Eid release Dabangg has a roll call of characters with quirky names, starting with Salman Khan who answers to the call of Chulbul Pandey. Apparently, actor Chunky Panday has demanded royalty because they have borrowed his initials. “I have 20 odd Pandey friends who I will send to Chunky for royalty,” retorts writer-director Abhinav Kashyap.
“Pandey or Panday is a common surname in UP and I have a nephew whose nickname is Chulbul. I borrowed it because Salman’s character in the film has a chulbula (naughty) side to him. We’ve had enough of Rajs, Vijays and Vikrams. And the name has caught on.” Arbaaz’s character in the film goes by the name of Makhi, short for Makhanchand."I heard it somewhere and it stuck in my mind," says Kashyap, adding that Sonu Sood’s name in the film is Cheedi Singh and the script puns on the word hole. Raise the question top most on many minds about what Dabangg means and he says with a laugh, "Fearless but now don’t go thinking it is Veer 2. Up North, it’s a common word that means someone who is not scared of anyone. And Salman is like that in real life too so he fit the role perfectly."
Buzz is that this being Arbaaz Khan’s debut production, big brother Salman had a lot to say in all departments, from the script and the shooting to the editing. “What you see as interference, I look at as creative involvement. Salman has not directed the film but he did make a few pertinant suggestions. So did so many others. It was a democratic set-up,” Kashyap argues.
Kashyap adds that Dabangg is not Wanted 2 either, as is being presumed. “We’ve just taken off from where Wanted left and gone bigger,” he says. “People need a reference point for everything but the only similarity between the two films is that Dabangg is an action film too, featuring Salman Khan.”