Mangesh Hadawale’s upcoming film Thai Massage stars Gajraj Rao as a man struggling with erectile dysfunction. It will release in cinemas on November 11. The Free Press Journal caught up with the writer-director for an exclusive chat.
Talking about how the idea of the film germinated, Mangesh shares, “I wrote this script back in 2014. When I was in the last year of college, my 51-year-old father got a paralysis attack and his entire right side of the body was nonfunctional. During my vacations, I used to see my mother nursing my father, bathing him, changing his undergarments and so on. I wondered, how they both used to deal with their respective sexual desires at that age. It was the germ of Thai Massage.”
He adds, “When I started developing the story further, I met and spoke to people, who are middle-aged and senior citizens. I found out that out of 10 people, three people were dealing with erectile dysfunction. But sadly, as per the societal norms, it is considered that only young men can have sexual desires and 60 plus men can turn towards spirituality. I feel the common link in all my films including Thai Massage is innocence.”
Opening up about casting Gajraj Rao as the central character, Mangesh reveals, “While writing, his face passed through my mind. I approached him and he really liked the script. He was concerned about two-hour long makeup since he had to look 70. We tried different looks on him and finalised one. Back then, Sunny Hinduja wasn’t that popular but we cast him since he belonged to MP and his native language is from around that area.”
He further elaborates, “Post which Anu (Anuritta K Jha) joined the cast. I met her at the Window Seat Films office. I wanted a daughter-in-law, who should look like Gajraj’s daughter, who takes care of him despite dealing with that taboo along with a beautiful face. Thai Massage is a film that runs on a thin line throughout, it will take nearly a minute to go below the belt and so we as a team were very cautious. The casting had to be very real for a film like this.”
On a parting note, Mangesh explains that through his film, he wanted to break the stereotypes. “If we hear that a person is flying to Bangkok, we start judging. It has become difficult for families to even travel there since there is a preconceived notion about the place. In my film, a visiting card that reads ‘Thai Massage’ plays an important part so it was apt for the title. There were no apprehensions rather the film will change perceptions,” he signs off.
The film also stars Divyenndu, Rajpal Yadav, Vibha Chibber and Russian actress Alina Zasobina.