I wouldn’t have probably if it was a regular, regular love story or a regular, regular film. I probably would not have agreed to do it. It is different, it is very, very different from whatever we have done so far,” she stressed – and all the repetitive emphasis is hers alone.
“There is a lot of love in it, but there is also a lot of angst, but there is also a lot of other stuff happening around it also. I think that’s really what makes it interesting. It would not be interesting otherwise for us to do, or for you guys to watch for that matter. I mean we’ve done a ‘K3G’ (‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’), we’ve done a ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, we’ve done a ‘Dilwale’, we’ve done a hell of lot of films, so I think we would have to do something unusual and different.”
While we count down to the release date, the audience certainly left the auditorium feeling very loved up with Team Dilwale, who continued with their press junket commitments and even made it to the BBC in Central London, for “The One Show” before doing a Meet and Greet with fans at Cineworld Feltham.