Bollywood News - Why Salman Khan's Dabangg 3 is for fans, not critics

Bollywood News - Why Salman Khan's Dabangg 3 is for fans, not critics
Bollywood News - Why Salman Khan's Dabangg 3 is for fans, not critics

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Bollywood superstar Salman Khan chats with City Times about what fans can expect from his latest film, how he handles criticism and why he enjoys such a mass appeal

For years, his success has defied all odds. Naysayers may question it, but if you happen to be a die-hard Salman Khan fan (is there any other type?), you need no validation. That's the aura of Salman Khan.

When we met the Bollywood superstar in November for his Dabangg: The Tour Reloaded show in , the actor told us something that probably explains his widespread success in an industry which is fickle when it comes to placing actors on a pedestal.

"We can make the best movies ever but if they (fans) may not like it, then there's no point - it is a bad movie at that point. No matter what the critics say, if you make a bad film, and fans like it then it is the best film ever!" he explained.

That sentiment, is key to understanding the phenomenon called Salman Khan. Having debuted as lead in Sooraj Barjatya's romantic family drama Maine Pyar Kiya in 1989, Khan may have taken time to find his comfort zone in blockbuster action films, but once he found it, he has stayed put. He is not known to experiment much with genres or try his hand at roles, outside his comfort zone. "I'm not looking for awards," he told us, "only rewards, when fans leave the theatre fulfilled."

Over the years, it has only been proved over and over again, that where Salman Khan puts his money, that is where the money flows. Be it Ready, Ek Tha Tiger, Kick, Sultan, Bajrangi Baijhan or his last release Bharat, there is a certain formula that Khan is adept at handling and averse to straying from.

When it comes to a Salman Khan movie, fans don't go to the cinema to watch a character, but rather to gawk at the superstar shining through his on-screen persona.

Back with a bang

The Dabangg movies have minted money for the makers ever since the first one was released in 2010 and introduced us to the swashbuckling, quirky Inspector Chulbul Pandey. Two years later, Khan was back with Dabangg 2, which made more noise at the box office. Seven years and umpteen movies later, the hit-making machine is back with Dabangg 3, with his ever supportive leading lady Sonakshi Sinha, and the added attraction of debutant Saiee Manjrekar (filmmaker/actor Mahesh Majrekar's daughter).

Now Khan, of course, has a reputation for introducing the maximum number of new faces to the industry - be it his Dabangg lead star Sonakshi Sinha, Daisy Shah, Zareen Khan or Sneha Ullal among many others.

The actor admitted to us that it is "very scary" to launch new faces. He confessed that there is the pressure of ensuring "so many new faces should be known faces and recognised and have the longest career..."

But at the same time he stated confidently that, "I have no fear where Saiee (Manjrekar) is concerned or Sonakshi from her first movie to now."
"And we are there all the time. For all the people we have launched. in some form or the other...

"We'd never leave the people who we have introduced. Like the way Sooraj Barjatya's has never left me," he continued.

Keeping it fresh

Just like its predecessors, Dabangg 3 has all the ingredients for a typical masala movie - item number, catchy dialogues, a Southern Nemesis in the form of Kichcha Sudeep and of course, Salman Khan. Does Khan ever get bored of doing the same old thing again? Not if you go by his career track. During the concert when we asked him how he keeps his energy levels constantly high, his response was insightful and probably applicable to his approach to movies in a career spanning over 30 odd years. "When your hobby turns into your profession, you have all the enthusiasm for it."

Excerpts from a conversation with Salman Khan over the phone ahead of the release of Dabangg 3 in UAE theatres on Thursday, December 19.

Why did you feel the need to come out with Dabangg 3? Was it the success of the franchise, the demand from your fans or did you just get attached to Chulbul Pandey?

When both the films have done so well, why would I not make a sequel? (laughs) Both films had done well and there was a huge demand by the time with people asking; 'When is Dabangg coming?' 'When is Dabangg coming?'
We already had the script in mind like how we made Dabangg. But I was stuck with Tiger Zinda Hai and Bharat and some other films which released, so I couldn't give Dabangg time earlier. As soon as I got a window I did Dabangg 3.

Dabangg 3 seems to be a masala entertainer much like the first two movies. What is this one's USP though?

It is a lot bigger, a lot larger. Chulbul is more mature, he is more dignified . he is full of quirks, sharing all the right things; he's just a lot larger than what he used to be.

And it is not just a masala movie - its got more hues, it is about good and bad, about nobility, about family values; what's the situation in some people's lives. It deals with dowry, it deals with positivity against negativity...

It deals with a lot of these things - kidnapping, prostitution... The first movie had (handled the theme of) polio; the second one had LIC Policy...

You have a unique dancing style. And you make your 'Item Boy' debut with Munna Badnam Hua in this film. Do you enjoy dancing?

(Pause) Yeah, at times, especially when you are getting praised for it and you are getting appreciated for it, I love it!

You enjoy enormous mass appeal, and you can do no wrong in the eyes of your fans. To what do you attribute this appeal?

I attribute this to the eyes of my fans. And then to me! Because they see it that he (Salman) is not doing any wrong.

How do you respond to critics? Do you read reviews once your films come out?

Critics? I don't react to them at all. They write good or bad, I don't react. I have just done my hard work, that too, to the best of my ability. If they appreciate it, great. And if they think it is not up to the mark, that's fine. As long as my fans go watch the films, people go enjoy the films, and like it and the numbers are good, I'm fine. My critic is the box office. If my fans don't want to go see my film, then they are my critics. I'm making these movies for them (fans) not for these critics.

What can audience expect from newbie Saiee Manjrekar who is making her Bollywood debut with Dabangg 3?

The audience can expect a very big star from her. The industry will have a new A-grade, very talented leading lady.

What about Sonakshi Sinha? How do you rate her considering you have acted together in all the Dabangg movies?

When we first saw her for Dabangg she was very talented even then. She has grown ten fold (since then).

What kind of actor are you on sets? Are you a director's actor or do you like to improvise?

I improvise but depending on the director. I will not change anything just for the heck of changing it. Like if I feel a fight scene could go wrong, then I would give an alternative to that scene.

How do you plan to celebrate the success of Dabangg 3?

I'm just going to spend time at home. There is a newborn (probably referencing sister Arpita's new baby) coming to the house... And I'd thank God.

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