He carved a niche for himself in filmdom with non-starrers like “Makdee” and “Maqbool”. But composer filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj now says star presence is extremely important for a film’s box office success and that he is trying to rope in Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan for his next movie.
“I think stars are very important to reach out to the people. Along with that they are good actors as well. I think Shah Rukh (Khan) is a very fine actor, so is Aamir (Khan), Hrithik (Roshan), Saif (Ali Khan) and even Shahid (Kapoor),” Bhardwaj said.
“If the audiences love them and they don’t mind coming to the cinema halls to see their faces and their costumes, then that’s good because we can tell a story through them,” added the director who teamed up with big stars for “Omkara” and “Kaminey”.
He made his directorial debut “Makdee” (2002) with Makrand Deshpande, Shweta Prasad and Alaap Mazgaonkar. The only big name in the cast was Shabana Azmi.
Two years later, Bhardwaj came out with his highly acclaimed movie “Maqbool”, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play “Macbeth”. It didn't boast of a star line up either -- Pankaj Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Tabu formed the cast.
But his next directorial venture “Omkara”, again based on Shakespeare’s play “Othello”, was bejwelled with big names like Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Vivek Oberoi.
His latest hit “Kaminey” too had Bollywood stars Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.
Now Bhardwaj is trying to sign Hrithik and Priyanka for his next venture. “I am in talks with Hrithik for a film but nothing is confirmed at the moment. However, Priyanka is confirmed for that project,” he informed.
The 49-year-old started his Bollwyood innings as a composer for Gulzar’s “Maachis” (1996) followed by movies like “Satya” (1998) and “Chachi 420” (1998) before taking on the director’s mantle. He has proved his versatility as a music composer, singer, writer and filmmaker.
When asked what among these gives him maximum creative satisfaction and enjoyment, Bhardwaj said: “Enjoyment keeps changing. When you are making a song and it turns out to be very good, then you enjoy that process and that gives you creative satisfaction.
“Similarly, when you are making a film, you keep struggling on it for seven-eight months to set it right and finally when you see the result then that too gives you creative satisfaction and enjoyment. Satisfaction, happiness, enjoyment are all very momentary. They keep changing,” he said.
Bhardwaj was in the capital to attend the 11th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival and said that such festivals are imperative so that movie aficionados can see entire films without any censorship.
“People need to see the entire films. Normally, the censor board cuts half of the film; at least there is some place where we can see the film without censorship,” he said.
He also feels that censorship should be a personalised thing. “We should be our own censor boards. It should not be imposed on us. This censor board came from the British because they didn’t want the Indian movement and Indian struggle to be seen by others, but somehow laws in our country don’t change,” he rued.