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Item Numbers show women as commodities Mahesh Bhatt

IndiaGlitz [Saturday, February 09, 2013]

Bhatt camp latest offering Murder 3 is coming next week. The film is an erotic thriller on the lines of its earlier franchise. Bhatt disagrees that women are shown as commodities in their films. In fact he says Item numbers show women as commodities. Over to Mr. Bhatt..

We heard that you are very impressed by Aditi Rao Hydari and have called her the Nutan of 21st century?

Yes I call her the 21st Century Nutan. She is modern, understands the nuances and the intricacies. She has self pride and the interest to see things in a new perspective; She's not an assembly live product. You look at girls today and they all look like Mannequins but Aditi is different.

What about the new girl Sara Loren?

We wanted a beautiful girl in the film and Sara fitted the bill. She had done Kajraare with us and she could not be launched properly. It was unfair for a new comer so we decided to give her a proper launch. We also wanted two different kinds of girls in the film.

A lot is being spoken about the cross border Indo-Pak relationships and lots of artistes are being launched here from their country?

Relationships change like weather. When we started this film everything was fine between the two countries. Now we are facing problems. Everyone wants revenge but we are killing our own people.. When there are riots people are burning our buses, trains and cars. They are ruining the property of the country. It's an absurd thinking. Its okay to state a point but we cannot have retrospective. So many different artistes from all over the world come here looking for work. We have got Jacqueline Fernandes from Sri Lanka, we have got a girl from Maldives. Just because somebody is doing mischief doesn't mean all are like that.

Why are our artistes not encouraged there?

They have a very small industry hardly two or three films are made every year and their television industry is small too. They watch our films and television serials are a hit there. It's our personal choice who to cast. It's not Apartheid. Will this country run on the whims of the people or the rules of the laws? I have a right to work with anybody. Political parties cannot use this as political agenda.

You have been crying hoarse about the Indo-Pak relationships?

I don't have fights with their people but their government. Will you prove that you love your country by slitting other's throats. Nor will they live in peace not will we do.

What do you think of the films being made these days?

The packaging of the entire film is better. Exhibition outlet is better, I don't know if the content has improved or not. We have found Murder 3 as a path breaking film.

What do you think of Vishesh's work?

It's time we passed on the reigns to the next generation. Vishesh has done a sparkling debut. We got the rights from the Spanish filmmaker and changed it to suit our audience. I do not believe in thrusting my ideas upon him but will always be there in his support. He deserves the best debutant director award this year.

Why does the Bhatt banner promote so much sex on screen? Do you feel films are responsible for the number of rape cases that take place?

I have never looked at women as commodities. When films with new liberal content are made they are commented upon. I made Arth which showed a woman who reconstructs the institution of marriage. Zakhm was about a woman who chose to stay outside marriage. Murder was about a woman who decides to fulfill her desires as her husband was not giving her what she was looking for. Zakham spoke about communal harmony. Let's debate and focus on the real problem instead. We make films that the generation likes to watch. It's time we moved on. Murder will be a major departure from all these film. The first murder was erotic and based on relationship. It was bold as she was a married woman who looks for sex and love elsewhere. Women have always been the centre stage of our films. Murder 3 is the story of a modern Hindustani woman. We have to move away from the typical stories, very soon multiple relationships; homosexuality will be the core subjects. I have shown a lot of good things in my films. Why haven't they followed the example? As it is, we cannot match up to the sleaze available on the Internet in the form of porn. The item numbers we see are ridiculous. They portray women as commodities. The dare...bare act of Sunny Leone in Jism is just nothing when compared to her porn films.

Music has always been an integral part of your films and has been appreciated too?

Yes they are appreciating it now. When I made Arth, Saraansh and Naam and put songs people thought I am going mad. Then I made Aashiqui I had nine songs in the film. Everyone thought what I was doing but the songs were major hits. But surprisingly the films did well and so did the music. They went on to become chart busters. Now we have so many songs in our films.

Your daughter Alia has made her debut and has been appreciated. Do you plan to make a film with her?

Alia had a good launch with a good director and great banner. He's made a very young film. She's lucky. She was spoken of during her discovery phase and the film was a hit so she has passed out from the critical phase. But her career graph is yet to be seen. We have to see how she fares in the future. You have to give constant hits to sustain yourself. Even when you get a big launch and if your debut film does well it becomes a burden. She will have to prove herself in her next film too. She's got 2 States and Imtiaz Ali's next. She is only 19 and let us see how much she stands it.

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