In Mumbai’s film industry no one is happier than Rakesh Roshan for amazing Telugu-Tamil-Hindi filmmaker K Vishwanath being conferred with the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award. “Do you know I learnt filmmaking from Vishwanathji? And if it wasn’t for him I’d probably have not directed by first film Khudgarz and then all the others including Krissh,” admits Rakesh Roshan emotionally.
Rakesh’s father-in-law is the distinguished and prolific filmmaker J Om Prakash. “But I never got an opportunity to observe my father-in-law at work. It was Vishanathji whom I watched and learnt filmmaking from. We did four films together. He would shoot for the day and then leave the editing of the footage to me in the evening. It was while I edited Vishwanathji’s films that I realized I could direct films.”
The first film where Rakesh Roshan worked with Vishwanath was Aurat Aurat Aurat. “During the making of this film I got the chance of observing Vishwanathji at work. One evening after pack-up I found him worried. He told me his new Telugu film had not opened well. The next day I went to see that Telugu film. I loved the idea of a lazy man who doesn’t want to work. I told Vishwanathji where the script went wrong. He re-wrote the script and I produced Kaam Chor which Viswanathji directed. The film launched me as an independent producer. I had earlier produced another film Aap K Deewane. But it was Kaam Chor which put me on the path of filmmaking.”
After Kaam Chor Rakesh Roshan worked in two films with Vishwanath including the outstanding Jaag Utha Insaan. “In Shubh Kamna I was just an actor happy to be directed by Vishwanathji. But I produced Jaag Utha Insaan and played the lead in it. It was a brilliant script and Vishawanthji directed it with outstanding sensitivity. We went wrong in the casting. Mithun Chakraborty was unacceptable to the Hindi audience as a Harijan after playing the Disco Dancer and Gun Master G-9. Sridevi as a classical dancer didn’t appeal to audiences after Himmatwala and I was also miscast as a Brahmin boy. But I don’t regret producing Jaag Utha Insaan. Every moment spent with Vishwanathji has been a learning experience for me. Like I said, I owe my career as a filmmaker to him. He should’ve got the Dada Saheb Phalke award long ago.”