The director of Bombay to Bangkok, a romantic comedy about an Indian cook falling in love with a Thai masseuse, said its fate at the Bollywood box-office was probably sealed by critics expecting a typical Nagesh Kukunoor film.
Kukunoor, the director of critically acclaimed films like Iqbal and Dor, said his latest venture came as a disappointment for those used to the more serious tone of his earlier films.
While Iqbal(2005) was about a deaf and mute villager who aspires to join the Indian cricket team, Dor (2006) was hailed for its sensitive portrayal of two women bound together by fate. Both films were highly recommended by critics.
"I think after Iqbal and Dor, the bar had gone up tremendously and maybe they (critics) expected me to do the same kind of film," Kukunoor said. "I guess they did not expect Nagesh Kukunoor to do a fun film."
"If I was not tagged as a serious film director maybe this film would have got a better rating."
Critics gave Bombay to Bangkok the thumbs down for a predictable storyline and the film drew a blank at the box-office when it opened on January 18.
"The story is completely cuckoo... (actor Shreyas) Talpade tries hard, but there isn't much he can do with the brain dead script and the Thai-Hindi claptrap," wrote popular film critic Nikhat Kazmi..
But Kukunoor said he would continue to exercise his creative freedom to explore various genres of filmmaking.
"I will only do what I feel like doing… I'll keep on experimenting," he said. "I make films that satisfy me and my audience."
Kukunoor is currently filming Aashayein, a movie about gambling, and a supernatural thriller Tasveer.