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    I am not so busy: Vikram Bhatt

    [Interview by Manisha Deshpande]
    Monday, February 14, 2005
    He may not be the most successful director on the scene but there is something about Vikram Bhatt that has the best of banners queuing up at his doorstep.

    He, however, denies that he is all that busy. I am not as
    over-committed as I am made out to be," Bhatt said in an interview with Bollywood Trade.

    After the not so happening "Elaan", which defied box-office expectations, he is now ready with the release of his next film, "Jurm", with which he hopes to regain lost ground. Excerpts:

    How different is "Jurm" in comparison to other action thrillers?

    I think it is the story and the script of the film that make it different from other films in the same genre, besides Bobby Deol's unique characterisation of a rich debonair man. This is the first time Bobby has attempted such a role.

    The fresh casting of Milind Soman and Gul Panag is another USP of the film, besides the performances and the musical score. I am sure the audiences will not be let down by the film, provided they make it a point to see it.

    What do you think went wrong with "Elaan"?

    It is difficult to pinpoint what went wrong with the film, considering it carried excellent reports prior to its release. Looking back, I feel a different story is what works with the audiences. People don't go to see expensive locales and costumes in a film, nor are they impressed by rich production values. It is futile to spend so much on a film if it does not have an absorbing story line.

    What was the experience like working with old-time friends Ashish Singh and Bobby?

    It was like homecoming after a very long time. We never felt like we were working out there. Every day was like a picnic. I think the tuning we shared also made work easier. We were regretful that we did not come together earlier but the opportunity just did not arise. We are hoping to work together again.

    Despite the changing equation at the box-office, you are said to be the busiest director in the industry who always has three films waiting on the floor at a point of time.

    That's not really true. Currently I have only two other films on the floor. One of them is Feroz Nadiadwalla's "Deewane Hue Pagal" and the other is Ramesh Sippy's "Rooh". I am not as over-committed as I am made out to be.

    At a time when the mood is one of experimentation at the box-office, you have stuck to the commercial format in most of your films.

    I think it is important to tread a safe line between experimental themes and those that conform to the commercial formula. Commercial success is very important to me, as much as reaching out to the audiences.

    Nevertheless, every film I have directed in the past has been a continuous process of re-inventing myself right from "Fareb" to "Ghulam", "Kasoor", "Raaz", "Awaara Pagal Deewana", "Footpath", "Inteha", "Aetbaar", and the more recently released "Elaan". It was only in the latter three films that I faltered somewhere, but I am hoping "Jurm" will make a difference.

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