Abhinav Kashyap makes his debut as director with Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg, quite unlike brother Anurag Kashyap whose dark films don't boast of big stars. Dabangg is different, but influences of the Anurag Kashyap style of filmmaking are natural, says Abhinav, doffing his hat to his brother.
"Influences of my brother's style of filmmaking are definitely there since we have worked together in 1995. There will be overlapping sensibilities, but the subject of this film (Dabangg) is very different from the kind of subjects Anurag chooses for his films," Abhinav told IANS in an interview.
And does the elder brother, the director of films like Gulaal and Dev D, give him any tips?
"Yes, he does give me advice and inputs like any other elder brother would."
Abhinav says he enjoyed the experience of working with a star like Salman.
"When I got to know that Salman will be working in the film, I was very excited in the beginning. Once we started work, I became nervous because I didn't know how he works. But then it was exhilarating since Salman is a wonderful person to work with," the director said.
He rejected rumours that Salman had re-moulded Abhinav's vision of Dabangg.
"We work in a democratic set up... everyone throws in their ideas. Yes, we did change certain things in the film, but everything was not dictated by Salman. We all sat together and brainstormed and decided to mould the vision of the script a little bit. It was a collective process," Abhinav said.
Dabangg, set in a small Uttar Pradesh town, will see Salman playing a cop. His younger brother and actor Arbaaz Khan has turned producer for the film, which is also the launch vehicle for Shatrughan Sinha's daughter Sonakshi. The film is slated for a September release.
Abhinav admits that comparisons between Dabangg and last year's hit actioner Wanted are inevitable.
"Comparisons between Dabangg and Wanted are obvious. As it is, there are very few action films coming nowadays, plus Wanted also had Salman...so we expected people would draw parallels.
"But once the film releases, people will see that Dabangg is not just an action film, drama is predominant in it and it is very different from Wanted."
The 35-year-old director says he loves the cinema of the 1970s and has tried to incorporate certain aspects in Dabangg.
"I'm a big fan of the cinema of the 1970s when characters used to be bigger than the films. During that time, even after the film had gone, people still used to remember the characters. I've tried that in this film."
Abhinav came to Mumbai in the mid-90s. In 1995, he wrote his first film Jung, directed by Sanjay Gupta. Later, he assisted Mani Ratnam on Yuva and also wrote dialogues for films like Manorama Six Feet Under and 13B.
But direction was always the ultimate dream. And with Dabangg, he has realised it.
(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )