Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who is all set for his acting debut with Mukul Mishra’s ‘Siddhartha’, says that he has no illusions that he is an actor.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Mahesh Bhatt said, “I have no illusions that I am an actor, by any stretch of imagination. I fitted this particular role. And I feel, when you cast a role right, half your job is done.”
Mahesh Bhatt, who has directed film like ‘Arth’, ‘Saaransh’, ‘Aashiqui’ among others, however feels that being behind the camera does bring a certain amount of clarity to the role as an actor. He said, “Understanding of your cast and business does bring a certain amount of clarity to the role, as an actor and you land up enriching the material you are given to work around.”
Talking about the film, Mahesh Bhatt says, “’Siddhartha’ is a very strong story of a person who has indulged I substance abuse and multiple partner relationship and is yet looking for enduring peace. This takes him to strange areas of life. He goes to mystics and lands up on the icy slopes of the Himalayas, where he finds sanctuary in a monastery. And that’s where my role is of a lama, who is a very practical person.”
Mahesh Bhatt also added, “I found it very invigorating to be a part of the film, which is directed by Mukul Mishra, who a talent to watch out in the future.”
Mahesh Bhatt’s latest venture ‘CityLights’ is doing reasonably well at the Box Office, collecting above Rs 4 crore over the weekend. The film is about a poor farmer from Rajasthan coming to Mumbai in search of a livelihood.
Talking about the response of the film, Mahesh Bhatt says he is ‘deeply fulfilled’.
“I am enthused by the response ‘CityLights’ is getting, because just as I started believing that anything that is serious and looks unflinchingly looks at the truths playing out in our backyards are not going to find takers comes this kind of a response for a film which is heartbreakingly sincere and looks at the issues very bravely.
‘CityLights’ is a remake of the BAFTA nominated British film ‘Metro Manila’.
Speaking about the film, Mahesh Bhatt said, “Here was the film made on an international platform by a great filmmaker in England and the theme that he had touched through his narrative in Manilla was universal and it was an issue that needs to be fiercely advocated. As the world is progressively moving to the value systems of the left, this needs to be bravely addressed and articulated.”
The filmmaker also spoke highly of the film’s lead pair Rajkummar Rao and Patralekhaa.
“Rajkummar Rao has established that he is the best actor amongst the new lot and he has ensured a place for himself in the front row of the entertainment industries in years to come. Patralekhaa makes a sparkling debut. She is exceptional and like Shabana Azmi.”
He also added, “Rajkummar and Hansal Mehtra’s national award did create an added interest – to see what they have done now.”
The ‘Arth’ director also said, “’CityLights’ deconstructed my cinematic style. It made commit to more films which are rooted in the real world. ‘CityLights’ has given me a new respectability. Because just as I though people started me identifying me ‘only one kind of cinema’, ‘CityLights’ made me remember my old kind of cinema for which I had been applauded on the past.’
In one word Mahesh Bhatt describes ‘CityLights’ as “Painfully honest”.