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Kabir Khan, Ali Abbas Zafar and their similar career trajectory with Salman, Katrina, Ranveer, YRF and OTT

Pinkvilla logo Pinkvilla 19-01-2021 Himesh Mankad

A documentary maker, Kabir Khan, made his debut as a director at Yash Raj Films with Kabul Express whereas, Ali Abbas Zafar in the early days of his career was an assistant director at Yash Raj Films and worked with Kabir Khan on his two directorial, New York and Ek Tha Tiger. Interestingly and unknowingly, a glance at their filmography and one would discovery that the two have followed a very similar career trajectory. Here’s a breakdown of all their common points.

The Salman Khan Factor:

The fact that they collaborated with Salman is not the only comparison point for the two, but interesting, both Kabir and Ali have directed the superstar in three films. And wait, that’s not all, the three films include one larger than human drama (Bajrangi Bhaijaan/Sultan), one film of Tiger Franchise (Ek Tha Tiger/Tiger Zinda Hai) and one social drama, coincidentally, a remake of an international film (Tubelight/Bharat). Both the filmmakers have admitted to have gained a better understanding of commercial cinema after working with a superstar like Salman.

The Katrina Kaif Factor:

One person who has been a constant at YRF over the last 15 years among the female stars is Katrina Kaif. Back in the day, she became friends with Kabir Khan in the YRF lobby, and eventually, friends with Ali Abbas Zafar while he was assisting Kabir on New York. Interestingly, it’s Katrina who first introduced both Kabir and Ali with Salman Khan, and they eventually went ahead to make a formidable combo. Both Kabir and Ali got their first commercial hit with a film fronted by Katrina Kaif in New York and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan respectively.  

Kabir Khan standing posing for the camera © Provided by Pinkvilla

The OTT Factor:

With OTT market growing in India, the two filmmakers tried their hand at making a web series for Amazon Prime, getting a free hand to satisfy their creative bud. While Kabir Khan made The Forgotten Army, Ali Abbas Zafar directed Tandav. However, interestingly, neither of the two series could match up to the positive response of their feature films. Both the films in turn hit the headlines for their underlying political commentary.

The Ranveer Singh Factor:

Last but not the least, both the directors have worked with a similar set of actors, and this point reinstates the same. While Ali has worked with Ranveer Singh in Gunday in the early days of his career, Kabir is gearing up for the Kapil Dev biopic, ’83, with Ranveer in the lead role of former Indian captain.

Well, it has been an interesting journey for both Kabir and Ali, who have made it big in Bollywood by themselves, without having any connect in the industry. The two have also proved their worth as commercial filmmakers and today, are two of the biggest directors of B-Town, despite some set backs here and there. Here’s hoping, they continue to make cinema for the big screen with the big names, and entertain us with commercial yet meaningful cinema that appeals to the sensibilities of audience across the country.

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