In ‘Vicky Donor’, we have tried to tackle social taboos: Shoojit Sircar
Delhi: As the 12th OSIAN’s Cinefan Film Festival gradually sashays towards its end, in style, just the way it sparked off about a week back, everything about it seems to be getting even better. In that context, even though actor/producer John Abraham and newbie Yami Gautam weren’t able to make it for the ‘Vicky Donor’ NewStream Panel Discussion on August 3, 2012, director Shoojit Sircar and writer Juhi Chaturvedi presented a pleasant sight. The duo spoke on various aspects of their exceedingly acclaimed film, and made sure that they left the listeners grappling with a lot of pertinent issues.
Moderated by a witty Dibakar Banerjee, the session began with the Bengali vs. Punjabi (read: Bongs vs. Punju) debate that is so ubiquitous and so beautifully portrayed in the film. As the discussion meandered into social issues and the serious snippets of the film, director Shoojit Sircar shared with the audience the way it all came into being. Originally titled ‘Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan’ and then the name being changed to ‘Father’s Day’, the script was finally baptised ‘Vicky Donor’.
“We wanted to make a film on a sperm donor. The more serious issues like infertility, adoption and all followed,” says Shoojit. On being asked what was it that ‘Vicky Donor’ passed off as sperms on the screen, the makers answer with a laugh, “Fevicol!”
While making the film, nobody thought that it would turn out to be a commercial success, adds the director. Freshness of the idea and the script added to the charm of the film, and the fact that they decided to cast fresh faces was both risky business as well as a benefit. The director did not compromise on his schedule. And on being asked to wait for a few months by a few ‘stars’ who were the shown the script of the film, Sircar finally zeroed in on Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam – thanks to his casting director, Joginder.
‘Vicky Donor’, says the director, has tried to tackle various social taboos. The question of casting a divorcee as the lead character, admits the director, isn’t exactly the norm in the Hindi film industry. “While there was the element of risk in the decision, the story made sure that none of that gained more importance than that,” sighs Shoojit.
According to Sircar, John Abraham, the producer of ‘Vicky Donor’, was a boon to the film. The director says that he was lucky to have found a producer like John who did not abandon the film in its infancy. The fact that the film was shot at a meagre budget of 4.5 crores and it has managed to earn many times that amount is a constant provider of happiness for the team of ‘Vicky Donor’. However, the possibility of a sequel has still not been thought about, says Sircar.
Using humour to tackle issues as serious as infertility and adoption worked magnificently for ‘Vicky Donor’. All that Sircar wanted, says he, was that the film doesn’t appear repulsive at any point. However, from the way the film has been received in the country and abroad, the director doesn’t really need to worry even a bit about that. ‘Vicky Donor’ has redefined and restructured many stiff rules of the industry – and the cult classic is here to stay, undoubtedly!