Bona fide movie star Hrithik Roshan is from a famous Bollywood dynasty and, together with his director father Rakesh Roshan, has produced some of the most memorable onscreen characters in contemporary Indian cinema. A pioneer of modern twists on Bollywood staples, he won awards and critical praise for his role in Bollywood’s first Sci Fi, Koi… Mil Gaya, working once again with Rakesh. With Kites: The Remix he has proven himself more than able to don action star garb and once again push boundaries to broaden the appeal of Indian film. In the flesh he certainly had the twinkle of fame – tanned, preposterously muscular, smoothly confident and gracious he was undeniably a Bollywood Prince and more than happy to embrace his nickname – The Greek God.
Bárbara Mori was rather more self-contained. The stunning former model rose to fame in a remake of Mexican telenovela Rubi. Since that time she has established herself on the big screen with roles in several feature films. She was cast by Rakesh himself to play Linda to Hrithik’s ‘J’ – the couple destined to be together but doomed to be apart – with such anticipation for the double release we wondered how she would be feeling. The original Bollywood version of Kites was opening within days of our interview, the Americanised Remix the following week. The pressure of opening two films didn’t seem to weigh too heavily on Mori though, she was calm, modest and sweet throughout, listening to her colleagues with eyes downcast. Undeniably lovely, it was easy to see how Hrithik had fallen under her spell.
Hollywood wunderkind Brett Ratner by contrast was a study in nervous energy, his excitement for the project evident. The director who introduced Hollywood to the genius of Jackie Chan found the opportunity to tweak a Bollywood movie for a worldwide audience irresistible. When we left the hotel suite we saw him pinballing away down the corridor and realised he reminded us of another, fictional, director – Coming Home in a Body Bag’s Lee Donowitz from the magnificent conclusion of True Romance! If his passion for Kites: The Remix, Bárbara’s beauty or Hrithik’s brawn persuades you to investigate this modern cinematic phenomenon you may see the result for yourselves when it opens on Friday.