Actor Abhimanyu Dassani's "Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota" is winning acclaim across festivals and the debutant says the feeling is "surreal" as no one had earlier believed in the action comedy.
The Vasan Bala-directed wacky action-comedy bagged People's Choice Award in the Midnight Madness section at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year and received standing ovation at its India premiere at MAMI. "Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota" will now have its premiere at Macau International Film Festival, today. "The journey of the film is fantastic. To look back and think, this was the film which shifted producers, a film which wasn't supposed to be made four days before the shoot and now looking at people giving us standing ovation it's surreal, humbling and encouraging," Abhimanyu told PTI.
The actor says when the film had hit a major roadblock right before going on floors, it was Vasan who held the team together and didn't let anyone know "how serious the situation was." "Vasan sir made everything so easy on set. He is so warm and welcoming. He didn't let it come to us. He used to say 'don't worry the film is happening.' He protected us during that time." The film chronicles the story of a young man born without pain receptors who longs to defeat 100 opponents in a kumite tournament.
The actor says since the film was so fresh and original, there were very few people who believed in it. "The whole team kept on believing, when no one on the outside did. Now because of all the hard work and belief we have come to this stage and now everyone is believing in it... Everyone around me questioned me till the trailer released. Then everyone said this is a good choice," he says. There were other, more conventional offers which came his way but Abhimanyu says during an almost month long audition process, Vasan and him struck such a close bond that he had to work with the director.
"I had other offers, what people call 'bigger films' with big studios. I gave auditions for about four weeks for this film. I used to spend six hours with Vasan sir and I created such a strong bond. I knew I wanted to work with him," he says. Son of the 90s star Bhagyashree, Abhimanyu says his upbringing was absolutely normal and was never made to feel that her mother was a star, unless they went out and people gathered around her.
Abhimanyu says it will be a great deal for him if he could achieve even half of what his mother has done in her career. "I have no burden of expectations. I'm so proud of what she has achieved. When we go out for vacations, people still remember and call her 'Suman'. That's magic. I wish I can achieve half of that in my life." The actor says he is aware the industry is a tricky place to be in and adds that he has inherited the qualities of being professional and respecting other's time from his mother.
"Being in the industry is not easy. You don't have your next job. You don't know if you are going to get paid next year. Everybody is out there to prove themselves and you have to focus on yourself. Minding your business is probably the toughest business, in this business." Also starring Radhik Madan, "Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota" is looking for a theatrical release early next year.