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Saif: I don't think Agent Vinod can go horribly wrong

Last updated on: March 23, 2012 13:03 IST

Saif: I don't think Agent Vinod can go horribly wrong

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Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

Even though Agent Vinod might have garnered average reviews, Saif Ali Khan seems pretty excited about film as after a long time Hindi cinema will see a spy movie. Khan who is also the producer of the film is busy dodging the bans and legal notices which the film is surrounded with.

Like any other actor Khan too is looking for a good opening for the film. In this interview with Sonil Dedhia, the actor speaks about what went into the making of the film, his job as a producer and explains why Agent Vinod is possibly the biggest bet of his career.

Agent Vinod is from your production house. How do you think audiences will receive it?

I am really happy with the way the film has turned out. I am waiting to see what kind of an opening it takes.

One is very calm when making the film but as the release date comes near and you start showing the film to everyone, it suddenly becomes very exciting.

The film releases today. Do you think you should have undone or redone anything in it?

This film has pretty much turned out the way we wanted it to.

I think in future we should get the film ready a little early so that we can have a focus group discussion and get some opinions on length. Probably we would like to be more efficient next time.


Image: Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod


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'Agent Vinod is the biggest bet of my career

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With the amount of money and time involved, would you say that this film is one of the major bets in your career?

Every film is a bet, but this is possibly the biggest bet. It will be a major bet if it works.

I don't think Agent Vinod can go horribly wrong. If this film works, it can open up a lot of possibilities of making such kinds of films.

Were you ever torn between being practical as a producer and wanting more creative freedom as an actor?

Production is also a creative job. Producers are people who create the world. They choose the right director and the right cast for a film. I think acting is a part of it.

You planned the film with a director who has made low budget, taut thrillers. How different was it to work with him on Agent Vinod, which is a commercial entertainer?

He knows his work and when he narrated me the treatment of the film I was completely convinced with it.

There is a flavour to every story and this film is a spy thriller which is a little bit of James Bond, part (Jason) Bourne and a little bit of Tintin.

People should not expect Agent Vinod to be Abbas-Mustan or a Karan Johar kind of film.


Image: Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod


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'Agent Vinod is not jingoistic film '

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There were reports you had ghost directed the film and also done some editing, and you didn't deny it.

It's not important to deny everything. I am not a political activist who keeps on talking all the time.

I have often said that director Sriram Raghavan is the captain of the ship and he has been involved in everything. I am also the producer of the film and I am the person who brought everyone on board to make the film.

Being a James Bond fan, were you subconsciously inspired by him? Did it ever happen that you shot a certain scene and realised that it was similar to one in a Bond film?

No, I haven't noticed something like that. When you see the film you will realise that it's not your average film. On the other hand, it's always interesting to see a film with the audience who have purchased a ticket because there is a different kind of energy in the auditorium. You get to know the truth about your film.

It's been a long time since I've seen a film with the audience and I would like to see Agent Vinod in a single screen theatre with the audience.

Do you think single screen cinemas have become very important again?

I think there is a huge difference between the multiplex audience and those who turn up in single screen theatres. If I am able to pull in even 30 percent of audiences in the single screens, I think the film will do well. 

Were there any plans to make the film in 3D?

I don't understand 3D and nor do I like watching 3D films. My son likes them. There was some talk about 3D during the early stages of the film, but I didn't want it.


Image: Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod


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'Pakistan is the biggest source of piracy'

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Now that the film has been banned in Pakistan. How badly will it affect the revenues?

With the ban in Pakistan we will lose around Rs1 crore, which is not really big. They have always banned our films. Kurbaan was also banned. 

We have shot our film in Pakistan without their permission. We have shown the Pakistani Army involved with the Taliban and Afghanistan and also some opium factories. We have also shown them assassinating their own ISI chief. We have shown them encouraging terrorist activities in India and financing the LET.

Maybe we have shown a few most wanted people in the list harboured in Pakistan. If you feel this is unreasonable or not true, then it is fair enough. I think it is all quite true. May be they didn't like that.

Please continue...

It's a shame. The idea is to have open films between the two countries. I was very proud that this film isn't a jingoistic film that is just bashing Pakistan. In fact, Kareena Kapoor is playing a Pakistani girl, so we were hoping that they would appreciate that.

This film is for Indians but it's not against Pakistanis. Still, I can understand the reason for them getting upset.

But the ban will also lead to piracy.

That's the problem. Pakistan is the biggest source of piracy and if there's censorship like banning, then it will only lead to piracy. People out there want to see the film and they will do it by hook or by crook.

Unlike Gaddar, which was a super hit, Agent Vinod is not a jingoistic film where we are bashing Pakistan. They have their reasons but I was really hoping they would love it.


Image: Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod


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'I think Pritam should have his own legal department'

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What about the legal notice issued by the Iranian band Barobax for allegedly infringing their copyright in the prelude used in the catchy Pungi Baja de track.

There is no similarity between the two songs at all and it is a little upsetting.

Frankly, I would say God bless Iran, I respect their culture. I was listening to both the songs and there is a mild similarity in the opening base line groove, but that is the background.

In the past we had a song like Jiski Biwi Moti (Laawaris), which was copied by an Iranian band, so ideally, Prakash Mehra Productions should be suing the Iranian band.

When a song becomes a hit, people wake up and start taking credit. Having said that, I think Pritam should have his own legal department, as I can't protect him any more now.

When you launched your production house two years ago, you candidly said that it was done to make the kind of films you aren't getting otherwise. Do you think it is easier to work in someone else's production house?

It depends whether you want to do it or not. I like the idea of creating the right movie or playing a spy in a particular film. On the other hand, it is also nice to work with other production houses.

Is the intention to cast you in all the films that are coming out from your production house?

Yes, the production house is going to cast me for a while. I am primarily an actor and I don't want to stop acting and start making films for other people.

In future, if I am working on some other project, Illuminati Films will make a film with some other actor in the lead. There are no fixed rules.


Image: Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod


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'I don't think I can direct a film'

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Do you believe that real life couples don't make a good pair in reel life?

Kareena is a great artist and I think the chemistry between two actors has nothing to do with real life couples.

I would agree that in certain situations, the chemistry could be boring because it becomes very typical, but I don't think that is the case with our film.

Any plans to get into direction?

I don't think I can direct a film.


Image: Saif Ali Khan in Agent Vinod

Tags: Kareena

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