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Home / Bollywood / Rishi Kapoor was hospitalised for depression after failure of Karz, says Subhash Ghai

Rishi Kapoor was hospitalised for depression after failure of Karz, says Subhash Ghai

Subhash Ghai revealed that at the time of its release in 1980, Karz was a mega disaster. Its failure pushed leading man Rishi Kapoor into depression.

bollywood Updated: Jul 01, 2020 14:06 IST
HT Entertainment Desk
HT Entertainment Desk
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rishi Kapoor in a still from Subhash Ghai’s Karz.
Rishi Kapoor in a still from Subhash Ghai’s Karz.

Subhash Ghai’s reincarnation drama Karz has gained iconic status over the years, but at the time of its release, it was a colossal failure. In fact, its failure took a toll on leading man Rishi Kapoor, who was hospitalised for depression.

In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Subhash said that he went to a single-screen theatre in Mumbai with his assistant directors on the day that Karz released, to see the audience turnout. “We opened with 20% collections,” he said, adding that the previous week’s release, Feroz Khan’s Qurbani, was running to packed theatres. The urban feel and psychedelic lights put off the few people who bought tickets, with many walking out halfway through Karz.

Rishi did not receive Subhash’s calls on Friday and Saturday. “On Sunday, I learnt that he had been admitted to the hospital for depression. He had worked hard on every scene and was so proud of the film, requesting several preview shows for his friends before its release. The no-show came as a shock and I had to get Raj saab (his father Raj Kapoor) to reassure him that we’d made a good film irrespective of its commercial failure,” the filmmaker said.

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Over the years, Karz went on to become one of Rishi’s most memorable films. Though the two did not work together again until Kaanchi in 2014, they remained close over the years. When the actor died in April after a two-year battle with leukemia, Subhash was devastated.

Subhash said that in an industry full of fair-weather friends, Rishi stood by him for decades. “Whenever I would be in depression, his message would come ‘don’t get depressed, you are the best’. Here, after a film flops, actors desert you. But he was the only one who would call and talk after a film flopped. Aise insaan ke baare mein aap kya kahenge (What can you say about such a person)?,” he told Hindustan Times, mourning his friend’s demise.

Due to the lockdown restrictions, Subhash could not see Rishi for one last time. “I wanted to see his face, this will be the biggest tragedy of my life,” he rued.

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