Maqbool Khan: I am an outsider, too, have survived in Mumbai for 22 years | Hindi Movie News


Maqbool Khan has been a part of the entertainment industry for more than two decades, but the filmmaker feels that he has ‘arrived’ only now. He made his directorial debut with Kabootar (2008), featuring Govind Namdev, followed by the Manoj Bajpayee-starrer, Lanka (2011). And now, after a gap of almost nine years, he is back in Bollywood with Khaali Peeli, which features Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday in the lead. The director is happy that he’s finally got to explore a “quintessential masala entertainer”.

Talking about his ride in B-Town, he elaborates, “I started off as Anubhav Sinha’s assistant director in 1998. My last film with him was Dus (2005), in which I got to work with Sanjay Dutt and Abhishek Bachchan. I have also helmed TV shows like Diya Aur Baati Hum and Prithvi Vallabh — Itihaas Bhi, Rahasya Bhi. While I enjoyed working in both the mediums, the feeling is far different with a film like Khaali Peeli. When I discussed my idea with Ali (Abbas Zafar, Producer), the commercial film buff that he is, he introduced a few changes and mounted it on a huge scale.”

The film stars Ishaan as a daring taxi driver along with Ananya, and both will be showing off their street-smart Bambaiya andaaz. Maqbool says, “While Ishaan was convinced right after the narration, Ananya took time to get back. I wasn’t surprised, as we were expecting her to undergo a total on-screen transformation.”

While there has been a lot of buzz around Khaali Peeli, it was also in the news for all the wrong reasons, recently. The song, Beyonse Sharma Jaayegi, received flak from many people, who felt that its lyrics were racist. The film’s trailer also received a lot of backlash, as many on social media labelled it as another product of nepotism. Addressing the controversies, the filmmaker says, “We did apologise and change the lyrics to Duniya Sharma Jaayegi, as we don’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiments. Talking about the latter part, when I saw the end credits of this film, I could see the names of so many people from various departments, who have come from outside. I am an outsider in this industry, too. I came from a small village in Rajasthan, where a train to Mumbai would come only once a week. I landed in this city 22 years ago and have survived. Ali Abbas Zafar, too, is from Dehradun.”

About his equation with his lead actors, he says, “While Ananya is quirky and funny, Ishaan is full of energy, and he loves playing pranks. With him, you can’t play smart or try to counter him; Ananya realised it quickly (laughs!). He is well read, and knows a lot about world cinema. I got to learn a lot from him.”



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