Twenty-seven years since the release of the Sridevi-Anil Kapoor starrer Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, director Satish Kaushik opens up on why he thinks the film, which was also his directorial debut, failed at the Indian box-office.
Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja hit the screens in 1993 and was widely regarded as one of the most expensive Bollywood films ever upon release. The film marked the directorial debut of Kaushik, who like to call it his first child. The film also starred Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher and Johnny Lever.
The project released after a spate of delays. It was announced in 1987, around the time the Sridevi-Anil Kapoor superhit “Mr. India” released. It was initially being directed by Shekhar Kapur, who had also called the shots on “Mr. India”. However, when Kapur quit the project halfway, Kaushik was roped in.
The delay, for one, was a reason for the film’s failure, Kaushik contends.
“It took really long to make the movie. That’s one of the reasons. Also, I feel it was a wrong film to attempt as a directorial debut. The first film for any director should be the one that reflects some elements of his or her own personality, beliefs and background to make it seem real and believable,” Satish told IANS.
“In layman’s terms I can say that ‘pant-shirt pehanne waale ladke ne pehli hi film mein tuxedo pehan liya. When I made Hum ‘Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain’ with Anil and Kajol, it worked because I felt much more at home and could feel the atmosphere and the world of the film. That was my first hit,” he added.
He tags the film his first born. ” ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’ was my first child and I had my first child, Kush, also soon after the film’s release. I lost both the children (his son passed away and the movie flopped), but I am proud of both of them. As I keep remembering Kush, I keep watching the “Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja” train robbery scene, keep listening to songs like ‘Chandi ka chamcha’ and ‘Dushman dil ka’, and keep remembering Baba (Azmi)’s camera work , Veeru Devgan’s action sequences, Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s music and Anil, Sridevi, Jackie, Johnny, Paresh and Anupam’s fine performances. I can proudly say that both my first children were awesome and will never go out of my life.”
Kaushik talked about his “box-office” earning from the film, which did not fair well.
“Fair well? It didn’t work at all. It was a ‘flop’. But it worked more than brilliantly for me because I earned some amazing friends and family in the form of Boney Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Javed Akhtar Saab, Sridevi madam, Baba Azmi, Bijon, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Anupam Kher. Films come and go, but the relations that I earned because of ‘Roop Ki Raani Choron Ka Raja’ are still there with me. That’s my box-office earning from the film,” he said.
Having said that, Kaushik is thankful that he got an opportunity to shoot such a big film at the start of his career.
“I was glad that I, Satish Kaushik, a dreamer from Delhi’s Karol Bagh, got such a big opportunity right at the beginning of his career to direct the biggest film of that time. Honestly, everyone involved in the film was extremely supportive and we all worked very hard to deliver a blockbuster, but unfortunately, the film was a dud at the box office. While it wasn’t a hit back then, it’s amazing how it still receives so much love from the viewers when it telecasts on the television,” he concluded.