{ Page-Title / Story-Title }


Alia is a better actor than Pooja: Mahesh Bhatt

The veteran filmmaker speaks about his next production Raaz Reboot, his daughters, nephew Emraan Hashmi and more.

(Photo: Shutterbugs Images)

Mayur Lookhar

His life is an open book and Mahesh Bhatt never shies away from talking about his success or failures. He isn't afraid to express his views, even when it involves his family. 

The veteran filmmaker is gearing for his next production Raaz Reboot that releases on 16 September. When the filmmaker was asked to pick the better actor between daughters Alia and Pooja Bhatt, he did not hesitate. 

"Pooja was never a full-hearted actor. Not that she didn't give it all in the few films that she acted in, but  Alia is a more focussed, more committed actor. Of course, Pooja switched her priorities and switched to filmmaking,” said the proud father. 

Alia and Pooja are half-sisters, along with Shaheen. Alia has been doing great in her acting career, with several hits under her belt. The 22-year-old was widely appreciated in Udta Punjab (2016), where she played a poor Bihari migrant working as a labourer in Punjab. From playing a glam doll in her earlier films, Alia underwent tremendous physical transformation and acquired the rustic accent.

When asked about Alia's performance in Udta Punjab, daddy Bhatt replied, "Alia Bhatt is lucky to have begun her career with an A-lister like Karan Johar. I was in Ranchi sharing the stage with handicrafts artists. A few local women came up to me and said they appreciated how Alia has played one of them, and how she got the accent right. This wasn’t said by any urban critic, but village belles, who usually we are not able to reach out to. That to me was the high point of her journey in Udta Punjab.”

One the films front, Bhatt’s productions have had a tough time with a spate of commercial failures. The Bhatts have come up with the fourth instalment of the Raaz franchise, Raaz Reboot.  

Upon being quizzed as to what promoted him to reboot the Raaz franchise, Bhatt replied in his inimitable style, “As in cricket, when your innings falters, you send in a dependable batsman to rescue the team. Our (Vishesh films) innings has been shaken a bit and so we decided to send our best batsmen who's stemmed the rot, played well and eventually led us to victory. Raaz is that dependable batsman. We are entering the field with this hope.”

Bhatt had launched Pooja with the 1989 film Daddy. Ironically, there's buzz that Pooja is set to make a biopic on her father. Asked to comment on it, Bhatt replied, “Hamari beti ek film bana rahi. It’s up to her how she does it. Who am I to stop her from making a film on her father? It’s her prerogative.”

Save for Alia, it’s been a lean period for all the Bhatts and also extended family member and Bhatt’s nephew Emraan Hashmi who's going through the worst crisis in his career after suffering eight successive flops.

Bhatt, who launched Hashmi with the 2004 murder mystery Murder, said, “Emraan is someone who has been raised by us, he carried the same values which we’ve instilled into my children. Look, for a man who has helped his little child fight cancer and gave him a new life, he sure must be having a great fighting spirit, a feisty attitude to strike back. It would have been impossible to achieve this victory without having this feisty attitude.”

Hashmi has returned for his third Raaz film that releases on 16 September.