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Vikram Bhatt talks about Ankahee

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Courtesy: IndiaFM

Friday, May 12, 2006

After seeking inspiration from Hollywood DVD's, this time Vikram Bhatt gets inspired from himself. Bhatt takes pride in making a movie that is replica of his personal life. After making action comedies and thrillers, Vikram this time is all set to present a realistic, emotional drama in his forthcoming movie, Ankahee.

Talking to IndiaFM, Vikram Bhatt says the unsaid - Ankahee.

What is Ankahee all about?
As its marketing says, the film is close to my heart. And it's inspired by the emotions that I felt at a time in my life. It's a kind of cinema that I haven't attempted before. It is a realistic portrayal of emotions and it's a new turn for me.

It has been widely spoken in the media that Ankahee is about your relationship with Sushmita Sen. How much of truth is in it?
I have been trying to clear this from a long time that it is not about Sushmita Sen. It is not based on the actress Sushmita Sen and has got nothing to do with her. Rather, it's based on emotions. I have taken these fictional characters. It's about a doctor, a glamorous miss world and a house wife. I have taken whatever emotions I felt in that time of my life. It's not about a person in particular. You may ask why the other woman is a Miss world or a celebrity. I would like to clarify it too. In some phase of your life, you see it being played out in front of the media. That happens when one of the people is a celebrity. A lot of extra marital affairs happen, but no one reports them. When a person is a celebrity, then the media circus happens. This media circus is very much a part of my life.

So it's nothing to do with Sushmita. But has it got something to do with you?
It's about nobody else but me. The film is also about a father talking to his daughter, who he has not met for 16 years. That's how the film begins. He wants to tell her his side of the story and about what he went through. What made him do what he did? Ultimately, no one was the winner in whole situation.

After action and comedy, why did you think of taking up an emotional drama?
I thought I was repeating myself. Once you find success, you start repeating yourself. I got success with Kasoor and Raaz. I thought thrillers are going to work for me. Suddenly I felt that repeating anything is not success, but breaking new ground is. But Ankahee is not for success, but a need that I have to tell a story. This story was within me from a long time. I remember that Mahesh Bhatt, my guru had once told me that there is one story inside me that only I can make. I don't know what he meant. I thought he meant Raaz and that only I can make supernatural films. But now I think what he meant was this film. No one else can make Ankahee.

How did the casting happen?
Well, it was not a very mysterious process! Aftab is a friend and somebody I have worked with in the past. I think he is a very good and underrated actor. He is a friend and I don't hesitate in talking about anything to him. We could share lot of things off the set or before he came on the set. I felt really comfortable.

Amisha is a very good actress. And I have being saying in other interviews also. I can't imagine Ankahee without Amisha. Whenever I look at the character of Nandita, I feel no one can be Nandita but Amisha. I don't think it's possible without her.

Finally Esha is untapped. We have seen films like Yuva where Esha has done really well. Somehow, she was lost in these three heroines-two hero kind of films. When I narrated this to her, she found it challenging. She thought she could reinvent herself. We discovered her progress as an actress. I think it has worked out for all of us.

Esha has a notably different look in Ankahee.
Yes, indeed she looks very different. We did approach one or two other actresses for the same role. But then we zeroed in on Esha. As I said, she was untapped. She hasn't done anything histrionic or hysterical before this. When an actor becomes too predictable, you don't enjoy their films. So it's good that Esha has rediscovered herself.

You did four films with Aftab. So was he an obvious choice?
Yes, Aftab was my first choice but then things went wrong. Then it went to Sanjay Suri and then it came back to Aftab!

What is the USP of this film?
I think it's a very good story. It's got great emotions, writing and music.

Pritam's music is also doing really well. Tell us something about that.
It has great heart felt music. It's the kind of music that makes you cry and touches your soul. It's not the usual music.

Music has not been promoted the way it should be. What do you have to say about that?
Well I always feel that you can't keep good tunes down just like you can't keep a good man down. It will find its way to the ears eventually. If it's not good, it won't survive.

PNC and you have come together for the first time. How was it working with them?
Well they are a good corporate house. They know what filmmaking is all about. They are extremely organized and I think they have a well oiled machinery that understands cinema. They gave me all the support that I needed as a director.

None of the actors of Ankahee are on career highs. So what kind of opening do you expect?
No, I don't expect a very big opening. I expect average houses though the audience should like it. I expect two crores!

Your past few movies haven't done well. Why should people go for Ankahee?
Well I think people are clever! I think, people are very forgiving. They go and buy a ticket and enjoy the film. They really don't care about the filmmaker, as long as the story is good. I think they want good stories. People go either to cry, laugh or to get scared. I think people will go to watch this film to cry and will love it.

Tell us something about your forthcoming films.
My forthcoming films include Ramesh Sippy's Rooh which is a supernatural thriller. It's a ghost story with new comers. Then there is film called Red. There is Harry Baweja's Speed starring Zayed Khan and Aftab Shivdasani. It's an action thriller which has four stories woven into each. 

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