The intelligent filmmaker’s forthcoming movie on human trafficking may not receive a warm response from film producers and distributors
Nagesh Kukunoor is anticipating limited release for his film Lakshmi, which is based on human trafficking. “It should make sense with respect to its budget because the producers and distributors only look at that. The box office cannot be the reason to make a film because if you start like that you only make crap,” Kukunoor, 46, said.
The film starring Kukunoor as a pimp is releasing this Friday. Other cast in the film includes Shefali Shah, Ram Kapoor and Satish Kaushik.
“A film like Lakshmi will get a limited release. It is not like we will release such a film with 2,000 prints. It would maximum be 300 prints. But the question now is which weekend do you catch and within that what kind of shows you get,” Kukunoor said, when asked on whether the box office response has become the sole parameter even for non-commercial films like The Lunch Box, Ship of Theseus and others.
“That is a challenge. If a film has to work it will work if it doesn’t have to it won’t, no matter what you do it will not work,” he added.
‘Lakshmi’ is a tale of a gritty 13-year-old girl who rises from the cesspit of trafficking and prostitution. The idea for this film came to Kukunoor from the NGO he supports. The NGO rescues and rehabilitates children who are pushed into flesh trade.
Playback singer Monali Thakur is playing the protagonist in the film.
Kukunoor spotted Thakur at a party and finalised her for the role. Lakshmi was screened at events like the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Melbourne Indian Film Festival among others. “I am happy with the response it got,” he added.