His debut movie, Allah Ke Bandey, is drawing comparisons with multiple-Oscar winning drama Slumdog Millionaire as both explore juvenile crime and Mumbai's dark underbelly. Director Faruk Kabir takes it as a compliment and claims his film is much more "hardcore".
"Slumdog Millionaire is a fabulous film. Luckily for me, I had already written and cast for my film before that came in the open. If there is a comparison being drawn with it, I take no offence to it," Kabir told IANS in a telephone interview from Mumbai.
"In fact, I take it as a compliment. If people feel there is some kind of semblance there, then it's superb. I am very happy as I am going to surprise audiences by giving something different. Slumdog... was not a film about juvenile crime per se, it was more of a fantasy and Allah Ke Bandey is a lot more hardcore," said Kabir, who has acted in the film.
Produced by Ravi Walia, the Rs55 million (Dh4.5 million) film is being distributed by PVR Pictures in India. Earlier scheduled to hit screens on October 22, the movie has now been fixed for release on Friday.
Starring Sharman Joshi, Naseeruddin Shah and Kabir in the lead, it also has Atul Kulkarni, Anjana Sukhani and Rukhsar in pivotal roles. The movie revolves around the lives of two 12-year-old boys living in a slum in Maximum City. From delivering drugs for the Mafia to looting people, the two aspire to assert their position in the world of crime.
"Allah Ke Bandey is an edgy, raw, social thriller. It is a redemption film and a journey drama of two boys from childhood to boyhood into manhood. It has a strong emotional and social resonance," Kabir said.
Statistics suggest there are more than 1.7 million juvenile offenders in the country.
"There are a lot of real-life inspirations and a lot of news headlines from a lot of papers that went behind this movie... I met a lot of kids associated with juvenile crime. I shot three to four hours of footage with them. I came across the spirit they have for life, the kind of crazy lifestyle they live and how they mature much before time."