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If ‘Baaghi 2’ doesn’t bring me back, then I’m not meant to direct a film: Ahmed Khan

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(G.N.S) Dt. 26
Mumbai
Choreographer-turned-filmmaker Ahmed Khan returns to the director’s chair after 10 years with the upcoming action-romance ‘Baaghi 2’. In his candid and nonchalant style, he speaks about the hits and misses in his career as a filmmaker. He has been a choreographer since the 90s and his vast experience of working with the best of Bollywood has given him plenty of stories to tell. With ‘Baaghi 2’, he has tried to turn a new action-filled page in his career. Working with his firm favourites Tiger Shroff and Sajid Nadiadwala, Ahmed hopes to shoot to the moon and back. Excerpts…
What made you return to direction after almost a decade with ‘Baaghi 2’?
I directed my first film, ‘Lakeer – Forbidden Lines’ (2004), when I was 28. Though the film had a huge star cast and music by AR Rahman, it didn’t do well. Then, I was offered ‘Fool & Final’ (2007), which did moderate business, but I had lost interest in direction. I involved myself in choreographing dance numbers, judging reality shows and directing music videos. At least, I was not waiting for a Friday when a judgement would be passed. A film’s box office fate did not depend on whether the song I choreographed was a hit or a flop. It was Tiger Shroff who told me that I should direct a film. His excitement propelled me towards direction once again. One day, Sajid Nadiadwala (producer) called me and asked me if I was still interested in direction; that’s when he offered me ‘Baaghi 2’. After so many years if I am directing a film, it has to be for the biggest producer. I always wanted to direct a hard-core action film. I was constantly offered dance films, but I was not keen on it as I was already choreographing songs.
Since the film is a comeback of sorts for you, there must be a lot at stake…
For me, ‘Baaghi 2’ is like a litmus test — a make or break moment. If this film doesn’t bring me back into the game then I am not meant to direct a film. Nobody gets so many chances in life. Perhaps, people think that I am a good technician. The fact that I have been a choreographer for 23 years and survived in the industry must have helped me bag another film. The fact that the younger generation is keen on collaborating with me means that I have kept up with the times and haven’t become a Murphy radio (laughs).
Have you taken a backseat as far as the film’s choreography is concerned?
When I came on set for ‘Mundiyan To Bach Ke’, it was air-conditioned and in complete contrast to the action sequences which we had shot outdoors. My assistant Rahul Shetty choreographed this song and Ganesh Acharya has done the ‘Ek Do Teen’ remix. I didn’t want to choreograph for this film, as I wanted to completely focus on direction.

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