Not dirty enough?
The Bhatts are back, and feeling at home with their new venture that 'breaks barriers'. It's a trait they are comfortable with, though it's another matter that their sense of exploration ends up stoking the fires of censorship among the moral police in the country.chandigarh Updated: Aug 04, 2012 10:57 IST
The Bhatts are back, and feeling at home with their new venture that 'breaks barriers'. It's a trait they are comfortable with, though it's another matter that their sense of exploration ends up stoking the fires of censorship among the moral police in the country.
In city on Friday, actor-turned director/producer Pooja Bhatt, was accompanied by her father, renowned filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, and the cast of her latest film, Jism 2. The film has been knee-deep in controversies, perhaps for the better, since it had many surprising firsts to its credit - the signing of Indo-Canadian porn star Sunny Leone as the female lead being only the beginning.
Pooja, whose last film as a producer was Jism - a hugely successful thriller that catapulted John Abraham and Bipasha Basu to instant fame - said she hadn't planned on the sequel in the nine years that she stayed out of public eye. Will it be a 'dumb' Hindi film, someone asks her.
Pooja's skills at being a confident speaker are apparent when she says, "When we thought of making Jism 2, we were sure we didn't want to make a dumb candy-floss Hindi film. In fact, I wanted to stick to the realistic notion of love."
On the obvious mention to the film's ample adult content, Pooja avers, "I don't have to defend myself, and sexuality is not just a male domain anymore. It's very much a female domain now." She then proceeds to push her case using the 'women power' argument. "Women audiences have always been underestimated.
Even in boardrooms, men are seen taking all the decisions. But when it comes to sensuality, women have started to respond well, especially nowadays," adds she.
Does that imply that women are now open to viewing explicit content? "When Jism was released, I had heard that there were more women than men in theatres in Punjab. And, why not? Women are quite liberal now."
The film's screenplay writer, Mahesh Bhatt pitches, waxing eloquent. "I have heard people calling the film sexy, but not dirty. And, I have also been told that audiences have seen that the film is not restricted to the realms of sexuality, but also love."
When asked if the father and daughter had now grown accustomed to controversies surrounding their projects, Pooja laughs, "It's not really controversy for us. It's rather quite entertaining when every morning we have something funny to read. But that doesn't hamper us from going on to do our work."
But it is no laughing matter when Mahesh is asked if he exemplifies 'deteriorating Indian culture'. "Forty years ago, I was answering the same question about being a 'spoiler' of the Indian culture. I do wonder why every one of us doesn't have the honesty and integrity to confess that we want to watch these films and want more of them. In any case, I retain my right to work the way I want to, and that too without feeling guilty," he says, adding, "I am not 'spoiling' the society. I stay in the boundary of the censor board and I have a constitutional right to think differently."
Beautiful women are more often than not the centre of attention, and things were no different with Sunny Leone. In her strong Canadian accent, she answered queries uncertainly at Score in Sector 8. When asked by wondering media persons how she managed the film's dialogues, Sunny smiles, "When you see me in the movie, you will know about my dialogues as well as my acting skills." We are informed that her voice has been dubbed by a woman named Smita, wife of a Bollywood choreographer.
Pooja pitches in candidly, "Sunny mugged every dialogue like a school student. But since she doesn't have a command over Hindi, she fumbled a lot."
Meanwhile, Arunoday Singh, only two films old in his four-year-long career, says about shooting intimate scenes, "It was quite comfortable, especially since we were not doing anything that is wrong. Secondly, a lady handling the set professionally added to the comfort."
Randeep Hooda, better known as Sushmita Sen's boyfriend when they were together, has the last word. "It wasn't tough to take off clothes, rather wearing my soul (for the scenes) was tougher." Does Sunny steal all the attention? Randeep is crisp, "No film is about one character, everybody plays their roles. So, once you know your part of the script, the job is to only perform well."