Emraan hasn't kissed this time: Mahesh Bhatt
Mahesh Bhatt is ready with Awarapan. In an exclusive chat with TWF correspondent Vickey Lalwani, he talks about the film, its making and his expectations...
How would you describe your upcoming film Awarapan?
In many ways, Awarapan represents my inner core. I have always had this wanderer in me which has kept on raising his head. This wanderer is an angst-ridden outcaste who is not confined to the safe heavens of society and lives life on the edge. There is a burden of a trauma which he has not been able to resolve.
Well, I won't give everything away. In a nutshell- Mrinalini Sharma plays a girl who is a victim of human trafficking and married to a gangster (Ashutosh Rana). How Emraan fights for her freedom and locks horns with Rana, who is his guardian, forms the balance of the story.
You wanted Woh Lamhe to be named as Awarapan?
We did think of the title Awarapan for Woh Lamhe, but then I realised that it wasn't gelling well with the story. Woh Lamhe was not the story of a woman but the story of a man remembering the moments he had spent with a woman who had been an important part of his life.
Or, did you change the title because that was the story of your ex-love Parveen Babi and you thought that the title Awarapan would be cruel?
Why Emraan Hashmi again in your film?
Emraan was dying to be reinvented. He had peaked with Murder and Gangster. But despite his excellent work, his work was still not noticed because he was still doing the same thing- trying to woo some girl who was hooked with another man. The baazar was milking his persona of serial killer dry.
The moment a thing becomes accepted, be sure it is dead. We went in for his reinvention, with a firm resolve to demolish his skirt chasing and sex hungry image. I believe in- No guts, no glory (pauses).
Mohit Suri (director) asked him to grow his hair and beard, and gave him a completely new look. He responded and worked with tremendous feverishness. Mark my words, he will astound people. The caterpillar has turned into a butterfly.
So, Emraan hasn't kissed in Awarapan?
What about Shreya Saran?
The Indian film industry doesn't have an Indian girl left. They are all made up mannequins from Cosmopolitan and Vogue. Shreya Saran has Indianness in her body.
And Mrinalini Sharma?
Beauty is not beauty until touched by the pain of life. Mrinalini will bring that. She herself comes from a traumatic past. I think she has had a failed marriage in her real life.
Did she confide in you about her broken marriage?
No. But it was talked and heard about in the unit. When she cries for freedom in the film, you can feel it that it comes from her within.
How did you decide to bring Ashutosh Rana from wilderness?
When you are at the rock bottom, you give your best. You have scars on your body and you want to regain your lost glory at any cost and have the humility to begin again.
When you are at the top, you are power drunk, inaccessible, complacent, difficult and a bully. Success is a lousy teacher. It can make the most intelligent people think that they can never fail.
Look at the duds that Yash Raj films have delivered, recently. It comes from the arrogance that they know it all. Sadly, the market gives the successful man a long rope to hang himself. I think that I have answered your question.
What about you? Did you get carried away when you tasted success?
Sure. It happened with me after I repeatedly dished out successful films like Saaransh, Janam, Aashiqui, Sadak, Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke. Then came the Mahesh Bhatt of Tadipaar, Gentleman, Chahat and Duplicate. And then I reinvented myself. I gave up direction and today I am glad that I did that change.
You are releasing Awarapan with Himesh Reshammiya's overhyped film and Anil Sharma's Apne?
The music of Awarapan took off slowly, because it clashed with huge marketing of Aap Kaa Surror and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. But the figures today clearly reveal that hype and muscle has taken a beating. Awarapan has hit the front and is leading.
Irrespective of how my Awarapan opens, once a consumer tastes my product, he will tell every other person to go and see it. I still remember Mukesh was very nervous because our editing took time. But when he saw it, he stood up, clapped and hugged Mohit Suri. Awarapan will move the people.
Which was the last film that gave you a physiological reaction like Awarapan?
Naam, Raaz, Murder, Gangster. Naam, in particular.
Name one outside your banner?
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.
How do you rate Awarapan compared to your past films?
Trust me. This is the best film of Vishesh Films till date.
Awarapan releases in Pakistan too?
Yes. On June 29 itself. The doors have been opened. Pakistanis will love the film. An Indian boy Emraan fights for a Pakistani girl Mrinalini, even though he is not involved with her- neither emotionally nor sexually.
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