It was last weekend when I watched Damien Chazelle’s First Man and reviewed it extensively. Throughout the film, that one thought constantly kept poking my thoughts – how well is Bollywood going to make Salute which apparently stars Shah Rukh Khan. The subject of covering first man on the moon is historic and full marks to Hollywood for achieving that feat.
First Man starts with exploring the personal life of Neil Armstrong – the first man on the Moon. Rakesh Sharma has had a personal journey himself for being the first man from India to be in the space. The movie is titled as Salute which was at first being called as Saare Jahan Se Acha (When Aamir Khan was supposed to be in the film). Never understood why they changed the name as the later one is more impactful.
Salute is directed by a debutant director Mahesh Mathai, though he has had ample of expertise of being in the ad-world but making him lead a film with such monumental topic is a huge gamble. Hollywood since The Right Stuff has explored Space many-a-times but Bollywood has never been able to pull off a proper one. The first and major thing that could work for Salute is its basic plot – First man from India in the space! This needs a strong script to back such historic achievement.
Salute will have to target First Man rather than going for Gravity or an Interstellar. I know Red Chillies has the capacity of designing some literal ‘out-of-the-world’ VFX but this could tenfold the budget & hence a strong chance of going overboard. What Universal Pictures did with First Man should be a learning lesson for the makers of Salute.
First Man provided us with the most intimate in-flight experience rather than exploring what’s outside the spacecraft. Taking the cue, the makers of Salute (Please call it, Saare Jahan Se Acha) should majorly concentrate on cinematography and background score. These two departments made First Man what it is & we as an industry are way behind in prioritising all this over acting, direction & promotions.
First Man‘s moon landing scene will go down in the books as one of the best directed scenes ever & that’s where Salute should focus the most. Just imagine a spacecraft with Indian flag printed on it having Shah Rukh Khan as Rakesh Sharma inside it in the space amidst the Vande Mataram tune composed by A. R. Rahman, won’t this be adrenaline rush at its best?
So, Salute starring Shah Rukh Khan should be made and soon! But the makers should know from the start which route they want to take if they want to fly us to the space and back.