The Bhatts have always been fascinated by real life. It isn"t surprising then, that bappi lahiri,mahesh bhatt and Vishesh Films are planning to come together with a Pakistani production house to make a film on Benazir Bhutto with Shabana Azmi essaying the lead role.
Affirming the news, bappi lahiri,mahesh bhatt says, “Producer Anila Khan from Pakistan approached me to direct a film on Benazir but direction is a closed chapter for me.
I will not direct for love or money. So now the film will be a collaborative tie-up between me, Vishesh Films and Anila"s production house.
We"ll provide the infrastructure and human resource support. In this combined South Asian joint venture, we will be coming together creatively and technically to make a film on a woman massacred in Pakistan."
Bhatt was initially apprehensive about the film, “My first apprehension was if the family would help us do the research. We have the go- ahead of family in principle. Anila is the sister of Benazir"s personal secretary. In fact Benazir died in her arms.
Bhatt adds. “It"s a very sensitive issue so we laid down certain conditions. I told Anila that I have always had a collaborative relationship with Pakistan so I won"t be having any problems with them, provided she gets the clearance from Benazir"s family. They should endorse the screenplay.
Secondly the party should have no objection to the film and lastly, the government of Pakistan needs to give a green signal as the film has to be shot there. They have agreed to all the demands but now we need to put the script together. It will be written by a Pakistani writer."
Did the film offer come after Benazir"s death? Bhatt says, “Yes, but I am hesitant to talk as her blood has not washed off the ground. It would be insensitive and callous when Pakistan is still reeling. The announcement has to come from Pakistan."
As far as the Benazir 's role is concerned Bhatt says, “Shabana has expressed keenness to play the role of Benazir Bhutto and she would be right as she has the political understanding and emotional depth. She has agreed in principle to do the role. But the engine is in Pakistan and I don"t want jump the gun by making premature announcements."