This year, romantic drama Aashiqui 2, raked in over Rs 100 crore worldwide, making it the most commercially successful films from Mahesh Bhatt’s production house.
Realising the wide appeal of U-rated movies, the film-maker is currently working on three new films, all of which are surprisingly suitable for family viewing.
This is quite a turn for the production house that mostly made adult, A-rated films in the past decade including the recent Raaz 3 (2012) and Murder 3.
"As a production house, we’ve dabbled in all kinds of cinema. We’ve made Arth (1982), Saransh (1984) and even Jism (2003) and Murder (2004). There’s no denying that for the first decade of this millennium, we chose to walk on the path of being a production house that deals with erotica. We’re not apologetic about it," says the filmmaker.
"We’ve never leaned on stars,” says Bhatt, adding, “We’ve been high on concept, content and good music. And that has done magic for us. We work on our own terms.”
Ask him about the decision to make U-rated films and he explains, “We felt that there was a one-dimensional perception about us. And that was changed by Aashiqui 2. Everyone who supported us all through was against our decision of casting new people and choosing to make the kind of film that wasn’t our core strength. We felt that there was an audience there. And it turned out to be our biggest money-spinner.”
Talking about his next projects, Bhatt says, “We have decided to give more bandwidth to our projects. The film, which Vikram (Bhatt, director) will make with Emraan Hashmi is called Mr X and is about an invisible cop. It’s a film for families and kids. Then there is Hamari Adhuri Kahaani by (director) Mohit Suri which has Emraan, Vidya Balan and Rajkumar. Ajay Bahl will helm City Lights which talks about people who migrate to this city. They all deal with universal subjects.”
However, the veteran film-maker adds that as a production house, they’ve not abandoned making adult films. “There’s an audience who wants to see that too,” he says.