'New York' begins where 'Khuda Kay Liye' ends

Jun 24, 2009 Radhika Bhirani

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) John Abraham, who plays an NRI Muslim in Kabir Khan's second directorial venture "New York", says the film begins where the critically acclaimed Pakistani movie "Khuda Kay Liye" ends.

"In its own strange way, 'New York' begins where 'Khuda Ke Liye' ended. That's the interesting part of the film," John told IANS here. Both films deal with the issue of how legal detainees were treated after the gruesome 9/11 attacks in the US.

Some sequences in the promos of "New York", which will be released Friday, are reminiscent of scenes in "Khuda Kay Liye".

"Each director has his own way of interpreting and researching the plight of legal detainees...that's why Kabir and the 'Khuda Kay Liye' director have different interpretations of it in their films," John said.

"But if the legal detainees were put up in a particular way and interrogated in a certain way in reality - then that can't change. So there are certain things that are bound to look similar in both the films. But obviously stories, people and characters are completely different in 'New York'," he added.

John was here Monday along with co-stars Neil Nitin Mukesh, Katrina Kaif and the director for the promotion of "New York", which is about post-9/11 prejudices in the US.

Set in New York, the film's narrative is spread over nine years and revolves around three young friends whose lives take an unexpected turn after the terrorist attacks.

John, who has teamed up with Khan for the second time after "Kabul Express", predicts that "New York" will pick up "every popular award in the book".

"When we were shooting in Afghanistan for 'Kabul Express' and bullets were flying off our heads, I had told Kabir that you would get a National Award for this film. And he did get one (for best debut director). After watching 'New York', which is a very commercial film, I told Kabir that he will walk away with every popular award that exists," said John.

After having spent over half a decade in the film industry, the 36-year-old supermodel-turned-actor, who was seen in a completely different avatar in Oscar nominated "Water", says he is yet to achieve what he had set out for through his work.

John's source of inspiration is late Hollywood actor Heath Ledger who got a posthumous Oscar for playing the Joker in "The Dark Knight".

"When Heath Ledger's parents came up to collect the Oscar award on his behalf after his death, they said that Heath would be really happy because there was always this silent determination to be accepted by all of you as a fraternity.

"For me, there is a silent determination to be accepted by everyone in the audience as a complete person and also a complete actor. I believe with the kind of roles and films that I have done, I have probably reached 70-80 percent of what I had to. But the rest of crucial 30 percent is very important."

Now John hopes to do something "radically different that it affects and alters people's mind positively".

After "New York", which is produced by Yash Raj Films, John will be seen in David Dhawan's comic affair "Hook Ya Crook", Nagesh Kukunoor's "Aashayein" and Abbas Tyrewala's "1-800-Love". Click the Movie button below for more info:
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