By Hindustan Times
Saif Ali Khan's second production Agent Vinod (his first venture was Love Aaj Kal) is set for a March 23 release. The actor arrived in the Capital for promoting his film. Saif touched upon various strands while addressing the media.
Chote Nawab was sans girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, who plays his romantic interest in AV. "She's shooting in Bombay. And we are not promoting the film together."
In an industry ruled by the Khan triumvirate, Saif has subtly carved a proverbial niche. His Omkara, Parineeta, Hum Tum and Ek Hasina Thi have earned positive press.
On a peppy Mika track
Recently released cheeky number Pyaar Ki Pungi is creating a lot of buzz. "It was a very liberating experience. Dancing is generally a liberating experience. It's a lot of fun. I don't normally dance very much but it's easy when you have a song like that. I don't see any other way of dancing to that song. We made up some steps ourselves also. And we shot it in one night which was quite remarkable," says thrilled Saif.
The song also stars Malika, Lisa Haydon's sister. Mailka has also been noticed in I'll Do The Talking track in Agent Vinod. Mika Singh has worked his magic yet again. "I didn't know Mika before. I met him in Chandigarh and he seemed like a very nice guy. He was very sweet to us. He seems like a very nice person and I look forward to working with him again."
On action sequences
Another interesting feature of the film is its action sequences for which Saif has roped in action directors from Hollywood. "There is such a quality of action that people aren't expecting and they will be surprised. We have worked with a lot of action directors- French, American action masters. We wanted realistic kind of action. There will be violence, but realistic."
On Agent Vinod promotion
Promotion is the key to success of the films today. Saif, too, is going all out to reach to the masses. "We are holding press conferences all over the country. Every Indian has a digital medium, be it TV, mobile or computer. So promotion has become easier. I have tied up with Airtel and Reliance for promotion on mobiles. There are mobile games for the audience too."
Launch of Agent Vinod comic in the capital today is another promotional strategy. "We have made a comic of Agent Vinod. A character like Agent Vinod lends itself well to a graphic novel."
Is there competition from SRK's Don 2 comic? "We really like his Don. It's a very nice movie. We really like Shah Rukh Khan's acting. My son is huge fan and his ringtone is of Don's. So there's no competition. This is a new comic book. People should have choices. There won't be just one film in a year," justifies the star.
On being a producer
Shelling 50 crores from his pocket, is there some fear while making that kind of investment? "50 crores is my responsibility. The idea is to give the audience the best quality possible. The first person we think about all the time is the audience."
Saif is very happy with the growth in the film industry, with more and more multiplexes in the vicinity. "There was a time when there were not as many screens as today. Business is growing which is a very nice thing. There are more screens, more multiplexes. As a producer, I want as many people as possible to see this film."
On censorship in India
"It depends on what a production house wants. There are big movies, there are artistic movies. Some filmmakers will be happy with an A certificate if the film is for mature audience. Some are entertaining films for families. Sometimes it happens that a lot of blood is used, then you'll get an A certificate just because of that. So you can ask the director to reduce it as the main point is not to show blood. I believe in censorship. But there is no rule to it. It depends on the way you make a film and for what audience you make it for."
Agent Vinod has got a U/A certificate today. "The censor board has given us a U/A certificate. I'm very happy as we also wanted children to watch the film. My son Ibrahim told me for the first time in my career that his classmates want to watch Agent Vinod," says the actor proudly.
Saif Ali Khan was in the capital to promote his upcoming sci-fi film. Delhi holds a special place for both Saif and his film. "I'm very excited. I'm happy to be here. Delhi is a very important city for the movie also. Not just for the (BO) collection, but also because we have shot the climax of the movie here. It has come out beautifully," says the star.
"Delhi is the place where I grew-up. There used to be a toy shop round the corner called Ram Chandra (in CP). I have spent my childhood here with my Dadima. Before moving to Bombay, I used to stay here only. Good old memories are attached to Delhi," adds the nostalgic actor.
Sequels have become a new flavour in B-Town. Films like Housefull, Jannat, Dostana, Race, Dabangg, Jism, and Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai will be out with their second installments this year. Does Saif, who will be featuring in Race 2 himself, plans to take Agent Vinod franchise forward? "There can be a sequel to Agent Vinod if people like the film, if people want to see the sequel. It will be very easy to have a sequel to Agent Vinod."
Well, that means Agent Vinod is not going to die in this part at least!
Sriram Raghavan, who has worked with Saif in Ek Hasina Thi and won critical acclaim for Johnny Gaddar, is directing the action film.
"The film releases on March 23rd, please go and see the movie," concludes Agent Vinod.