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Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt
 
 
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Profile

Mahesh Bhatt (born on 20 September 1948), is a prominent Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. Bhatt's early directional career consisted of acclaimed films, such as Arth, Saaransh, Janam, Naam and Zakhm. He was later the writer of numerous commercial films in a range of film genres, from dramas like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and comedies like Duplicate, though he was mostly recognised for thrillers like Inteha, Jism, Murder and Woh Lamhe.

Biography

Early life and family

Mahesh Bhatt was born to Nanabhai Bhatt, (1915–1999), a Hindi film director-producer and a Shia Muslim woman. His parents separated when he was young and was raised by his mother. He went through various phases of beliefs, including following Osho and U.G. Krishnamurti.

Career

Bhatt began his career as an assistant to Hindi director Raj Khosla. At age 21 he made his debut as a director, with the film Sakat (1970), this was followed by Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain in 1974. His 1979 film, Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna, bagged two Filmfare Awards in 1980.

Though his first major hit came with Arth (1982), when he turned to his personal life for inspiration.

Later, he made many more films taking insights from his personal life, where he highlighted personal narratives, ranging from illegitimate birth to extramarital affair and created critically acclaimed films such as Janam (1985) and Naam (1986).

A stand-out film from his earlier period is Saaransh (1984), an exploration of an old couple's anxieties in a universe governed by arbitrary violence, and dramatic films like Kaash (1987), which dealt with real-life family situations with a tragic end.

In 1987 he turned producer, when he set up his own banner Vishesh Films, with his brother Mukesh Bhatt. He went on to become one of the most recognised film directors of the Indian film industry in the coming decade, giving both serious films like Daddy (1989), launching his daughter Pooja Bhatt as a film actress, and Swayam (1991); as well as commercial romantic hits like Awaargi (1990), Aashiqui (1990) and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), in which he cast his daughter Pooja with actor Aamir Khan. He next directed Sadak (1991) and won critical acclaim for the films Sir (1993), which saw Pooja Bhatt acting along with Naseeruddin Shah and Criminal (1994). In 1994 he won the National Film Award - Special Jury Award for his film, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)

In 1995 he moved to television, then a newly opening up medium in India. He made two TV series in 1995, the English language "A Mouthful of Sky" written by Ashok Banker and the popular Hindi language serial "Swabhimaan" scripted by writer Shobha De. He directed another TV series Kabhie Kabhie in 1997 which was written by Anurag Kashyap.

Following this, he directed drama films like Dastak (1996), the debut film of actress Sushmita Sen, and Tamanna (1997), and tried his hand at comedy with Duplicate in 1998.

His film, Zakhm (1998), was returned to the censor board because of right-wing pressure critical of its references to the Mumbai riots of 1993.

His last film as director was Kartoos (1999). Thereafter, Bhatt retired a director, and took to screenwriting full-time, churning out stories and screenplays for over twenty films, many of which were box-office successes, like Dushman, Raaz, Murder (2004), Gangster (2006) and lastly Woh Lamhe (2006), based on the life of actress Parveen Babi, and on whom he has also scripted the 1982 film Arth.

Recently Mahesh Bhatt also Produced a play "The Last Salute" directed Arvind Gaur,based on Muntadhar al-Zaidi's Book,Starring Imran Zahid.Pooja Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt announced a film on this play.

Cinematic style

Bhatt's films show an unusual engagement with the psychological damage arising from infringement of social norms, situations which are characteristic deep mental/emotion damage and trauma. These films provided challenges of characterization to their actors, who included both parallel and mainstream stars. Bhatt himself is known for making both art films with realistic topics and commercial films which include a wide division of action, comedy and thriller films.

His serious films demanded strong performances from the performers, and actors who worked under Bhatt's hand have won awards for their performances in his films, like National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards. Whatever the concept may be his movies always contain a relationship of friendship. That can be marked in his Zeher, Woh Lamhein, Paap, Jism etc.

Personal life

He married Kiran Bhatt, in 1970, and the couple had two children, a daughter Pooja Bhatt, a former actress, now a producer, and Rahul Bhatt, an aspiring actor. His second wife is Soni Razdan, an accomplished film actress and director. He has two daughters from Soni Razdan, Shaheen Bhatt and Alia Bhatt. Alia will be launched as an actor in Karan Johar's film Student Of The Year. Bhatt also had an intimate affair with Parveen Babi.

Emraan Hashmi a Hindi film actor is his nephew.

In 1970s, he became a follower of Osho Rajneesh, and later found spiritual companionship and guidance with philosopher, U.G. Krishnamurti, whose biography he later wrote as, U.G. Krishnamurti: A Life, in 1992. Apart from this he has edited several books based on conversations with U.G. Krishnamurti. Mahesh Bhatt's latest book 'A Taste of Life: The Last Days of U.G. Krishnamurti' published in June-2009.

Bhatt is co-owner of film production house, Vishesh Films, with Mukesh Bhatt. He is also a member of the advisory board of U.S. nonprofit TeachAIDS.

Awards

  • 1984 Filmfare Best Screenplay Award: Arth
  • 1985 Filmfare Best Story Award: Saaransh
  • 1994 National Film Award - Special Jury Award: Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke
  • 1999 Filmfare Best Story Award: Zakhm
  • 1999 Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration: Zakhm

Filmography

Director

Sakat (1970)

Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain (1974)

Lahu Ke Do Rang (1979)

Arth (1982)

Janam (1985)

Naam (1986)

Saaransh (1984)

Kaash (1987)

Kabzaa (1988)

Daddy (1989)

Awaargi (1990)

Aashiqui (1990)

Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991)

Sadak (1991)

Sir (1993)

Criminal (1994)

Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)

Dastak (1996)

Tamanna (1997)

Duplicate (1998)

Zakhm (1998)

Dushman (1998)

Kartoos (1999)

 
 
 
 
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