I've finally done something for Salman: Arbaz Khan

By Dibyojyoti Baksi

Mumbai, Sep 17 (IANS) Abaz Khan is happy that by producing "Dabangg" he has done something for brother Salman Khan and not just vice versa. He feels the movie has been great for the whole family.

"Let's be practical and honest - his (Salman's) last big hit was 'Wanted' and the way things are going this one can be twice or thrice bigger than that. So it's a great feeling to know that not only has he worked for me, helped in establishing myself, but the film has worked for him also. It's great for the whole family," Arbaz told IANS in an interview.

"The best compliment till now was when someone told me 'initially it looked like Salman was doing a film for you and ultimately it turned out to be something you have done for Salman'. There couldn't be any better compliment than this," he added.

Set in rustic and rugged Uttar Pradesh, Abhinav Kashyap's directorial debut has set cash registers ringing by earning Rs.48.25 crore (gross) at the opening weekend. People loved Salman Khan as corrupt cop Chulbul 'Robinhood' Pande in the movie, which also features Arbaz's wife Malaika in an item number.

Arbaz said: "I was confident that we had a good film in hand, which would do very well. The film's success has not come as a shock, probably it's a surprise that it has done so well."

Arbaz contained his excitement until Monday as experience has taught him not to be too optimistic.

"We were of course very happy. But sometimes people jump the gun talking too big too fast. Fortunately for us it has not only maintained the hype but lived up to everyone's expectation.

"People really loved the film and they are going again and again to see it.

That's the only way a film can become very big - when it starts getting a repeat audience," said Arbaz, who also features in the movie.

The film has earned over Rs.65 crore in the first five days and Arbaz admits one cannot make a film like "Dabangg" without a big star, but says the film's success is the cumulative effort of the whole team, including newcomer Sonakshi Sinha.

"Salman's magic in this film has definitely worked, but we should not undermine the effort of other people. The film has a very beautiful young girl (Sonakshi) and she was very impressive; so had been the performance of the other cast.

"Salman is a kind of engine that has driven it and given the opportunity to take the film to another level, but it has become complete with a lot of other people's contribution," said Arbaz.

Asked if he would like to work with Kashyap again, he said: "I have kept myself open to work with anybody, any fresh talent with new ideas. Of course, we have established a mutual working relationship, but at the same time I would like to work with established directors and other new bunch of people."

Arbaz is not in a hurry to start his second project.

"I am still not done with 'Dabangg'. There is even bigger work to make it sustain for four to five weeks. After that I would probably take some time off and chill with my family, think of some ideas and hear some script.

"If something excites me then only I will start my next production. I won't start a film only because I am capable of starting a film," he said.

(Dibyojyoti Baksi can be contacted at dibyojyoti.b@ians.in)

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