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Mahesh Bhatt looking to reinvent with Begum Jaan

After three consecutive flops produced by Vishesh Films, Bhatt says he is happy to go back to a content-driven film.

Mahesh Bhatt with Srijit Mukherji (Photo: Shutterbugs Images)


Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt says producing Vidya Balan-starrer Begum Jaan is a conscious decision with a motive to reinvent.

After churning out content running high on sex and thrill, Mahesh asserts that he has come back to subjects that he explored during his formative years in Bollywood.

"For us to move away completely from the cinema that we make, was a concious decision. And we are very happy that we did it. I have opted for this kind of cinema after 'Zakhm'. The last three films we made were almost non-films. They disappeared... So, as they say, 'in the darkest night you must begin from the point where you once started before'," Mahesh said. 

The filmmaker, who was here to promote the film Begum Jaan, added this is a new journey that he is embarking upon with his banner Vishesh Films - it's a revival of sorts in a way.

"The way Srijit Mukherji tells his story, his way of working reminds of Mahesh Bhatt of 1984 and he used to make films like Arth, Saaransh and Zakhm," Mahesh said.

A Hindi adaptation of Mukherji's critically-acclaimed Bengali outing Rajkahini, Begum Jaan sees Vidya play a brothel owner in a story of survival set against the backdrop of the country's Partition in 1947. The film releases on April 14.

He talked about the film when he came to the national capital with Vidya and Mukherji to show an extended version of the film's trailer to select media persons, including IANS. 

Mahesh says the "amazing" as well as "shocking" response to the trailer has motivated the whole team of the forthcoming film. 

He says, "There is no male star, no item song, but purely context of the story. This (response to the trailer) is certain kind of indication that the world outside is far more receptive to new idea, new content than the market." 

But why did he stop making films like Zakhm? 

"Zakhm did get recognition, but didn't make much money. So there was a certain kind of cynicism," he said. 

The film is made at a budget below Rs 10 crore.