Director Kabeer Kaushik, who made his debut with the 2005 cop drama Saher, is returning to the genre with his next release, Maximum. The film, which stars Naseeruddin Shah, Sonu Sood, Vinay Pathak and Neha Dhupia, however, is not a sequel to Saher. Says Kaushik, “The similarities end at the fact that both the films happen to be cop dramas. They are two separate entities. While Saher looked at the genre in a macro form, this is about a personalised journey of the protagonist.”
Kaushik reveals that his film is inspired by real life encounter specialists and revolves around the journey of one such cop, his rise and fall, power struggles with colleagues and the inherent politics that exist within the system. Over the years, Kaushik insists that he has closely followed Mumbai’s celebrated encounter cops like Pradeep Sharma, Vijay Salaskar, Praful Bhonsle, Daya Naik and Angre among others. “I had references from their lives while designing the story, but the film has a poetic beginning and end, unlike real life,” adds Kaushik.
Being a son of a journalist, he says he has seen cops, bureaucrats and politicians at close quarters. So was making the film and getting the nuances right an easy task?
He reveals, “Things like body language and dressing is very peripheral. I needed the actors to understand that Mumbai police is very different from the forces in Delhi or UP. They run on a different code, so I had done a detailed analysis and met a lot of cops.”
Those weren’t the only roadblocks. The director faced a lot of trouble when the film’s lead actor Arshad Warsi turned down the part, a day before the shoot. He says, “Naseer saab was gracious enough to come in last minute. He has done such a wonderful job.”