Anupam Kher will be jetting off to Los Angeles on April 16 with Zokkomon that will be the closing film of the International Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA). He will also walk the red carpet and be present at the after-party the following day. “It’s an achievement for an Indian actor to be in the Hollywood’s film capital with a Walt Disney production,” says an elated Anupam.
The directorial debut of Satyajit Bhatkal, who in 2003 had helmed the Lagaan documentary, Chale Chalo: The Lunacy Of Film Making, Zokkomon has Darsheel Safary as Kunal, an orphan left to fend for himself who discovers within himself the superhero Zokkom. Manjari Phadnis is Kitu and Anupam Kher plays the dual roles of Deshraj, Kunal’s heartless maternal uncle who abandons him, and Magic, the village scientist who creates Zokkomon.
“I was initially approached to play the bad uncle and took everyone by surprise by suggesting that I play Magic too. The immediate reaction was, ‘That’s impossible because they are two diametrically different characters with no common link,” reminisces the actor, who with the help of two French make-up artists, five hours of prosthesis daily and the power of his histrionics ensured that Deshraj and Magic were quite unlike each other in look, personality and mannerisms. ‘It’s one of the most unique challenges I’ve undertaken in my career,” Anupam admits.
Describing Darsheel as a most delightful co-star, Anupam insists that he’s the first ‘real’ superhero India has given to the world. “You will see Kunal talk and behave like any ordinary boy his age without lapsing into childish lisp. And then, you’ll see him fly as Zokkom.”
The film opens on April 22 and Anupam is confident that it will appeal to both kids and adults and go on to become a successful franchise with Disney’s backing. “This is the birth of Zokkom, don’t be surprised to hear of a Return Of Zokkomon soon.” The special effects packed fantasy adventure has music by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy, lyrics by Javed Akhtar and dances choreographed by Shiamak Davar and Raju Sundaram.