'Vidya is the new youth icon'

'Vidya is the new youth icon'

'Vidya is the new youth icon'

Despite so many years in film-making, it’s amazing how Mahesh Bhatt still retains the energy to mingle with young actors, travel around the country to promote films and reach out to public with ease. In the City recently to promote ‘Blood Money’, the veteran producer tells Metrolife how marketing has become the key to selling any movie these days. “Marketing is a reality now. With all sorts of entertainment up for grabs, people have to do everything to make their presence felt,” adds Mahesh.

Forthright and endowed with the gift of the gab, Mahesh has always been a trendsetter in the industry. Ask him what kind of cinema he believes in and he openly says the kind that reaches out to the public and entertains them in every sense. But did he ever get to a point when he had to change his way of thinking for the younger lot? He smiles, “There have been many instances. In fact, instead of ‘Blood Money’, I really wanted to call it Kalyug 2, to cash in on the success of the original one, but the director and Kunal Khemu, the lead actor, disagreed and told me that it was a bad idea. It took a long time but eventually I gave in to their demands and changed the title,” he adds.

For Mahesh, it doesn’t really matter if a movie comes with an original, adapted or an inspired story. What matters to him is how differently the director packages the film.
“I don’t care for the structure. For me, the soul is important. A director must be able to inject his own emotions into the film and give it his own distinct take. The audiences today have ample choice and when they come for those two hours into the theatre, they must not leave disappointed,” he adds.

When it comes to the breed of actors cropping up these days, Mahesh says, the one artiste he is impressed with is Vidya Balan. Apart from her being the flavour of the season, Mahesh goes ahead and compares her to Shabana Azmi. “Vidya is the new youth icon. She has handled herself really well and is making the right career moves. Her ambitious nature does remind everyone of Shabana Azmi. At the same time I feel Vidya is not as good as her. Shabana was lucky because the kind of movies she got those days worked really well. Unfortunately, Vidya isn’t as lucky to get those number of movies where she can prove her acting prowess time and again,” he adds.

Going back in time one still remembers Mahesh Bhatt classics like Arth, ‘Daddy’, Aashiqui and others. One wonders if the director in him is waiting to make a comeback.
“Never. I am done with direction. Right now, my focus is on making destinies by introducing new talent to the world and I find that more gratifying,” he sums up.
 

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