Mahesh Bhatt Curated

Indian Filmmaker


  • What piece of advice would you like to give to all the young aspiring filmmakers?

  • Whom do you consider your role model or an inspiration?

  • What was the motivation behind the success of your unique flims like 'Arth' and 'Saransh'?

  • When did you plan to turn a producer after being a successful director?

  • What is your take on failure and ruthless chase of success?

  • Why did you chose Film making as a career choice?

  • As we say, 'Life is about the journey'. What do you think about it?

  • What would you say, is that thing or experience that you think molded your career?

  • After working for 5 decades in the Film Industry, today, where do you find yourself?

  • How did your journey as a filmmaker started, initially?

  • Today, Mahesh Bhatt is not known only as a filmmaker.

    Yes, I have broadened my horizons in the last decade, been a journalist, forayed into making appreciated documentaries like “The Last Salute,” tackling issues from Naxalism to droughts in Rajasthan. I have written a book on U.G. Krishnamurthi, and am writing another one on him. Stepping out of the studios has given me a greater touch with the real world.

  • Tell us something about your knack for mentoring talent.

    After 40 years in the business, what you have in terms of fame and money is not important, but how much I have contributed to cinema and how many lives I have touched is. We have created stars like John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Mallika Sherawat, Kangana Ranaut and my nephew Emraan Hashmi; directors like Mohit Suri, Anurag Basu and Kunal Deshmukh; and so many technicians and musicians. Thanks to the Internet, I have been able to harness musical talents from Pakistan … There must be some genius within me to spot potential, but we only flaunt our successes. Sanity needs to have failure too, and there have been so many newcomers who did not make the grade.

  • Would you agree that your cathartic phase, however, helped establish you in the ‘80s?

    I was kind of getting a grip on cinema at last. “Arth” was born out of my relationship with Parveen Babi. Around that time I came to know my spiritual guru, U.G. Krishnamurthi, whose son, a young copywriter, had died of cancer in front of his eyes, and also a Maharashtrian couple whose only son who had been murdered in New York. It was the finality of death and how human beings cope with loss that interested me. The result was “Saaransh.” The Bhatt brand soared to the skies, but I never deluded myself that I was not a product of mainstream cinema, because I was — my father had made small-budget commercial films.

  • How did your controversial debut film happen?

    In 1972, (friend) Johny Bakshi offered me a bold subject about two criminals on the run, and their encounter with a prostitute. Kabir Bedi, Gulshan Arora and Prema Narayan played the trio. But in those days … my “strange” film that jolted the propagated and postured values of those times was banned. It was said to have subverted the institution of marriage. From this, at that early point in my career itself, I learnt that life is a lonely journey where even industry associates support the powers-that-be, and that while we may be told we are free, we were actually not so. And I failed to understand this odd preoccupation with sex. How can something morally wrong suddenly become right after marriage?