Shah Rukh Khan on Ittefaq: 'Premise might be familiar but the movie has taken a flight of its own'

At a promotional event for Ittefaq (possibly the only one), Shah Rukh Khan also revealed that he was supposed to play Akshaye Khanna's role in the film.

Seema Sinha October 31, 2017 11:13:11 IST
Shah Rukh Khan on Ittefaq: 'Premise might be familiar but the movie has taken a flight of its own'

Ittefaq is just days away from release (November 3), and while the makers decided to stay away from promotions to build intrigue for this suspense thriller, they received an endorsement of the most superstar kind with the presence of Shah Rukh Khan at the film’s only promotional event, on Monday evening.

Joining him on stage were the film's cast – and the three ‘suspects’ of Ittefaq — Sonakshi Sinha, Sidharth Malhotra and Akshaye Khanna, along with first-time director Abhay Chopra. Karan Johar, who co-produces the film with Shah Rukh's Red Chillies Entertainment and B R Studios, hosted the event with regular doses of humour.

Shah Rukh Khan on Ittefaq Premise might be familiar but the movie has taken a flight of its own

Shah Rukh Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Renu Chopra, Sonakshi SInha, Karan Johar at the promotional event of Ittefaq.

Shah Rukh Khan, who was called the “heartbeat” of Bollywood by Karan, was his usual witty self. When Shah Rukh was asked about who the killer in Ittefaq is, he said with a laugh, “I am the killer in the film. I'll come in the end, in a singlet”.

While accepting that he had no sense of either script or screenplay, Shah Rukh Khan said that he had loved the script of Ittefaq (an adaptation of the 1969 film by the same name, which was directed by Yash Chopra) so much, that he wanted to be part of it as an actor.

“But a better actor than me has essayed the role and which is Akshaye. He is more befitting for the film. Unfortunately, when the film’s casting was happening, at that time I had gotten busy with RaeesFan, and it wasn’t physically possible for me to take it up. I love the way the film is adapted, turned around and changed a bit,” he said, adding that thriller was one of his favourite genres.

Karan Johar also chimed in: “This film marks so many firsts, so many associations and there is so much emotion in this collaboration. One of our deepest honours is that we are remaking a film that was a benchmark in 1969. The original Ittefaq broke ground on so many levels. Rajesh Khanna, the superstar of that era, who was known for his musical records, broke myths by accepting a song-less film that went on to become iconic in so many ways."

Shah Rukh further spoke about his equation with Akshaye Khanna, who barely spoke at the event: "He's always a little off beat. He's got a different beat that he dances to and I find that interesting. He comes once in a while and creates something unfathomable. I really, really appreciate you as an actor. Having said that, can I also ask you 'Why the hell are you like this?"

When Karan told Akshaye that he was his favourite, "but we see so little of you" — pat came his reply, “But you never work with me.”

Further talking about the upcoming movie, Shah Rukh referred to the 1969 Ittefaq - not to draw similarities but only to highlight that the new one should not be considereda remake. "The premise might be similar to the 1969 Ittefaq but the movie has taken a flight of its own," he said.

“The original film was very theatrical and it was based on a play. We don’t make too many thrillers and don't have young directors adapting from a classic. But in this case this [Ittefaq] it is making one of my favourite films more relevant for today. Some films I have done, for instance Devdas, would never have been better than the classic. Don would never be better than Bachchan saab's Don. Hopefully youngsters will like Ittefaq," said Shah Rukh Khan.

So are the producers happy with the buzz the film has created with no promotions?

Shah Rukh Khan on Ittefaq Premise might be familiar but the movie has taken a flight of its own

Ittefaq's lead pair, Sonakshi Sinha and Siddharth Malhotra at the event.

“Having no promotions has built intrigue for a film like this. I am not saying that you apply this device for every film, but for this particular genre, I felt it was integral that we don’t go out there and speak about it time and again. I’m satisfied with the film and that will eventually speak for itself,” said Karan, who believed that the young director helmed the scenario with a tight rein. “His adaptation of the original is new, it’s inventful and yet it has all the tropes that come with a whodunit,” he added.

Besides blockbusters, if there is one thing that Shah Rukh and Karan have been giving us, it’s their friendship goals.

Their film collaborations, be it Kuch Kuch Hota HaiKabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,Kal Ho Naa HoKabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, or most recently Dear Zindagi, have always been more than successful and Ittefaq marks their 10th collaboration. Talking about their camaraderie, brotherhood and family ties, Shah Rukh said light-heartedly that he and Karan will probably grow old together and launch their films on a wheel chair.

On being asked about doing a film with Karan in future, Shah Rukh said, “We have been discussing a lot of ideas over the past two years, but we haven’t finalised anything yet. People have always said that we make similar kind of films, so next time we will do something that makes us and everyone happy.”

 

And finally, it looks like Karan will never let go of an opportunity to take a dig on the touchy topic of nepotism. At the event he went on to say how his protégé, Sidharth and buddy Shah Rukh Khan were “two non-nepotistic people” in the team. "We have two non nepotistic people – Shah Rukh Khan and Sidharth Malhotra, standing at the two extreme ends of the panel, and the remaining, Akshaye, Sonakshi and myself - are the brand ambassadors of nepotism.”

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