‘Alia has astounded me’

Debarati Palit Singh
Friday, 7 February 2020

While promoting Dil Jaise Dhadke... Dhadakne Do, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt talks about his role in the upcoming show on Star Plus, the change in television content and directing his daughter

I am the heartbeat of the show,” says Mahesh Bhatt about his association with Star Plus’ upcoming serial Dil Jaise Dhadke... Dhadakne Do. The series, which is going on air from February 10, stars Shruti Seth, Rahil Azam, Hemangi Kavi along with child artists Jared Albert Saville and Hirva Trivedi.
The filmmaker has headlined the show. “I am the one, who has originated the show. The idea kind of flowered from within me. Then, Guroudev Bhalla and I came together, and both of us gave flesh and blood to the story, decided on the kind of space we wanted it to be in,” says Bhatt adding that Dil Jaise Dhadke... is a simple story that deals with two kids. “There is this girl who has faced tragic loss of a family member and has withdrawn into a shell and then comes an energetic boy in her life. Their relationship sparks off instantly and brings life into the life of this child.” 
As a maker and writer, Bhatt likes to explore and shape his characters well. That’s because he does not like to have superficial interactions with people. “There is a difference in what you are and what you are projecting. The real conversation happens after the mask is taken off. When I work with my people and we unmask each other, that’s when the real contact happens. I like to work, and interact that way,” he says. 
This not the first time that Bhatt has conceptualised a project which someone else is helming. But as a filmmaker who is used to calling the shots, how challenging is it for him to detach from a project and let others take charge? “I have always believed that when younger directors come and direct my movies, they bring their own world views to the table and that makes the show or project different. The distinctive views make the show unique when compared to a single dimensional vision. To arrive at a collective consensus is a painful but necessary process. Each one of us collectively pull out the truth from our own hearts and lay it there. That gives an expression to the director, we trust,” he says.
The filmmaker’s association with television goes back three decades. Pointing out the changes that has happened on the small screen, he says, “A lot has changed including consumer taste, attention span, narrative, style. Change is the essence of existence, which reflects in the content, which has changed drastically.” 

In films, makers have shifted their focus to creating content that balances realism and entertainment. Talking about the kind of realism one sees in films, Bhatt says, “It is not realism of the heart. I want realism which is submerged and not revealed. That’s what I call realism.” 

After 20 years, Bhatt is making a comeback as a director with Sadak 2. The film, which is slated to release this year, stars his star daughter Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Bhatt. It is a remake of Bhatt’s 1991 hit film. Without giving away much, he says, “Alia has astounded me.” 

Talking further about Sadak 2, he says, “When you combine young energy with old, the impact is dazzling and that’s what the audience will get to see. When you have old and young working in harmony, the artistic DNAs have a different impact and it will show in the film.”  

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