Many credit Anurag Kashyap for revolutionising the current movie-making culture, but actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt says her father Mahesh Bhatt’s films were "way more forward" than what Kashyap is known for creating.
"Some of the films are new, but most of them are old as hell and packaged in beautiful bottles. I have grown up seeing my father’s movies. I think the movies that Shekhar Kapur and my father made in those days were far more forward than some of Anurag Kashyap’s movies of today," Pooja says, when asked about her views on the new wave that the Hindi film industry is witnessing.
She says that most of the "new wave" is just talk and not actually substantial. "I am not an expert, but I know that there is a lot more talk than substance. If you scratch beneath the surface, then nothing is really new," she adds.
In the late 1980s and 1990s, Pooja herself was quite a path-breaking actor, who was considered one of the boldest of her times, thanks to her controversial body paint act at the age of 17 for late fashion photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha. But Pooja, 42, feels there is a thin line between boldness and vulgarity. "I think it’s all about my gaze. When I look back at my own career, I was far bolder than most of the so-called bold girls today. I believe that if you don’t feel vulgar, you can’t look vulgar and it’s the first lesson I learnt from my father when I was doing Sadak," she says.
And now, as a producer, much like her father, she does not work with established stars. "My father believes that we create stars and then others cast those stars. I don’t make projects, I make films. I am in competition only with my father and my uncle (Mukesh Bhatt) because they taught me what I know today," she adds.