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Prem Soni isn't a risk taker when it comes to the core content of his film. But we can term him as one because his debut film Main Aur Mrs Khanna has Indian Film Industry's top rankers - Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor. That's a death defying duty for the young man. What's more, he reminds us that Main Aur Mrs Khanna is the only romantic drama coming out of Sohail Khan Productions after their last successful romantic drama eleven years ago, Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya. And with Blue and All The Best releasing on the same day, the 'Prem' team of Salman and Soni are all geared up for the clash. We met the effervescent director at a studio in Khar where he and his team of musicians were giving the background score final touches for his Diwali release. Expect some early fireworks this Diwali.
From all the diverse films coming out, we have yet again a formula film coming in form of Main Aur Mrs Khanna.
I don't know whether my film is a formula film or not but I can surely say what differentiates Main Aur Mrs Khanna from the rest. For a long time we haven't seen a simple ordinary story set in a contemporary fashion. It's not got the 'shu-sha's'. The theme is effective and it's a heart felt story with good performances. So if you're in for that and something that could just move you and relate with you, Main Aur Mrs Khanna is the food for you.
Haven't we seen enough of Salman Khan and Sohail Khan together?
I have an answer for this. You're in for a big surprise. They're not the way they've been in their earlier films at all. Both have been a part of successful comedies but this film is not a comedy. So comedy is out of question. They are coming into a niche way of doing romance together. Salman and Sohail, both play 'Main' in the film and they are looking at Mrs Khanna from their point of view. So it's not competing with each other nor fighting over a woman. It's about their interpretation about what love is all about. The film is weaved in a very interesting fashion.
Then your film must have an age group?
Yes it does. Main Aur Mrs Khanna is a very contemporary film. It is targeted towards the youth and does not deal with the forty five plus audience. The issues are today's and it is not dramatic at all. Realistically, bearing in mind the youth of today, the film is witty. The film also deals with the issues surrounding career over love which is one of the main reasons for an unstable marriage in today's time.
As a writer and a director, do you tap into the overseas sensibilities also? I mean, an Indian couple living in Australia, etc?
I have lived all my life abroad. I am from Spain. I've been brought up there. I have seen NRI's, I've seen the Spaniards, I've seen Indians out here too because I've been living in India for the past sixteen years. Overall, I've got a good bit of exposure. Secondly, I don't plan things. The story could be set in London, New York, Mumbai, etc but the theme, the sentiments, the story would be the same. I somehow got fascinated towards Melbourne because there were great beaches and the innocence of the city attracted me.
Are we in for a surprise?
Yes you are. Firstly because of the never before seen pairing of Salman and Kareena and secondly because the major part of the film is set at an airport. It was very essential for me to shoot at the real airport rather than putting up a set. Real locations do the magic. Plus, I needed an international airport beyond immigration to shoot. The Melbourne Victoria tourism did support us and gave us the Melbourne International Airport to shoot for many days. That was one of the main reasons for me to choose Melbourne as the backdrop of the film.
How did Main Aur Mrs Khanna happen?
I just went and met Salman Khan. He was very welcoming to listen to any script with a new comer who had a fresh idea. He gave me time which was really nice of him. I also had a bound copy with me which I presented to him. After reading the script he said, "I also want to produce it". That's how I met Sohail Khan and he too loved it.
Who comes out top notch in Main Aur Mrs Khanna?
I think Sohail is completely different in what he has done in the film. You haven't seen Sohail Khan like this before. This is going to be Sohail's finest performances till date. Salman and Kareena's chemistry in the film is awesome. They make a wonderful couple on screen. They too are going to surprise you. Kareena plays her role well. I can't say she is the best because she has been the best in all her films. She will definitely move you in Main Aur Mrs Khanna.
What about Salman Khan as a person?
I respect him too much. First of all, I'd like to credit him for the kind of human being he is. He is too intuitive. He has definitely got the sixth sense in him. Salman knows what honest people are all about. If you're too honest with your job, he is too honest with you. A day would be too less to talk about this magnificent person.
Are you also doing your bit for the Salman Khan's Being Human Foundation?
Kareena Kapoor plays an orphan in Main Aur Mrs Khanna. She is a part of an orphanage where Salman Khan meets her for the first time. It has a lot of similarity with the real life also as Salman Khan is and his charity is. He does a lot for other people without saying anything about it. As far as being related with Main Aur Mrs Khanna at this point of time, we really don't know. But yes, I'm sure by the time of release, we'll definitely do something for the charity in the film that would benefit people who are in need.
Will your film make or break marriages?
It wouldn't break marriages for sure (laughs).