MUMBAI: Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan isn’t perturbed over Pakistan banning Agent Vinod, saying that very little revenue would be lost by the restriction imposed on his home production, which is releasing Friday.
“We have lost some revenue, just around Rs. 1 crore. They are always banning our movies. Kurbaan was also banned,” Saif told IANS adding that “We also shot in Pakistan without their permission.
“Agent Vinod is for Indians but it is not against Pakistanis,” said Saif and added with a smile: “But I understand if they get upset because we are beating them up quite often in the film.”
Directed by Sriram Raghavan, Agent Vinod has Saif in the title role and Kareena Kapoor as the female lead.
Talking about characterization of Pakistanis in Agent Vinod, he said: “We have shown the Pakistani Army involved with the Taliban and Afghanistan. We have shown them assassinating their own ISI chief. We have shown them encouraging terrorist activities in India and financing the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). If you feel this is unreasonable or not true, then it is fair enough.”
“I think it is all quite true. Maybe they didn’t like that but they do know,” he added.
Once a prolific moviemaking country, Pakistan had 1,300 cinema halls in the 1970s with an average annual production of around 300 movies. But by 2005, the country had only 270 cinema halls and made about 18 movies a year. The rest of the movie halls have been converted into gas stations, shopping malls or car showrooms.
In 2010, just eight Pakistani movies were produced.
Movie buffs in Pakistan had a hearty appetite for Bollywood movies, but they had to watch pirated copies of Hindi films as the release of Indian films had been banned in Pakistan.
In 2008, the Pakistan government lifted the ban on Indian films and that has given a much-needed boost to the cinema business.