Nagesh Kukunoor: Indian heroes transcend all limits of popularity

Filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor feels the myth surrounding heroes in the country is extraordinary as fans wait for hours to have a 'darshan' of their favourite star.

Nagesh Kukunoor
Nagesh Kukunoor

The director feels the more you go in the interiors of India, the more this myth increases, which he is trying to explore in his latest film 'Dhanak'.

"The myth of Indian heroes is extraordinary. In the West you do have people admiring and stalking celebrities, but Indian heroes transcend all of that. People wait hours and hours outside Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh's house just to get 'darshan'," Nagesh told PTI.

"The farther you go out of city, the mythology balloons out of proportion. I am trying to explore that with my film," he said.

"Dhanak" chronicles the story of Pari, who has promised her little blind brother Chotu that she will help get his eyesight back before he turns nine-year-old.

When she spots her favourite star Shah Rukh Khan on the poster of an eye-donation drive, she is convinced her hero will help her in her mission.

According to the 'Iqbal' helmer, choosing Shah Rukh as the star, whom the two siblings will chase, came naturally because he is the first "Khan to have emerged in a huge way."

"For an 8-10-year-old kid, Shah Rukh is the best to connect with. Shah Rukh has a legacy, he is the first Khan who emerged in such a huge way. He is also the guy, at least of this generation, who stood first on the podium when it comes to stardom," he said.

"Because he also has a larger-than-life romantic hero image, for her Shah Rukh is the hero who will truly help her brother," Nagesh said.

The 'Fan' actor had recently tweeted about the film and Nagesh feels it was extremely sweet as it will give the film a bigger reach.

"When an actor like him talks about the film, it opens up for a wider audience. Through our film, we are not trying to cash-in on Shah Rukh. In fact, the idea of the film is very organic. There is no marketing gimmick," he said.

Nagesh, who last directed "Lakshmi" in 2014, says the idea of 'Dhanak' was originally brought to him for an advertisement which never happened.

"The basic idea of two siblings, one of whom is blind, living in a small village was pitched to me by a friend for an ad film which never happened. One day I saw this image of a young girl holding the hands of her brother across the desert line. That image was so powerful, I called my friend and asked if I could make a feature film," he said.

The 'Dor' director auditioned almost 500 children for the role before finalising Hetal Gadda and Krrish Chhabria for the lead.

'Dhanak' is scheduled to release on June 17.

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