'Quick Gun Murugun' a rage at film fests abroad

Laugh riot “Quick Gun Murugun – Misadventures of an Indian Cowboy” about a vegetarian superhero might not have got an overwhelming response at the the Indian box office, but director Shashanka Ghosh is not complaining as the film has created a buzz in the international festival circuit.

The film has been showcased at film festivals in Athens, Durban, London, Florence, Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

“We’ve had to schedule an extra screening for ‘Quick Gun…’ at all the festivals because it has always been a sell-out. There was a lot of pressure by viewers for the movie,” Ghosh, who plans a sequel for the film tentatively titled “The Good, The Bad and The Idli”, told IANS.

The film revolves around Quick Gun’s fight with arch villain Rice Plate Reddy who wants to convert the whole world non-vegetarian. It stars well-known Telugu actor Rajendra Prasad in the lead role along with Rambha.

Apparently, the “international version” of the film is “totally different” from the original.

“It’s a longer version than the Indian one because a lot more explanation has been given for the international audience as they would need more time to absorb,” he said.

“It’s a masala film with themes, characters and formats that Indian audiences understand naturally but we need to give the rest of the cultures a little more breathing time to understand our humour,” added Ghosh, whose last film was “Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II” in 2003.

Produced and distributed by Phat Phish Motion Pictures and Fox Star Studios, “Quick Gun Murugun” is a “concept comedy” based on Channel V India’s 1990s south Indian superhero, which was produced and directed by Ghosh himself.

It took the director almost 15 years to bring “Quick Gun…” to the big screen.

“Everyone said that it won’t work in India as the audience won’t understand it. I thought if the audience can understand it back then in the 1990s then why not now? Then they said making a 30-second run for TV was different from making a two-hour movie.

“Moreover, I wanted to do it in the original (Tamil-English), which was also getting a bit difficult until Phat Phish ventured in. So it took long,” he explained.

The film also underwent long hours of dubbing sessions to lip sync dialogues in different languages while retaining the same flavour.

Released Aug 28 here with 187 prints in three languages – English, Hindi and Tamil – the film has managed a decent opening weekend of around Rs.3 crore (Rs.30 million) in India, according to Fox. Though it opened on a quiet note due to Ramzan and Ganesha Chaturthi, the movie picked up and got the best reviews among five other releases of the week.

The Telugu version of “Quick Gun…” will releases in Andhra Pradesh Sep 17.

Shortlisted for the 100 greatest commercials of the century by British D&ADs, the main character has also been portrayed in a spin-off by superstar Shah Rukh Khan in “Om Shanti Om” (2007) and cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a Pepsi ad.

Ghosh’s future projects include a film on singer Mika’s life and his short film for the anthology, “Mumbai Cutting”, also awaits release.

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