It took them over three years to release their film, I M 24 that finally hit the screens on Friday. And director Saurabh Shukla says that one requires a star to sell a product today than “honest work”. “Filmmaking today is not just about filmmaking. It’s also about marketing,” said Shukla, who was in HT House on Wednesday with the film’s cast— Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and Manjari Phadnis.
Added Kapoor, “There is something called marketing positioning which is the difficult part of cinema. The market looks at a film as a commodity. The way a film is looked at, we have no control over it.”
The film is about a 42-year-old man (Kapoor), who chats online with an 18-year-old (Phadnis) and lies that he is 24. The movie released along with seven other Hollywood and Bollywood films. Asked if that is a hindrance in terms of business, Shukla said, “We are way beyond that now. A small filmmaker can only believe in his work and release it.” Dhupia, who plays an aspiring actor in the flick, believes that the budget and earnings of the film don’t matter.
“Cinema should be entertaining whether it is Rs 30 cr or Rs 100 cr,” she said.
Noteworthy is that the film has autobiographical elements from Shukla’s life. “Yes. It is actually based on a true incident— that’s the germ of it. I started losing my hair when I was 19 and I had a pen friend then,” Shukla said.
Kapoor revealed his concern about going bald for the titular role. “I was very excited to go bald. It’s just that I was worried, what if the hair don’t grow back,” he jokes, pulling Shukla’s leg.