Pooja Bhatt's third directorial venture Dhokha hasn't been smooth sailing either for her or for debutant hero Muzamil Ibrahim. Their rapport declined to such an extent that the forever-fiery Pooja refused to direct him.
Before Dhokha got into deep waters, Mahesh Bhatt stepped in to rescue the film, which is about Muslim identity and international Islamic terrorism.
Bhatt, who resolutely relinquished direction in 1989 with the haunting Zakhm, was back on the sets of Dhokha to do some serious damage control for his daughter. However, he denies taking over the directorial designation from Pooja, who earlier directed Paap and Holiday.
Bhatt told IANS: "Get this straight. Dhokha is directed by Pooja. Yes, after the tiff between Pooja and Ibrahim I was on the sets when the key scenes were being shot to make the hero comfortable. Otherwise, I'm done with film direction for good. The directors who work for my production house need to get the monkey of my creativity off their back."<b1>
But the actors from Dhokha say that Bhatt is underplaying his contribution to the end product.
"Things were really bad between Pooja and her leading man. If it wasn't for Bhatt saab Dhokha couldn't have been completed," said a team member who wants to remain anonymous.
"It's true Pooja's rapport with Ibrahim went downhill at a rapid pace. Things came to a point where the two just wouldn't speak to each other. We were all apprehensive about the film's future.
" Dhokha is too pertinent and powerful a film to be sacrificed for anyone's interests, not even the director or the hero. That's why Bhatt saab decided to step in," said a source.