Jism did more business than Zakhm, Tamanna, Dushman and Sur combined: Pooja Bhatt | brunch$feature | Hindustan Times
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Jism did more business than Zakhm, Tamanna, Dushman and Sur combined: Pooja Bhatt

Pooja makes no bones about the fact that she is a commercial filmmaker and makes films for the masses

brunch Updated: Jul 13, 2017 15:52 IST
Ananya Ghosh
Pooja Bhatt’s Jism was about a strong woman and her sexual needs
Pooja Bhatt’s Jism was about a strong woman and her sexual needs(Bipasha Basu in Jism)

During her recent interview with HTBrunch, Pooja Bhatt revealed that after making sensitive movies like Zakhm and Tamanna, she ventured into adult content with Jism because those kind of movies have a mass appeal.

“My first production was Tamanna. The age that Alia is today, I had made a film on female infanticide. It won a National Award. But the audience hardly came to watch the film in the theatres. Then I made Zakhm, again a sensitive movie based on my father’s real life story, was a box office disaster. Not a single person went to watch it in the theatres. It is not that it didn’t have star value. It had names like Ajay Devgn, Nagarjuna, Pooja Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt. But that failed to get the audience to buy the tickets. Then I made Jism. The business of Jism is more than the collective business off Zakhm, Tamanna, Dushman, Sur all put together.

“India pretends concerns, but watches something else. It is people who made Jism run to packed houses. Just as if a magazine is not getting readers, you need to tweak it to suite their taste, eventually, with movies it’s about business and people will only put money in something that will yield profit,” she says.

And she has taken her lessons from one of the best in the business, her father, Mahesh Bhatt. “My father always says that there are two kinds of cinema. One that you make to jolt the audience and the other is the kind you make to soothe the jolted. Eighty per cent of India lives below the poverty line and they want escapism. And there is the elite intellectual audience who goes to the cinemas in the fine saris and gold and they want to see the other side - the darker side that has poverty and diseases. So it depends on who you choose to cater to.”

Pooja is of the opinion that neither of the two is inferior as each fulfils the need of one set of audience. “To me, a Dabangg is as relevant as a Masaan. I loved both films, each appealed to a different sensibility in me. I am a commercial filmmaker and I make no bones about that. At the end of the day I want people to watch my films. I am not interested in making movies that only 10 people will watch and will get critical appreciation at some festival.”

Also, Jism is a film she stands by. “It was the first true adult film of our times. For a change, it was about a strong woman talking about her sexual needs . Unlike the sex comedies today, it had no double entendre, no bad jokes, nothing. It was a movie made by adults, for adults. When sex is regarded as a bad word, the society starts to rot from inside.

“The definition of a b***h nowadays is that you know your mind and are unafraid to state it,” says Pooja. “By that logic, I am certainly a b***h. For I certainly know what I want. More than that, I know what I don’t want. And so did my heroine in Jism.”

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From HT Brunch, July 13, 2017

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