Your forthcoming film Woh Lamhe is about the relationship between Mahesh Bhatt and Parveen Babi. Can you tell us more about the film?
Woh Lamhe is a story of a boy driven by success who wishes to make it big in the world of films. He gets involved with a star to exploit her and to get where he wants to be in life. He uses her to make his films saleable and viable. But he actually begins to fall in love with her and cannot leave her. During this, when she goes through a nervous break down he does take on her responsibility.
The theme of the film caters to those moments that loved ones share with each other. People come and go in our lives, but the moments we share with them live forever. No one can ever take it away from us. It’s a movie for all those who have loved and lost.
So is this an autobiographical film?
It is a semi auto biographical film based on real events. It is my interpretation of the relationship between Parveen Babi and Mahesh Bhatt. I did not want to make a film that would be autobiographical in nature and also I thought those characters of yesteryear would not work today.
So it is not a period film. The film is based in a contemporary world. It has got the involvement of the media, fashion, glamour and films, which was not there in those days.
What influenced you to title your film Woh Lamhe? Is it inspired from the song â€˜Woh Lamheâ€™ of your film Zeher?
In fact the song Woh Lamhe from Zeher was working against the title of this film. That song was so powerful in itself I didnâ€™t want Woh Lamhe as the title.
But at the same time Woh Lamhe is so true to the film because it deals with the moments that you share with loved one. Woh Lamhe are those moments you share with the loved ones.
What did Mahesh Bhatt tell you when he first handed over the script to you and what was his reaction after seeing the film?
When Mahesh saab wrote the film and gave it to me he told me ‘Do what you want with it, tear it apart, don’t make it if you don’t want to. But this is what I have done as my last job.’ He said there is not a moment in this film where you can use your head; you have to use your heart.
This is essentially a film that he would have made in his times. But Bhatt saab says he would have never been able to direct this film and I feel that I would never be able to write this film.
A scene in the film made him cry and for him to cry seeing a film is something that I haven’t seen. He puts in the category of Zakham and Saraansh. He says this is a film that has been made very passionately in our company in a really long time.
Can you tell me about that tear jerking scene?
There is a scene where Sana Azim (Parveen’s character played by Kangana) thinks she is attacked by bouts of madness. She feels that there are people who are coming to attack her. It’s a sad scene because it talks about the helplessness of the other person who is not being able to cope with somebody who has given up everything for her.
This scene was true to life. When Mahesh saab had walked into Parveen’s room she had pulled down the fan and torn the pillow. She felt people were hearing what she was saying inside the house. Mahesh saab kept telling her that she had to help him to help her, otherwise people would take her away to the hospital.
The helplessness he felt at that time had resurfaced him when he saw the film.
This film sound as intense as your previous films Zeher and Kalyug. What draws you towards such profound topics?
It’s a marketing gimmick. I have intentionally handled subjects that are more mature than my age. I am making films like these so that I stand out. I don’t have stars and big budget to back me up. I have good ideas that no other director at my age can attempt to do. If I made another candy floss popcorn film, you would not talk to me the way you are right now? You may call it my vanity or my potential.
Your previous films have had songs that have gone to become very famous with the masses. But the flavour of songs in Woh Lamhe seems to be very different.
â€˜Kya Mujhe Pyaar Haiâ€™ and â€˜Chal Chalein Apne Gharâ€™ have already topped the charts. I feel post release â€˜Bin Tere Kya Hai Jeenaâ€™ will be the biggest hit in the film. This song was released in Pakistan some years back and it was a mass hit. It worked in the film due to its simple dhun and lyrics.
Anand Bakshi had once said – ‘It is not good music and good lyrics that make a great song. It is a good story and a good situation that makes a hit song.â€™
â€˜Bin Tereâ€™ is about the epitome of a relationship where a lover realizes that living without his partner is impossible. The characters in my film reach such a stage. The man who came to use a lady reaches a stage where he realizes that he cannot live without her.
What are the other films that you are working on right now?
I am working on two scripts right now. One amongst them is Aawarpan. It has a love story that no one else has ever seen. It has a new thought that dwells on the freedom of a person and how people in today’s world are not naturally free; they are slaves to the system and the world. I am doing this with Emraan, Shreya Sharan and I need to cast another heroine.
The film I am making after this deal with a light subject.
Why haven’t you taken up offers from other producers to direct their film?
Except for the Chopras I have got an offer from practically everybody. I am not amazed by working with a big banner or star. Doing an outside film will come with time when. I will do it when I am really kicked about it. I don’t want to move out from Vishesh Films just for the sake of making a film with stars.
I want to make big ideas and not big films.