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|January 25, 2002||
Vikram's primal fear
His tall frame, dark unconventional looks, salt and pepper hair might make him an 'interesting' looking actor, but Vikram Bhatt prefers to call the shots behind the camera.
His fingers are crossed for the to-be-released
Meanwhile, Bhatt is also juggling other genres. There's the romantic
His fingers are crossed for the to-be-releasedRaaz, which, promos indicate, is about the supernatural.
Meanwhile, Bhatt is also juggling other genres. There's the romanticAap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage, and action flick Aawara Paagal Deewana.
Kshama Rao chats up the director.
Are you anxious about the release?
Yes, I am. When you know that you have made a film that might do well, you anxious about it. On the other hand, when you are certain that the film won't do well, you are not anxious at all.
The music of the film is doing great business. But the story is the film's biggest USP.
The film is apparently inspired from spooky experiences you had while shooting one of your earlier films...
Yes. I wanted to shoot from atop a building, which was quite far from the main location. The incident happened at three in the morning. The building was unlit and there were just three of us with our camera, when we heard screams.
We were shocked. The watchman of that building later told us that even when there was no shooting, he could hear screams. I have used those screams in the film.
Did you cast Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea to capatalise on their off-screen romance?
*Smiles* Believe me, off-screen romances don't matter to a film. Initially, Lisa Ray was cast opposite Dino Morea. But she backed out due to some family problems.
We were looking out for another girl when somebody else -- not Dino -- suggested Bipasha's name. When I met her, I liked her. So the two are in my film.
Apart from Ghulam, your earlier films Fareb, Kasoor and now Raaz, have relatively new faces.
Yes, that's true. But I am also working with Hrithik Roshan and Amisha Patel in Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage and Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty in Aawara Pagal Deewana.
When you work with stars, you cannot experiment with the subject. There is a lot of money involved, so one has to please all sections of the audience. With newcomers, even if the film is catering to a niche audience, it recovers whatever money has gone into its making.
Aap Mujhe... is a romance, Aawara... is action and Raaz is a supernatural thriller. Are you in the process of finding your calling?
Yes, I am trying my hand at different kinds of cinema. But I think I have found my call in the darker, thriller kind of films.
Does the fascination for thrillers go back to your childhood fancies?
*Smiles* Childhood madness, you mean? No, I am a well-adjusted person. A thriller gives a lot of scope to unpredictable screenplays.
I think 'fear' is the purest emotion. All the other emotions rise out of it. For example, the fear of extinction gives rise to love, lust and thereby reproduction. Fear of losing your loved one leads to jealousy. Fear of poverty leads you to become rich. And so on.
When you vendor pure emotions, they make for good cinema.
So what are your fears?
I am a bundle of fears. I fear dark, closed spaces, elevators, film parties and my film releases.
What kind of films do producers offer you?
All kinds. But I want to make films, which I like. I can't do a film that is pushed down on me because then, you sink with the film.
The competition is fierce out there. I'm striving for brilliance. Being second best is as good as not being good at all. My calling is the genre of thrillers and I am one of the best in that.
What is your equation with Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt vis a vis other producers?
With Bhattsaab (Mahesh) and Mukeshji, it's very personal. They are my mentors, my guides.
I was chief assistant to Bhattsaab. Mukeshji gave me my first break. It's with them I have bloomed, withered and then bloomed.
They place a lot of trust in me, they support me and they keep me on the right track.
I am not emotional with other producers, though I respect them. I care for their money, as it's the producer who employs you. My grandfather was a producer-director and so I know what it takes to be one. If ever I have to choose between my producer and my star, I'll go for the former.
There's a terrific script by Bhattsaab on juvenile delinquents and street violence. Aftab Shivdasani, Dino Morea, Celina Jaitley will star in that.
Then there is a father-daughter story with Amitabh Bachchan and Bipasha Basu. I have written it myself, inspired by my daughter from who I am separated because of my divorce.
It's about a man who has certain ghosts in the past and who has lost his aggressive side. He's become apathetic when the wellbeing of his daughter makes him release all his pent-up emotions.
I am really looking forward to working with Bachchanji. Every director wants to work with him.
Then there is a serial rapist drama I want to do. There are many stories on my mind.
India News Feature Service
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