Pooja Bhatt shares the experience of making her upcoming film, talks about the brand ‘Jism’, the stereotypes in the industry and lot more in an exclusive chat with Ankita Kanabar.
Even judging by her own definition, Pooja Bhatt is ‘bold.’ “When you see an intimate scene on screen or a woman shedding her clothes, people say it’s bold. But that term is largely a misconception. Being bold isn’t about taking your clothes off, it’s about who you are and standing up for what you believe in even though the world could be against you.” Pooja’s choices and her roles on screen are a testament to the fact that she is bold. And living up to the image is her latest directorial venture ‘Jism 2.’
The movie has been gathering rave reviews and is set to release soon. The glint in her eyes and her energy makes it evident that she’s extremely passionate about this film. “I feel the brand ‘Jism’ is here to stay. I feel so good that the music of ‘Jism’ is still remembered and loved. The idea of ‘Jism 2’ has been in my head for three years now. I’ve lived this film for so long. So, it’s obvious that I’m passionate about this film. But it was also difficult to make since I had to live up to ‘Jism.’ Be it the music, the script, and most importantly, the cast, it had to get bigger. And I’m so glad things have turned out to be good, since I’ve got a dream cast!”
Since we are talking about the cast, we wonder how she zeroed in on Sunny Leone, Randeep Hooda, and Arunoday Singh? “I saw a picture of Sunny while I was planning ‘Jism,’ but she couldn’t be a part of it then since she had just been signed by Penthouse. I just saw her face then and nothing else. I saw so much innocence on her face. It’s just destiny that we came together for ‘Jism 2.’ The marriage between Sunny Leone and the brand ‘Jism’ is just magical. Then, I saw ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’ and knew Arunoday would be my Ayan. The search for my Kabir continued until Bhatt sahab asked me to watch a few scenes from ‘Jannat 2.’ I just saw two scenes and called Dino Morea (co-producer of the film) saying ‘we’ve got our Kabir’,” she says with a smile.
The producer-cum-director believes the end result justifies her choice of actors. “Randeep has given a brilliant performance with this film. He’s so different. Arunoday is a revelation; his character is extremely humane. You know, a combination of Randeep’s and Arunoday’s characters in the film would make a perfect man. As far as Sunny is concerned, she made half my job easy by memorizing her dialogues before we began shooting. So, on the set, we just had to explain to her the meaning of the dialogues during a particular scene and she would do it. She’s worked really hard.”
The promos of the film are out and have created a rage already on account of its content. Pooja is completely unapologetic about it. She says, “‘Jism’ was ten years ago, and lots of things change in ten years. The audience is now more open and liberal and can now accept a little more bold content. Having said that, ‘Jism 2’ is not a ‘Murder.’ ‘Jism 2’ is a woman’s gaze. It is from a woman’s point of view. A synergy of Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt creates ‘Murder.’ A synergy of Pooja and Mahesh Bhatt creates ‘Jism 2’ and ‘Jism 2’ is not a dumb product. It talks about issues. We’re okay with men using women but are not okay when a woman gets vocal about her needs. There’s a place for a nun and a porn star in this world. It’s a matter of choice; you have to make a choice. ‘Jism 2’ is about making a choice. Like ‘Arth’ was about making a choice. Shabana Azmi’s character made a choice of not going back to her husband and living an independent life. Hopefully, ‘Jism 2’ would do for me what ‘Arth’ did for my father.”
Does she believe the film will change stereotypes in society and in cinema? “It’s not about changing things but changing how you look at things. Like in Hindi films, it’s always shown that a villain or bad people have sex. But sex is a part of life and it’s extremely normal. It must be treated like that,” she says.
The music of the film is also gaining popularity. “It’s so nice that these talented people have come to us with their wonderful work. My father genuinely knows and understands music and even I listen to music from the heart. If I hear something that I love, I feel the audience would love it too; only then do I use it in my film,” she reveals.
Clearly, this is one woman who speaks her mind and dares to make something not everyone may approve of. Now let’s see if her efforts bear fruit at the box office.