‘Kai Po Che! chose me’
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Five years after Rock On!!, Abhishek Kapoor returns with another story of friendship.
When filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor's Rock On!! became one of the biggest hits of 2008, everyone expected him to lap up the opportunity and make his next movie soon after. After all, he had struggled a lot before finally tasting success. Few remember that Abhishek, who is producer Ekta Kapoor's cousin, got his Bollywood break as an actor and that his directorial debut was not Rock On!! in 2008 but Aryan in 2006. Although the popularity of his second film opened doors for him, the filmmaker had to wait another five years before his third, the upcoming Kai Po Che!, could be made.
The reasons for this delay were plenty. Firstly, he had the mammoth task of adapting Chetan Bhagat's bestselling novel, The Three Mistakes of My Life, into a tight screenplay. "It is tough to crack an adapted screenplay because a book works on different principles. But I was keen on doing so. I may have chosen Rock On!!, but Kai Po Che! chose me," he says.
Once the screenplay was ready, Abhishek approached Excel Entertainment, producers of Rock On!!, to back this project as well. "But Excel was in two minds. Meanwhile, I developed another script for them, but my heart was in Kai Po Che!. I understood that people can have creative differences. Hence, I decided to move out and soon UTV came on board as producer," he explains. In contrast to all the rumours, Abhishek asserts there is no fallout with Excel Entertainment and they will work together on a movie soon.
Abhishek, who started out as an actor in Bollywood, with his most memorable role in Uff Yeh Mohabbat, believes that his success today is the sum total of his failures in the industry. He says, "When I did these movies, I was just not happy in my zone as an actor. Today, when I look back, all these failures validate and mean something." His films, in a way, represent his own struggles, with themes that revolve around middle-class dreams, ambition and the eventual rise of the underdog. While Aryan is the story of a boxer torn between his love for the sport and his family, Rock On!! was about a group of friends who get a second chance at fulfilling their dreams of becoming musicians. His latest feature, Kai Po Che! tells the story of three young and ambitious boys from Ahmedabad, looking to start a business that could be their ticket to fame and riches. "The book goes into so many different directions. But I chose one theme and made friendship the fulcrum of the film. I made everything else revolve around it," says Abhishek.