Mahesh Bhatt -

Mahesh Bhatt is a prominent Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. Bhatt's early directional career consisted of acclaimed art parallel films, such as Arth, Saaransh, Janam and Naam.   He was later the writer of numerous commercial films in a range of film genres, from dramas like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and comedies like Duplicate, though he was mostly recognised for thrillers like Inteha, Jism, Murder and Woh Lamhe.   At the age 21 Bhatt made his debut as a director, with the film Sakat (1970) which was then followed by Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain in 1974. His 1979 film, Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna in lead roles, bagged two Filmfare Awards in 1980.   Helen received her first Filmfare as Best Supporting Actress and Madhukar Shinde won it for Best Art Direction. The film was rated "average" at the Box Office.   Though his first major hit came with Arth (1982), when he turned to his personal life for inspiration.   Later, he made many more films taking insights from his personal life, where he highlighted personal narratives, ranging from illegitimate birth to extramarital affair and created critically acclaimed films such as Janam (1985) and Naam (1986).   A stand-out film from his earlier period is Saaransh (1984), an exploration of an old couple's anxieties in a universe governed by arbitrary violence, and dramatic films like Kaash (1987), which dealt with real-life family situations with a tragic end.   In 1987 he turned producer, when he set up his own banner "Vishesh Films", with his brother Mukesh Bhatt.   He went on to become one of the most recognised film directors of the Indian film industry in the coming decade, giving both serious films like Daddy (1989), launching his daughter Pooja Bhatt as a film actress, and Swayam (1991); as well as commercial romantic hits like Awaargi (1990), Aashiqui (1990) and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), in which he cast Pooja with actor Aamir Khan.   He next directed Sadak (1991) and won critical acclaim for the films Sir (1993), which saw Pooja Bhatt acting along with Naseeruddin Shah and Criminal (1994). In 1994 he won the National Film Award - Special Jury Award for his film, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993).   In 1995 he moved to television, then a newly opening up medium in India. He made two TV series in 1995, the English language "A Mouthful of Sky" written by Ashok Banker and the popular Hindi language serial "Swabhimaan" scripted by writer Shobha De.   He directed another TV series Kabhie Kabhie in 1997 which was written by Anurag Kashyap. Following this, he directed drama films like Dastak (1996), the debut film of Miss Universe 1994 turned actress Sushmita Sen, and Tamanna (1997), and tried his hand at comedy with Duplicate in 1998.   His film, Zakhm (1998), was returned to the censor board because of right-wing pressure critical of its references to the Mumbai riots of 1993.   His last film as director was Kartoos (1999). Thereafter, Bhatt retired a director, and took to screenwriting, churning out stories and screenplays for over twenty films, many of which were box-office successes, like Dushman, Raaz, Murder (2004), Gangster (2006) and lastly Woh Lamhe (2006), based on the life of actress Parveen Babi, and on whom he has also scripted the 1982 film Arth.   Recently Mahesh Bhatt also produced a play "The Last Salute" directed by Arvind Gaur, based on Muntadhar al-Zaidi's Book, starring Imran Zahid. Pooja Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt announced a film on this play. < Read less Read more >

Mahesh Bhatt