An open letter to TUBELIGHT director Kabir Khan

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Dear Kabir Khan

As a cinephile I like the way you tell your stories and make entertaining yet very insightful films.

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You made your directorial debut with KABUL EXPRESS and went on to bag ‘Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director’ at 54th National Awards. Your other films NEW YORK, EK THA TIGER, BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN made people look forward to your films eagerly. Your last film PHANTOM may have received mixed reviews but nevertheless it lived up to expectations people have from your films.

With just 6 films to your credit as a director you have carved a niche for yourself in this industry which is a very big achievement and the kind of success ratio that you have is enviable for all other directors out there in this industry.

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First of all I would like to thank you for making an adaptation of a very beautiful, earnest and poignant film like LITTLE BOY. Really your decision of making an adaptation of LITTLE BOY reflects the kind of sensitive and wise filmmaker you are.

So as you gear up for TUBELIGHT I have few questions for you in this regard and hope you won’t mind answering them.

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Ever since the announcement of TUBELIGHT was made why not even for once you spoke openly that this film is an adaptation of LITTLE BOY? It was only when the teaser of the film was out that it was ‘officially’ declared from your side that this film is an adaptation.

Secondly during the song launch event of ‘Radio Song’ you said that only a seed of an idea has been taken from the original film rest everything is changed. But sir I have watched the original film and it’s clear that apart from the main theme there are several other things you have taken from the original as it is. My question is why are you shying away from accepting this fact? Are you worried that if you admit it then the excitement surrounding TUBELIGHT would get killed?

Even the tag line “Kya Tumhe Yakeen Hai?” is the direct translation of the line “Do you believe you can do this?” from LITTLE BOY, which you claim that it has been suggested to you by Salim Khan sir.

Other very important thing that I want to ask you is did you watch the recently released BAAHUBALI 2? Even if you haven’t watched it yet I am sure you must be at least aware of its phenomenal success. Interestingly the makers of this film didn’t go out of their way to promote their film or tried to create any kind of buzz surrounding it prior to its release.

Perhaps it was their confidence in their product that didn’t require any kind of ‘over the top’ promotions.

But I wonder why you are resorting to ways of every other maker to promote your film in such a fashion. I am sure few would say that when you are in a showbiz industry you have to follow the trends but sir from when did you start following the conventional path?

I am really very curious to know what’s making you promote your film in such an aggressive manner. Are you not confident of your product? Or is there any fear of being left out? I know it’s neither of these reasons but then why bombard the audience with so much of promotional stints?

The beauty of the film LITTLE BOY lies in the story of a faith of an 8-year-old boy and his undying love for his father. The soul of this film lies in this little boy’s faith in his capabilities to bring back his father from the war. And sadly this soul is missing from what we saw in the first trailer of your film.

It also makes me wonder about the thought process behind casting a 51-year-old actor in the place of a child? I don’t know how you are going to justify this decision of yours but for a person like me the soul of original story got killed the moment I saw a 51-year-old acting like simpleton in the role which was originally played by an 11 year old child!

We understand that having a big star in one’s project helps to make one’s story reach out to a larger audience but does that means that you should fit in a big star even in those scripts which doesn’t require a star’s presence?

And it’s not like B-town stars are incapable of playing a simpleton’s role. How can we forget Hrithik Roshan as Rohit Mehra in KOI..MIL GAYA? Hrithik outdid himself as an actor when he played this role. The conviction with which Hrithik had portrayed that character of intellectually disabled made people fall in love with both the character Rohit Mehra as well as the actor himself.

Sadly this conviction was lacking or didn’t come across vividly in the 2 minute long trailer of your film.

We all know that a passionate filmmaker never makes a film just for earning money; they always try to make a film so that everyone right from a common man, cinephiles to a critic loves it in equal measures. But frankly speaking this film is not at all exciting me in any way.

I am sure that you must be having very valid answers for all my questions and perhaps upon receiving your answer I might start looking at things from broader perspective. On the flipside may be Salman Khan would prove us wrong and blow our minds away with his acting prowess once the film releases, you never know.

Till then all the best for your film.

Best Regards
A cinephile

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the publication. The company does not take any responsibility for the views.)

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