Despite the tepid response to Main Aurr Mrs Khanna, Salman Khan has promised director Prem R. Soni that he will do his next movie.
"No matter what people say about Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna, I'm doing your next film no matter what," Salman told Soni at a private family gathering, restoring the director's trust in his abilities.
Soni is now a bigger Salman fan than ever before. "The way Main Aurr Mrs Khanna has been received, I thought no one would want to touch me with a barge pole. So many announcements go down the drain if the first film doesn't work."
Relieved Soni is still bewildered by the response to his maiden effort. "It was almost as if we made the worst film on this earth. I could smell the resentment against the film. There was definitely an attempt to write it off on the day of its release."
Salman, who had just delivered a hit in Wanted, showed his full faith in Main Aurr Mrs Khanna.
"He completely believed in my film and his character. But since he was already so visible for Wanted, we decided to go easy on the publicity for Main Aurr Mrs Khanna. We were wrong. This was a different Salman and a different film. Not that aggressive promotion helps. But aggressive anti-publicity surely damaged my film," said Soni.
Whatever the response to the film at home, Main Aurr Mrs Khanna has been warmly received in Australia where it is set.
"Melbourne is not just a location in my film. It's one of the characters in the plot. Has anyone commented on how hard we worked on getting the locations right? Main Aurr Mrs Khanna is the first Indian film to be shot at an international airport. When I wrote my script a major part of the drama was situated in an international airport."
The shoot at Melbourne was free of cost. "Can you imagine? All we were told was to shoot in the night when the air traffic was less dense. We paid nothing and we got complete and free access to shoot in the most restricted areas on the airport. We shot in an area past the immigration, so any of us could take an unauthorised flight to any part of the world.
"But all of us, Kareena Kapoor, Salman, Sohail Khan, Yash Tonk, Nauheed Cyrusi and Bappi Lahiri, were very careful of our responsibility. We had been given a huge privilege and a diplomatic immunity. It wasn't just us. It was India's reputation at stake."