On Tuesday, Bollywood Filmmaker Kabir Khan revealed the importance of politics in the movies and said that no human, no filmmaker can be apolitical. He said that storytelling is all about how the filmmaker portrays the character and the politics of the story. He recalled one of his recent hit movies ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ and stated that the famous Chicken song in it is political and a superlative example of how politics can be included in the film.
In an exclusive interview with the Bollywood Hungama, when Khan was asked about the intention behind storytelling, he said that if a person says that he is apolitical, it reveals that what’s happening in the country does not affect him. “I have often heard, and I get very worried when I hear this- people in the industry say we are apolitical. As human beings you cannot be apolitical, the way we frame a character is telling our politics. Sometimes saying apolitical only reeks of your privilege, because what’s happening in the country doesn’t affect you, you all with money can live in a bubble”, he said (Timestamp- 44:38)
Khan cited the example of the movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan and said that the song ‘Chicken Kuk doo koo’ which is assumed as a children’s song is the most political song of the film. He said that the song was released amid the beef ban controversy in the country and showed the way how one can slip into politics through films. “The song is basically saying- this is Chaudhary Dhaba, which is a metaphor for India. Aadha hai nonveg, aadha hai veg (half dhaba is non-veg, half is veg). You decide what you want to eat and all of us can sit together and eat. So that’s the way you slip into politics”, he was quoted.
The film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ was released in the year 2015. It narrated the story of Pawan- a staunch vegetarian (Salman Khan), a devotee of Lord Hanuman. He finds a speech-impaired girl (Harshaali Malhotra) lost in Haryana and soon learns that the girl belongs to Pakistan and that she consumes non-vegetarian food. The song Chicken Kuk Doo Koo entertains the audience when Pawan and his girlfriend (Kareena Kapoor) take the little girl to a nearby Chaudhary Dhaba to let the girl eat chicken alone on a separate table.
Kabir Khan meanwhile added that film-making is one of the ways in which a person can reveal his/her political ideology. “The way a film character is framed, the dialogues are spoken by the character, all say a lot about the filmmaker’s political ideology. No person can be apolitical. Saying that is only a privilege”, he reiterated. Khan was accompanied by Suresh Triveni, Hardik Mehta, and Nidhi Bisht at the Xavier Institute of Communications initiative event. He was in conversation with Bollywood Hungama’s Faridoon Shahryar where they also discussed the ‘OTT v/s Cinemas’ debate.
Khan termed the debate between OTT and Cinemas erroneous. “Both can co-exist. Henceforth you may need to give audience big spectacle movies to attract them to come to cinemas”, he added. Kabir and Hardik also talk about the changing face of writing and the importance of good writers.