'Every filmmaker lives for this moment'
When Shoojit Sircar set out to make Vicky Donor, he never imagined that the film would be appreciated by such a wide audience.
The response to the film is wonderful and the director -- whose previous film Yahaan received a lot of critical acclaim but didn't do as well at the box office -- is understandably overwhelmed.
"Since the idea of sperm donation is quite new, we figured the target audience would be youngsters," Sircar says. "But it's wonderful to see middle-aged people, grandparents, uncles and aunties enjoying the film just as much."
Sperm-talk is not exactly a part of mainstream dialogue in India and that was the director and his writer, Juhi Chaturvedi's main concern. Sircar comes across as particularly pleased with the fact that cine-goers don't find anything vulgar about the premise.
Image: Shoojit Sircar with Yami Gautam on the sets of Vicky Donor
'I found it very interesting that a girl had thought of the idea'
The story behind the film's inception is just as amusing as the film itself.
Sircar recounts the incident: "When Juhi approached me with the idea of a sperm donor as a protagonist, I didn't respond immediately. I kept smiling to myself the whole night, just thinking about it. I found it very interesting that a girl had thought of the idea and I finally decided that there had to be something great about it. So we sat down together and wrote a script."
Image: Shoojit Sircar explains a scene to Ayushmann Khurrana and Annu Kapoor as Yami Gautam (not part of that scene) peers in the background
'The drinking sequence inspired from my life'
Besides the novel story, Sircar insists that his casting director Jogi Malang did a phenomenal job of roping in the right actors in the film -- right from Ayushhman Khurrana, the film's lead to Delhi-based theatre actor Krishna Singh, who plays Vicky's limping friend and is constantly badgering him for an 'intro' with a girl he fancies.
In one of the most popular scenes in the film, Vicky's mother (played by theatre person Dolly Ahluwalia) and her ultra modern, outspoken mother-in-law (played by Kamlesh Gill) are seen bonding over pegs of whiskey after a day of constant bickering.
Sircar describes it as a cult scene.
He also reveals that the sequence was inspired from his own life, his late mother.
"In the later stage of my mother's life, she would have trouble sleeping at night. I was drinking one day and offered a glass to her. She accepted, and slept really well that night. After I moved to Mumbai, she would often call me to ask when I would visit again," he says, adding that his mother wasn't a regular drinker.
The drinking sequence has been likened to the growing cult status Kahaani's Bob Biswas has achieved. When asked if he thinks he should have highlighted it before the film released, he says, "That would confuse the audience. We didn't want to deviate from the central theme of the film."
Image: Shoojit Sircar with Yami Gautam and N K Sharma (far right), from Delhi-based theatre group Act One which Sircar has been a part of
'Only Ronnie Screwvala can tell what's happening with Shoebite'
It's been seven years since Sircar's first feature film Yahaan released. His second film Shoebite (later renamed Johnny Mastana), starring Amitabh Bachchan, is still waiting to see the light of the day.
"Only Ronnie Screwvala can tell what's happening with it," he says. "UTV is still in talks with Fox Searchlights, and they are trying to figure it out. But they have promised that the film will release soon."
Despite the hard times he's seen trying to find a foothold in the industry, the filmmaker is optimistic. Though he admits it is difficult for new filmmakers to break in, he claims it is not entirely impossible.
Image: Shoojit Sircar and Yami Gautam on the sets of Vicky Donor
'If you have a strong script, let it do all the talking for you'
"People are looking for good content. If you have it, you'll definitely stand a chance. If you have a strong script, let it do all the talking for you," he says.
He admits to being depressed and disappointed when things weren't working out with Shoebite but now, he feels vindicated to a certain extent that he is being appreciated for Vicky Donor.
"Every filmmaker lives for this moment," he concludes happily.
Image: Shoojit Sircar discusses a scene with Ayushmann Khurrana, Juhi Chaturvedi and Annu Kapoor