Why does Mahesh Bhatt consider City Lights to be his obituary film?

After bringing out various sexy dark low budgeted films, the ace director-producer is getting back to his original genre of serious films

Mahesh Bhatt has been synonymous with various movie franchises that began out of simple sex narratives. But with City Lights he is trying to get back to his earlier genre of films. In the past he has given some superb films like Zakhm, Saaransh, Arth, Jaanam, Daddy, etc. But he moved away from directing and decided to produce films which will be low budget and have a specific sex quotient in them along with an underlining of grey shaded characters. But City Lights seems different. From what we have heard it is a remake of Metro Manila, and proposes to be very serious cinema with a specific though and message behind it. So what happened that he suddenly decided to change back to his previous genre and leave his brand of sexy dark low budgeted films? We wonder…

Talking to a leading daily Bhatt informs, “When I began my journey, I used to have this high-minded passion identity and had a radically fresh view about life. I did not have the timidity the market had. I would resent people who were in power and I told my brother Mukesh that you have become exactly what I hated. You have become the establishment and that is exactly what happens. In the journey of life, you begin as a rebel, but the rebel becomes the establishment and that is when you need another revolution. So you need a Hansal Mehta to come and deconstruct you as you are incapable of doing it yourself. A subtle kind of smugness creeps into you, where you stop questioning mediocrity. Uptil the time that I made Zakhm, I had been caged in a temple. After hanging up my boots as a director, I went and sat in a whorehouse. I was told that, ‘You must not make erotic cinema as it is not high-minded.’ I refused to sit down, having spent the whole night with the philosophers and the saints and wanted to go and sit in the red light area, spending time with the dancing girls, the snake charmers and the trapeze artistes. That was my privilege and even in that, there was irreverence. I had the backlash from the so-called purists who said, ‘Oh! he has sold his soul.’ What they saw as a deterioration was actually an evolution. I knew that in new age India, the market reality was the real reality and that is when our sexual narrative changed. The Indian youth had changed, even though the film industry had been slow in changing. Having made a point through Aashiqui 2 where we had no nudity, it’s time to move once again into that area which was always your core strength, in fact your springboard. City Lights will be one of my obituary films. Of course, the credit will go to Hansal but I am a part of it. So when they will name Zakhm, Saaransh, Arth, Jaanam and DaddyCity Lights will also figure in that.”

People were predicting that with City Lights Bhatt might get back to directing but he happily passed on the directorial cap to National award winning director Hansal Mehta. Now only time will tell us as to whether City Lights prove to be a turning point in Mahesh Bhatt’s career. We are definitely dying to have a glimpse of City Lights. What about you BollywoodLifers?