Khaali Peeli director Maqbool Khan: My producer and I are outsiders with no godfather

Updated: 25 September, 2020 08:19 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Arguing that every film is a collaborative effort, Khaali Peeli director Maqbool Khan hopes Ishaan Khatter-Ananya Panday-starrer gets a fair chance amid nepotism debate.

A still from Khaali Peeli
A still from Khaali Peeli

In the opening shot of Khaali Peeli's teaser, Ishaan Khatter is seen walking out of a prison confidently and asking for a 'maachis'. Tell director Maqbool Khan that the shot reminds one of the '80s heroes with their unbridled swagger, and he reveals that it is a deliberate attempt to set the movie's tone. "The film is a tribute to Mumbai. I wanted a masala film in which the city, complete with its old-world charm, is more than a mere backdrop. I have grown up in south Bombay and knew exactly where to set up the shoots," says Khan of the film, which also features Ananya Panday.

The Hindi film industry is at an interesting juncture where the lines between mainstream movies and middle-of-the-road cinema are blurring. But in his directorial debut, Khan wanted to pay tribute to an era of cinema that resonated with him. "Masala films are still a crowd-puller. I watched Raees [2017] at Gaiety Galaxy. When Shah Rukh Khan made his entry, the audience was so excited that I couldn't hear the dialogues. That said, when you make a film for the millennial audience that has grown up on Guy Ritchie's works, you have to adapt the screenplay."

 Khan, director
Maqbool Khan, director

The actioner has adopted the pay-per-view model for its digital premiere on Zee Plex and will be the first release on the platform. At a time when the nepotism debate has invited the wrath of the masses, does he worry that the fate of the film — fronted by two-star kids — will be affected? "When I see people disliking videos and trailers on YouTube, it's evident that they have come to the platform with the intention of disliking them. I don't want people to harbour preconceived notions about this film," says the director, emphasising that it is unfair to write off a movie because it features star kids.

Ali Abbas Zafar
Ali Abbas Zafar

"If we are talking about fair chances, I am an outsider from Rajasthan; my producer Ali [Abbas Zafar] is an outsider, too. We have had no godfathers. The industry is not made up of four stars, but of 400 hardworking people who have no lineage and are doing an honest day's work. I have got one chance, and I am making a film that I have wanted to make for a long time. People should judge the movie after watching it."

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First Published: 25 September, 2020 07:06 IST

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