|(Top) Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra on the sets of Krrish in Singapore; (above) a poster of Krrish
You may have to call in Sherlock Holmes to spy a Superman Returns poster in Singapore, tucked away at some bus stop in the eastern part of the city. But you can spot a Krrish poster with your eyes wide shut, plastered everywhere from a quay to a mall.
For most of the four million people in the Lion City, Hrithik Roshan is the true Bollywood superhero. They love him so much, they don't even mind him 'dancing around coconut trees'.
So it really doesn't sound like a promo line when Hrithik announces: 'I am just delighted to be back to my most favourite place in the world.'
And he does not stop at that. 'Every aspect of this place ' the people, the roads, the air ' awakens all your senses. And you have some outstanding food here. Singapore should be named the food capital of the world if any such award is given.'
Looking dapper in a milk white blazer and jeans, with a mauve full-sleeved shirt and a diagonally striped tie making all the right style statements, Hrithik doesn't mind talking about Singapore all day, seated at Fullerton Hotel. But he has a night flight to Dubai to catch and he has Krrish to talk about.
The timbre of his voice changes the moment you quiz him about the movie. It's been a good three years since he's been on the big screen and Hrithik is all too aware that it really doesn't get any bigger than this.
Rs 50 crore. India's first superhero movie. The sequel to the 2003 blockbuster Koi' Mil Gaya. Another collaboration and on the verge of a hat-trick with director dad Rakesh Roshan.
It is here that Singapore's superhero stumps you. ' don't think Krrish is a superhero movie,' Hrithik says. 'I would rather call the film a foundation for a convincing superhero.'
But why' He has a mask on his face and a robe that flutters away. He can climb, jump and run faster than Brandon Routh (Christopher Reeve's successor).
'You have to understand that the genre of superhero movies did not exist in India until now and so it is all the more important that the first one is convincingly portrayed,' he starts explaining.
'People going in to watch the movie shouldn't expect a Superman or a Spider-Man because these superheroes have had the support system of the comics for years and that always adds a special aura. In Krrish, everything has been created from scratch and so I would rather call the movie a birth of a superhero.'
So where does that leave Krrish' Just another commercial potboiler banking on Hrithik the superstar' 'To me, Krrish is a personal battle,' Hrithik asserts. 'This guy can be a superhero. By the time the film ends, the catharsis is complete and this man is ready to take on the world, maybe in part three of the movie.'
As Hrithik keeps talking about every aspect of the film, as if it all happened just yesterday, it is evident that the man who directed the promos of his debut film (Kaho Na... Pyar Hai) takes more than a keen interest behind the camera. 'The best thing about Krrish is that it has a new and unique identity of itself. So we have not repeated any successful formula' In many respects, the film is as close to Superman or Batman as it is to Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje.'
The reason Hrithik insists that he did every stunt for the movie himself has another story behind it. 'I wanted to imbibe a special style in Krrish that would make him unique and it is the body language that develops a whole new aura about a superhero' In fact, I myself got surprised that I was able to develop all the action skills so quickly for Tony Ching. There was, of course, a freak accident, but I feel if the passion is in your heart, there will always be a canopy waiting to save you!'
So ultimately is it about the hero or the superhero, the person or the powers' 'Yes, Krrish does have a lot of power but believes his strength is not something that makes him feel stronger but something that makes people around him stronger,' Hrithik sums up.
The era begins on Friday.