A film with message can prod people into thinking: Kabir Khan

Vastavam web: Filmmaker Kabir Khan believes a film with a “message” can prod people into thinking, though he fears that it doesn’t end up changing “reality”.The director of “Bajrangi Bhaijaan, a 2015 film about an Indian man who helps a little girl reach her home in Pakistan, says it made people think about relations between India and Pakistan.”But I don’t know if it’s powerful enough to change the reality. Maybe not, unfortunately,” says Kabir, whose new film “Tubelight” set in the backdrop of the India-China 1962 war is to be released on June 23.

“Films are the most powerful medium in the country and filmmakers should always put across their point of view without fear.” On political pressure on cinema, Kabir says he had not experienced it and would not succumb to it.”I think in today’s time it is all the more important to speak up. That’s the greatest thing about our country that we are allowed to speak our mind.” Kabir says trolling on the Internet does not bother him, but the dismal state of public debate is a “major” concern.One might not agree with people, but there is a certain way of conducting a debate, he says.

“You put your point and then a counter point. You can’t start shouting, yelling, screaming, abusing as then there is no argument,” he says.Kabir’s films have always had a strong socio-political undertone. “Kabul Express” was set in post-Taliban Afghanistan, “New York” was about the effects of 9/11 attacks, and the Salman-starrer “Tubelight” looks at a brother in search of a missing soldier.”I have not actively thought why the films had India- Pakistan, India-China as backdrop, why ‘New York’ had a US backdrop. I do think and put my stories against the backdrop of the real context as those are the films I like watching,” he says.As a mainstream cinema watcher, he has “struggled lot of times with the fact that a lot of stories were set in vacuum”, he says.