The Paoli Dam starrer is creating a lot of buzz for its steamy scenes and Agnihotri feels that the movie should not be mistaken for a typical masala film.
Poster of the 'Hate Story'
"Erotica are very fine art. In this country, nobody treats it as a genre. We make it as a masala film by incorporating semi nude models dancing behind the actor. In this way it becomes titillation.
"I took it as a challenge when Vikram Bhatt (producer) asked me to direct it. Though it's a very difficult genre primarily, I tried to introduce this in the mainstream with due dignity and originality. We decided to call it as an erotic thriller only because we don't want to mislead our audience," Agnihotri said.
The filmmaker, who started his career four years ago with multi-starrer thriller 'Chocolate' and has made only three movies so far, said he is not in the rat race to make films every year.
"I am not that kind of a director who makes two films per year. I was busy in making a film called 'Buddha in a Traffic Jam' and it consumed two and half years. The film stars Arunoday Singh and Mahie Gill in the lead roles. As soon as I finished it, Vikram called me for 'Hate Story'," he said.
Releasing on April 20, the film revolves around the life of a female reporter Kaavya (Paoli) and her transformation from a simple middle class journalist to a sex worker.
With the use of internet and exposure to Western culture, Indian audience have become mature enough to handle such content but the filmmaker thinks certain sections of the society still shy away from it.
"Erotica is in our DNA. It is present everywhere, be it in our mythology, literature or sculpture. But, I still feel the urban middle class is not ready for this," he said.
To make the script tight, Agnihotri went through Indian and foreign literature. While reading them, he found there is a common thread in all of the literary works -- the storytellers are female.
"We narrated the story in the language of today's generation. I read a lot of erotic literature. I didn't watch any such movies though. I also read about how various directors have approached the subject in their films.
"There is a very thin line between aesthetic and soft porn. It's all about how you narrate the story. 'Hate Story' is about power of women and I feel her bare back poster with a gun justifies it," Agnihotri said.