Will Kabir Khan get his due for Ek Tha Tiger?

‘Ek Tha Tiger’ wave is on and as expected, currently it is Salman Khan euphoria that is the driving force behind it all. However before we go into an overdrive around Salman mania, let’s pause for a while, take a breather and reflect on one of the key factors that is making it happen i.e. the film’s director, Kabir Khan.

He is the one who has made ‘New York’ and ‘Kabul Express’ which means he is certainly no ordinary director. Moreover, the promos too have clearly indicated that this is not just one of those ‘let’s-please-Salman-Khan-fans’ film. Yes, there is Salman in practically every frame; it was expected that way as well. However the film isn’t recreating the ‘Wanted’ or ‘Dabangg’ mood, something that ‘Ready’ and ‘Bodyguard’ did (and rather well actually), despite the fact that inherently they were family/romantic films with action as just one of the ‘masalas’ and not the dish in entirety.

However, what one remembered after each of these blockbusters was Salman, Salman and only Salman. No one remembers the story, the leading ladies weren’t given much prominence either, the songs were of course played and enjoyed but the men who were royally ignored were the directors – Anees Bazmee and Siddique.

Salman Khan ETT

Now that was indeed sacrilege of the highest order because Anees Bazmee wasn’t a push over director. Yes, he was remaking a film (and frame to frame for that matter) and what made matters worse were ‘creative conversations’ between him and Salman that went kaput. The superstar ended up ruling the show and Bazmee had to allow the world term ‘Ready’ as THE Salman movie despite being the architect of a 100 crore grosser.

It wasn’t any better for Siddique either who, ironically, was the man behind not just this ‘Bodyguard’ but also the original and its many remakes that were made in other languages. It is particularly heartbreaking to see that he is the last person to get any credit whatsoever for ‘Bodyguard’ success despite the fact that so-called-charisma and charm of Salman was his handiwork for many other leading men as well. Today, Sidduiqui is yet to start his next Hindi film while Salman has definitely moved on.

Looking at this scenario, Kabir must be considering himself fortunate that at least his name is being taken in good measure, if not equal, when talks veer towards ‘Ek Tha Tiger’. Credit it to past work and his inherent confidence that no one is calling ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ as ‘yet another Salman Khan film’. The filmmaker has proved himself earlier too and with this Yash Raj film if he manages to fuse his sensibilities with Salman’s commercial pull, there is no doubt that not just would history be rewritten, even Kabir would find all the good credit coming his way that most of his peers (who had recently worked with Salman) missed.

– Joginder Tuteja



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