12 April, 2021

The Ro Show

Rohit Shetty—cool hand gatherer of BO hits, impervious to criticism, smasher of cars

The Ro Show

Some stories are surely best narrated backwards. Like my conversation with Bollywood’s hit machine Rohit Shetty. I wrap it up by casually asking him about his next film with Shahrukh Khan and, probably, Kajol: “Will it be a comic romance like Chennai Express, or are you going to try out something new with the two?” Rohit promptly bursts into laughter. “Are you joking? How can I ever think of doing anything ‘different’?” That last line is his good-humoured, self-deprecating dig at a key thread of our exchange—the danger of getting trapped within one’s own trademark cinema. Rohit is boxed in such a cinematic pigeonhole, but willingly, even joyously.

First things first: Rohit is Bollywood’s director no. 1, leagues ahead of his immediate competitor (see box). “Not only is he a most prolific filmmaker but consistently successful and has been able to bridge the masses-multiplex divide, especially with his comedies,” says Delhi distributor Sanjay Mehta. “He knows the audience’s pulse,...

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