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Saif Ali Khan will show off his romantic and intense side in his forthcoming film Kurbaan, opposite girlfriend Kareena Kapoor. Directed by first-timer Rensil D'Silva and produced by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions, the film has already run into controversy.
Saif talks to Patcy N and clears the air.
What can we expect from Kurbaan?
Kurbaan is a socially relevant film set against international terrorism. It is a serious film but at its core, it's a love story and a thriller. Normally, the pressure in a love story comes from the family. Here, the love story is more intense and serious.
I play a school teacher called Eshaan Khan. He's an open-minded, loving and caring person. He falls in love with Kareena's character and marries her. The girl dreams of a blissful honeymoon but it turns into hell. Whether or not the love story survives is what Kurbaan is about. There is a good amount of action in the film.
Shiv Sainiks seemed quite upset with the Kareena's backless pose in the Kurbaan poster and draped a sari around it. What do you have to say about that?
I think it's a wonderful poster. If people have an objection to that, I am sure our production house will discuss it with them and arrive at a conclusion. The idea is not to offend anybody. If the film needs a poster like this, we will make it.
I think the poster is very tasteful. It has been passed by the Censor Board so I don't think there is anything objectionable about it. But I realise India is a sensitive country. Let Dharma Productions -- which is an old fashioned and traditional company -- deal with it properly.
Has your turning into producer changed your approach towards cinema?
It has changed my approach towards press conferences!
On a more serious note, I now understand the bigger scheme of things. You understand the importance of every little thing that goes into the making of a movie. It makes you more responsible as a person and understanding as an actor, as to what our responsibilities towards other producers are.
Your two films with Kareena (LOC-Kargil and Tashan) did not fare well at the box office. What expectations do you have with Kurbaan?
You can't blame me alone for LOC; there were 11 heroes in the film. As far as Tashan goes, Kareena was opposite Akshay Kumar. This is the first film where we are paired opposite each other.
I am very excited to have got a chance to work with Kareena because she is an wonderful actress and has done a great job in Kurbaan. I have seen the film twice. The first time I only saw myself but the second time, I saw her and think she's done an outstanding job.
Kurbaan is releasing very close to the first anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack.
What happened at the Taj and Trident was a horrible thing. We cannot forget the attack on the Parliament too. There have been attacks in London and New York, so global terrorism has become a part of our life. Kurbaan is about global terrorism but my film has no connection with the 26/11 attack. I don't think we will make a film to capitalise on the incident by releasing the film during its anniversary.
What were doing doing during 26/11?
Kareena and I were in Philadelphia when it happened. My reaction at the time was that Mumbai is our city, and we love it from the bottom of our hearts. It has given us what we are today. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. I pray that something like that never happens again.
Which is your favourite Kareena film?
I loved her in Jab We Met.
Who do you think looks best with Kareena on screen?
I have liked Kareena better with Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan.