Lesbian pairing of Tanushree Dutta and Neetu Chandra. Darr meeting Girlfriend. Sex element. Cat fight amongst the leading ladies. Tiff between Tanushree and Rohit Roy. These are some of the many rumours that have been floating around for last 8-10 months ever since the shooting of Apartment kick started. Though Neetu plays the role of a schizophrenic in Apartment and Tanushree is a victim, the promotional focus (whether designed or by chance) has stayed on the aforementioned elements rather than the thriller quotient of Apartment. Naturally, Tanushree is upset. In a free wheeling conversation with Joginder Tuteja, Tanushree Dutta talks about Apartment being anything but the aforementioned angles, why she chose the role of a victim over the tormentor and her general unhappiness over the way rumours have floated around the film.
In the middle of last year, when the shooting of Apartment had started, there were speculations around the film being a story of two lesbians. In fact it was safely assumed that at least one of the two leading ladies would be having sexual orientation towards females. Is that the case here?
Please don't expect anything of that nature at all. These things have been plugged by sources who want the film to look tantalising. Just because two females are sharing an apartment here, it doesn't mean that they are lesbians. There are so many guys who share an apartment too in real life. That doesn't make them gays. Titbits around the lesbian angle have just been plugged into media. All of this is entirely fictional. This is just overactive PR machinery in motion here.
Didn't you have a conversation with the producers around this?
See, I am not here to do the blame game. Also I am not saying that the producers are spreading these rumours. Perhaps even they don't know who is doing that. May be there are forces which do not want Apartment to work. They want to malign our reputation.
So let's talk about something which is there in the film. In Apartment, are we looking at a hard hitting dramatic thriller?
Yes, absolutely. It is an absolutely hard hitting psychological thriller. There is a lot of grit element in it and it is very fast paced, edge of the seat thriller. As for my character in the film, it is not very complicated. In fact for that matter, both Neetu and I are fairly simple characters. She is playing a negative villainous role while I am playing a victim. Simple. Also, when I get victimised then there is this trauma and pain also that come in.
Talking about trauma and pain, one is reminded of your last release Rokkk where your character got possessed. Tanushree, since you were pining a lot of hope on Rokkk, weren't you overtly disappointed with it's non-performance at the box office?
On the contrary I was quite happy with the way Rokkk performed at the box office. Collections prove that it did a lot better than some other films that had come during that time. My producers were very happy and they laughed all the way to the bank. The film was made on a shoestring budget and it recovered more than what was expected. The DVD is also out now while there would be a satellite premier soon. For the kind of budget it was made in, we had many avenues from which we got quick recovery.
I guess it is all about the perception factor in that case.
That's true. The producers didn't do aggressive promotion after the film's release due to which not many know that the film actually made a lot of money in the B and C centres. Also, I was looking forward to some good appreciation coming my way and in that aspect, the film really worked for me. I don't have any complains around the promotion strategy though because I truly believe that when a film is good, it doesn't have to be promoted aggressively; especially in a negative way. It can just be done in such a clean manner; something that makes me very happy with Rokkk. There were no controversies whatsoever.
No wonder, you sound dissatisfied with the promotion of Apartment.
(Sighs) Apartment is a very good film. Now if it was bad then I wouldn't have cared about the promotion since I believed in the film right from the time it was narrated to me. I still believe in the makers. Also, I believe in the film till date because I have seen it. With the kind of budget assigned to it, it looks like it has been made on a much larger scale. Whether it is cinematography, clothes, locations, casting - everything is so appropriate. This is where Jag's expertise as a filmmaker with international experience comes in. The entire team was so carefully put together and resultantly, Apartment looks so sleek. This is why it breaks my heart to see all kind of stories floated around in the market. I don't see why this is happening.