When Tubelight arrived earlier this year, the audience expected superstar Salman Khan and director Kabir Khan to recreate their Bajrangi Bhaijaan magic, instead, it turned out to one of the biggest failures of recent times.
Months later, while Kabir is yet to figure out the reason for the film’s abysmal performance, the one thing that disappoints him the most is Salman’s performance was wasted.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, Kabir Khan weighed in on the film’s failure and shared how he wishes it does not influence Salman’s future choices.
“Any film that fails will disappoint you because when you are making a film, you truly believe in it and you enjoy making it. I am very proud of Tubelight. It did not connect with the audience in a way our previous films did but that does not take away from the fact that we really enjoyed and believed in the film,” said Kabir.
The filmmaker, however, also said that it is not difficult for him to put the failure behind him because he has moved on to telling stories that he believes in.
“I believe if you don’t take your success too seriously, you will not take your failure too seriously. It is a part of the game. I just feel blessed that I am still getting to tell the stories that I want to and in the way that I want to. I don’t take the pressure of my successes or failures,” added Kabir Khan.
When asked if he was able to decode the reason why the audience outright rejected the drama, Kabir said it was perhaps too much for them to have Salman being vulnerable and lacking any kind of heroism.
“It’s very difficult to analyse it because it is a film, which is very close to my heart. What I can relate to is some of the feedback that I got is that they felt we probably pushed Salman into a zone, which is not acceptable to a larger audience. In Bajrangi, it was acceptable but here we pushed him so much that we pushed him out of the stadium.
“That could be a reason. I won’t say that’s the reason because as a director, I was happy to see Salman put that effort, to do something like this. Bajrangi still had some heroism in it but here, he stripped himself bare and performed. More than anything, I feel bad on his behalf that he tried to do something and did not get the kind of love he got for his other films. I hope it does not make him not want to experiment more. But I know Salman. He will always push boundaries,” said Kabir.
Well, Salman was supposed to do an emotional father-daughter relationship drama with Remo D’Souza after Tubelight, and had even started prepping for it but days after Tubelight bombed at the box-office, it was announced that the actor would collaborate with the same director for the third installment of Race 3.
The film that the duo was earlier teaming up was out of the scene and it’s status uncertain.
It clearly looked like an example of the star going back to being safe, after all Race is a mass-entertainer and the success of both its parts makes Race 3 a more viable project than an emotional drama, and also the calculation that Salman’s fans would lap up the idea of him in a high-octane action thriller than seeing him shedding tears.
But Kabir begged to differ. The filmmaker said that the 51-year-old actor has been in the business long enough to be fazed by one failure.
“I am not sure if that’s going back. I think the larger plan is always to interspersing (experimental) films with movies that we call ‘safe films’. I don’t think the reason behind him doing Race 3 is Tubelight’s failure because I know Race 3 and other films were always there in the pipeline. It was only the question of which comes first, which comes second.
“I don’t think a person like Salman would be affected by one film going down. He has been a superstar for past 25 years. He has seen his ups and downs. He had a spell of films that did not perform well but he never changed his approach. He pretty much selects films from a gut instinct and at that point of time what his state of mind allows him. Ups and downs don’t affect the way he looks at movies,” the director said.