Director Ali Abbas Zafar who stepped into Kabir Khan’s shoes to direct Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer Tiger Zinda Hai (2017), the second instalment of Ek Tha Tiger (2012), walks down the memory lane and opens up about the journey of making TZH, as the film clocks three years today.
Ali, an outsider from Dehradun who started his journey in Bollywood as an assistant director and was nurtured by YRF proved his mettle after delivering 300-crore blockbusters hits like Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai, reveals how it was a huge responsibility on him to helm the sequel and how he achieved his vision for TZH with Aditya Chopra. Zafar says, “It was a huge responsibility especially because the first part, Ek Tha Tiger, was a huge hit. Secondly, it was coming after Sultan."
"The first film was mostly romance. But now that the characters were set, I just thought that the second part should be little more real and grounded. The socio-political scenario of the world, global problems with terrorism, and that’s what became the backdrop of the film. We were inspired by a true incident where 39 Indian nurses were captured by a terror group and we kind of gave it a fictional twist and that mission was created and conducted by RAW and Tiger.”
When asked about what was Salman’s reaction to the story, he quips, “When I narrated to him the idea of the story, he kind of understood what we were trying to do with the film. Because the bone of TZH is about unity, peace, brotherhood, happiness and somewhere or the other Salman Khan as a brand stands for that.”
Ask Ali what he thinks is the biggest USP of the film that connected with the audience, and he says, “ I think the love for the film mostly came from the emotion of the film. It is patriotic but it is not jingoistic.”