You heard this here first. The two versions of the much talked-about Kites in English and Hindi will basically be the same.
Anurag refutes the report that the steamy scenes in the two versions will be different in Hindi and English. "We can't cheat Hindi audiences. The steamy scenes will be the same in both versions. The visuals will remain unchanged in both."
Explains the director Anurag Basu, "There won't be anything radically different in the two versions because Hrithik and Barbara Mori speak English-Hindi and Spanish, respectively in both English and Hindi."
Anurag plans to work with Barbara Mori again. "I've found a lifelong friend in Barbara. She became a known name in these parts after Kites But I've seen how she gets mobbed in Mexico and at film festivals. I remember when I met her for the first time in LA she was wearing oversized sunglasses. The minute she took them off she was mobbed. Actually, I had seen Barbara's films before I cast her."
The other name short listed was Catalina Morino. "But contrary to rumours Penelope Cruz was never considered."
Nothing that the talented Anurag Basu has directed for screen can equal his turbulent and shocking life story. And he is all set to put it on celluloid. "I've lots to say about my life. So far I've been telling stories about other people's lives. Maybe now it's my own turn. There's so much about my life to be told. Because of my doctors I've recovered from my potentially fatal illness. After what I've gone through things like publicity limelight and glamour seem so useless and vulgar. I've learnt to go beyond trivia."
Anurag is somewhat taken aback by the undue importance being given to the Hrithik-Barbara friendship. "But I don't think Kites will suffer. All this hype will die down by the time the film will release around Diwali. As the time of release approaches the focus will shift to the film. I'm not getting impatient about my name not getting mentioned. When people will see the film, the focus will shift."
Recently back from Cannes, Anurag refutes rumours in Mumbai that Kites was lukewarmly received. "We showed them the incomplete version, without background music, special effects, etc. We showed them the working tape. And the reaction was good."
Anurag falls quiet when asked about his protegee being sidelined from the marketing of Kites. "Kangna too has expressed displeasure about it. But see at the moment we want to project Kites as Barbara and Hrithik's love story. Kangna's portion will come in later. Let's get one thing clear. Kangna is not the main lead in Kites. She was keen to be part of the film. I wasn't that keen because her part was not that pivotal in Kites..."
Adds Anurag, "Murder, Gangster and Life In A Metro were so carefully budgeted, it would've made money. Kites, is another ballgame. So far when I go abroad I am told Bollywood means Shekhar Kapoor, Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta. I'd like Kites to change that."
He's already committed to make his next film for UTV. "I need to get to that immediately. I'm buying time from them."