Satyajit Bhatkal talks to Time Out about India’s first flying child superhero in his debut film Zokkomon
Zokkomon is Satyajit Bhatkal’s directorial debut. He has previously been part of the Lagaan film production unit, written a book called The Spirit of Lagaan and directed a documentary titled Madness in the Desert. Bhatkal spoke to Bijal Vachharajani about India’s first flying child superhero.
What made you decide to make a superhero film?
I didn’t set out to write a superhero film. The larger abstract idea about the film was: “Can you turn your weakness into your strength?” That’s the premise for Kunal’s character. In Zokkomon, Kunal discovers the hero within and begins his journey of adventure and transformation to become a superhero.
Tell us about the decision to cast Darsheel Safary?
Darsheel was a very natural choice. He’s not only one of India’s best child actors but even one of the country’s best actors. He can do drama, action and comedy. It was a joy working with him – he’s quite loveable and spontaneous. And yet, he’s only a child. The moment the shot is done, he will be back to playing his video games.
There has been a spate of superhero books and movies for children. How is Zokkomon different?
These books inhabit a different cultural space. I have enjoyed Harry Potter and [books by] Eoin Colfer [author of the Artemis Fowl series]. Zokkomon, you realise, is based in this country and is about Indian situations. It is not an imitation of Spider-Man or Batman. He is as cool as them, but he is our cool guy.