His Kabul Express was critically acclaimed and his latest release New York has turned out to be a commercial success widely appreciated by critics as well. Ecstatic with the phenomenal response that his film on terror has generated, director Kabir Khan now wants to move on to lighter subjects.
"I am getting a little uncomfortable with that 'serious filmmaker' tag that is being gifted to me," laughed Kabir whose New York has got the best opening in a year that has spelt terrible business for Bollywood.
"In a way it's a two-edge sword. While I have been able to build an identity after the first two films of mine, I don't wish to be slotted as someone who can only make films belonging to a particular genre", he added.
Both Kabul Express and New York have been based on terrorism. While his directorial debut took viewers to Afghanistan, his second film explores life for Muslims in the US after the 9/11 terror attack.
"Yes, both these films dealt with issues, but my next won't have an issue dominating the proceedings. Of course, there will be a certain context to what I'm trying to deal with in the film's storyline. However, the issue will be subtle. Yes, once again I will be looking at telling a tale set in contemporary times," he said.
Kabir believes that filmmakers often suffer because they don't set their stories in a particular time period and zone.
"I can't dream of making a film in la-la-land. In fact, I believe that it is easier to make a film when you know which time period and zone it belongs to. It's so easy then to get the right actors in place and make them understand what is expected out of them. It gives an altogether different peg for your film," he explained.
When it comes to telling a sensible tale with an issue being in the midst of affairs, Kabir believes Lagey Raho Munnabhai is an ultimate example.
"Look at that film - even that had an issue, but it was never once in your face. Raj Kumar Hirani kept it all so subtle and yet conveyed the message so well. It was as commercial as it gets and audiences too were thoroughly entertained. That's the way to make movies because it not just made all parties happy but also had a satisfied director at the end of it all," he said.
Apart from Hirani, he feels that one can learn a lot from Mani Ratnam, who made films like Roja and Bombay.
"His are what one can term as truly humane films. The man has made so many marvellous films over the years and all so different from one another. Still, one can't miss his genius in any of his films. He is someone who has got it just so perfect when it comes to pleasing masses as well as intelligentsia," said Kabir.