'Vicky Donor' was Shoojit's first release six years after 'Yahaan' came and the filmmaker says before its release he was quite sure only college goers would turn up for a film on sperm donation.
"I never imagined that families would turn up to watch Vicky Donor. When a person hasn't had a release for six years, he cannot imagine such a success. I was very pessimistic about it. It's a quirky film, not a mainstream one. But now youngsters are asking their parents to go and watch the film," Shoojit told in an interview.
Made on a budget of about five crores, the April 20 release starring veteran actor Annu Kapoor and newcomers Ayushmann Khurana and Yami Gautam, has reportedly earned 22 crores at the box office so far. And the director puts the success down to the unusual subject and the honesty of the story.
"Unusual subjects attract, but cannot sustain the film. To my knowledge, what worked was the story and the honesty of the characters. Nowhere did we try to make it dramatic. The cultural clash and the progressive characters worked."
The film, set in Delhi, shows an unemployed young Punjabi who turns into a sperm donor and falls in love with a Bengali divorcee.
"The responses have been phenomenal from all over India as well as abroad. The issue which was a taboo and discussed behind closed doors so far, has now come out in the open. People will now talk about sperm donors and infertility normally," said Shoojit.
The film is actor John Abraham's maiden production venture and Shoojit says his stardom gave the film the right push.
"The good thing about John is he is huge and his heart is also very huge. He is an honest man. We were absolutely transparent with each other. When I asked him, John, are you sure you want to produce this film? He said, I have read the script, this will be my first film. He has promoted this film as his own and given a launchpad to everybody. It's like a boon for me. He is a smart guy that way, he himself is an MBA so he knows marketing and promotions," said Shoojit.
Shoojit is hoping that the success of 'Vicky Donor' will help his other film 'Shoe Bite', starring Amitabh Bachchan, see the light of day. "UTV Motion Pictures has produced 'Shoe Bite' and I think they should release it out of sheer respect for Mr Bachchan. He has given three years of his life to the film. He loved the script. It is quite a passionate drama and a complete love story of a 60-year-old couple."
Shoojit likes to dabble in various genres. His next film 'Jaffna', also with John and based on the LTTE control and the civil war in the Sri Lankan city, will be a political thriller and a very dark film. "Jaffna is completely different from 'Vicky Donor' or 'Shoe Bite'. It's a serious film. I'm producing the film with John and he is also acting in it. I am testing all genres and let's see where I settle down. The only kind of film I cannot make is a typical naach-gaana."
Photos: Kareena Kapoor Khan and Aamir Khan at Mumbai airport
Photos: SRK, wife Gauri, Aishwarya Rai, Shweta Bachchan at Vogue Awards
Photos: Harbhajan Singh-Geeta Basra's TV outing with daughter Hinaya
Photos: Malaika Arora flaunts ripped jeans like a boss!
Photos: Vaani Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Dia Mirza sizzle on the ramp