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Eight kids and a dog standing up to the might of a politician—that’s Chillar Party,Salman Khan’s maiden co-production. In a freewheeling chat,the star talks about the idea of films with acchai (goodness) and a high footfall quotient.

Written by Priyanka Sinha Jha | Mumbai |
July 1, 2011 4:16:37 pm

Eight kids and a dog standing up to the might of a politician—that’s Chillar Party,Salman Khan’s maiden co-production. In a freewheeling chat,the star talks about the idea of films with acchai (goodness) and a high footfall quotient.

Salman Khan is now starring in a new role,that of a co-producer for UTV’s forthcoming film Chillar Party. The arrangement is pretty simple — the star gets a share in profits in exchange for promoting the film across the country and the money goes to Being Human Foundation (for charity) founded by Salman. With about 250-300 physical prints in 500 screens across India,it is a reasonably big release for a film by first-time directors Nitesh Tiwari and Vikas Bahl. The satellite rights have already been sold to Colors and UTV,which has produced the film,can afford to sit pretty after having roped in Salman,currently ranked as the most popular box-office star,to ensure awareness of a small-budget film sans any big actors in its principal cast.

Chillar Party,with eight kids and a dog that needs rescuing as part of the story,was a surefire draw for the star who loved the film when he watched it. What lends the tie-up greater significance is that the film lays the foundation for Khan’s very own production house,proceeds from which will go to charity,unlike the family concerns run by brothers Arbaaz and Sohail. It also typifies the kind of films that Khan hopes to make under the aegis of Salman Khan Being Human Productions — entertaining films with a message.

“For Being Human,it has to be a film that gets in the people,has commercial value and deals with hearts.You can’t make a Ready or Wanted,Dabangg or Veer for Being Human Productions. It has to be a commercial film that spreads light. There are schools for history,geography,science,art,medicine or law but there’s no school for acchai (goodness).There’s no school to teach you how to be righteous. Chillar Party and Being Human Productions are based on that format.”

Khan is keeping his part of the bargain,doing interviews and suchlike promotional activities with the unbridled enthusiasm of a newly-minted producer. And a smart one at that. Between ‘phone calls at a suite in Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt Hotel where he is holed up for the launch of a Blackberry product later in the day,Khan refuses to let the conversation veer away from Chillar Party. And to avoid any misconception about his involvement,he clears the air on not being part of the film as an actor. “I have just produced the film and I am promoting it but I am not acting in the film. I don’t want to give any dhokha to the audience by giving the impression that the film is about me.”

More producerspeak,displaying a sharp business acumen,follows. For one,he’s dissatisfied that satellite rights have been sold before the release of the film. “They should have sold it later as it will be quite popular. This is a film that children will toh love but the parents will love this film even more because unnko apna bachpan yaad aa jayega. Bacche log maa-baap ko choice hi nahin denge.” And on the good deed front,he is willing to walk the talk.

According to the actor,currently the presiding Numero Uno in terms of his box-office status as an actor,following the success of Dabangg and now Ready,the co-production deal is not about making money. Or upping his position on Bollywood’s power list. “I don’t care for rankings. I am not in the numbers game. After paying taxes,the money (raised from the film) is going to go into charitable trusts all over the country. If people like the film and watch it again,it means they are doing more charity,” says the star.For his part,the actor will also hold film trials for special and underprivileged children.

His confidence in a film with “eight dabangg kids” namely Aflatoon,Akram,Encyclopaedia,Jangya,Panauti,Second-Hand,Silencer,Shaolin and a dog,Bheedu,he says,is based on the film’s masti quotient as well as the several emotional levels on which it works. “ I love all the moments and gags in the film.Woh scene where Jangya who is the chowkidar’s nephew comes to Chandan Nagar society with his dog. The society puts the dog into a car and Jangya starts crying because the dog Bheedu is his best friend. Chillar Party is about eight dabangg children and their friendship,their dog,a politician who needs a mudda and parents who are ready to sacrifice the dog and not take pangas with a politician. It’s about how the parents eventually come around and support the children.”

“The film also says that just because your language is harsh,it does not mean that you don’t have a heart. It is about how friends would do anything for a friend,which includes taking a stand against a politician or even their parents.

“It communicates that if you are on the right side,you should take a stand no matter how powerful the wrong guy is.We,as Indians,have this embedded in us ki we should not interfere because we don’t want to get dragged in but the new generation doesn’t give a damn,especially in this movie.”

And then there’s the much-hyped Ranbir Kapoor item number. “It was the director’s idea to have Ranbir Kapoor do a song and he’s done a superb job with different kinds of dancing,” avers Khan.

Considering his first co-production has been something of a sudden,impulsive decision,Khan is being cautious about his next project.“Till the time we don’t get the perfect script we won’t start on our next venture. We don’t much care for the critical acclaim but we want the footfalls in the theatres,” he says.

A good starting-point indeed.

priyanka.sinha@expressindia.com

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