Mahesh Bhatt (born on 20 September 1948), is a prominent Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. Bhatt s early directional career consisted of acclaimed films, such as Arth, Saaransh, Janam, Naam,Sadak and Zakhm. He was later the writer of numerous commercial films in a range of film genres, from dramas like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and comedies like Duplicate, though he was mostly recognised for thrillers like Inteha, Jism, Murder and Woh Lamhe.
Early life and family
Mahesh Bhatt was born to Nanabhai Bhatt, a Hindu Brahmin and Shirin Mohammed Ali, a Muslim on 20 September 1948. Nanabhai Bhatt was a film director and producer of Hindi and Gujarati films. Mahesh Bhatt was raised by his mother alone as his parents were not married and his father also had another family. He has five siblings, four sisters and one brother Mukesh Bhatt, who is a film producer.Bhatt did his schooling from Don Bosco High School, Matunga. While still in school, Bhatt started summer jobs to earn money. He also made advertisements for various products. He was introduced to film director Raj Khosla through acquaintances. Bhatt thus started as assistant director to Khosla.
At the age 21 Bhatt made his debut as a director, with the film Sakat (1970) which was then followed by Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain in 1974. His 1979 film, Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna in lead roles, bagged two Filmfare Awards in 1980.Helen received her first Filmfare as Best Supporting Actress and Madhukar Shinde won it for Best Art Direction. The film was rated "average" at the Box Office.though his first major hit came with Arth (1982), when he turned to his personal life for inspiration. Later, he made many more films taking insights from his personal life, where he highlighted personal narratives, ranging from illegitimate birth to extramarital affair and created critically acclaimed films such as Janam (1985) and Naam (1986).A stand-out film from his earlier period is Saaransh (1984), an exploration of an old couple s anxieties in a universe governed by arbitrary violence, and dramatic films like Kaash (1987), which dealt with real-life family situations with a tragic end.In 1987 he turned producer, when he set up his own banner "Vishesh Films", with his brother Mukesh Bhatt. He went on to become one of the most recognised film directors of the Indian film industry in the coming decade, giving both serious films like Daddy (1989), launching his daughter Pooja Bhatt as a film actress, and Swayam (1991); as well as commercial romantic hits like Awaargi (1990), Aashiqui (1990) and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), in which he cast Pooja with actor Aamir Khan. He next directed Sadak (1991) which remains his highest grossing film to date either directed or produced under his vishesh films and won critical acclaim for the films Sir (1993), which saw Pooja Bhatt acting along with Naseeruddin Shah along with the hit Gumraah and Criminal (1994). In 1994 he won the National Film Award - Special Jury Award for his film, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)In 1995 he moved to television, then a newly opening up medium in India. He made two TV series in 1995, the English language "A Mouthful of Sky" written by Ashok Banker and the popular Hindi language serial "Swabhimaan" scripted by writer Shobha De. He directed another TV series Kabhie Kabhie in 1997 which was written by Anurag Kashyap.
Following this, he directed drama films like Dastak (1996), the debut film of Miss Universe 1994 turned actress Sushmita Sen, and Tamanna (1997), and tried his hand at comedy with Duplicate in 1998. His film, Zakhm (1998), was returned to the censor board because of right-wing pressure critical of its references to the Mumbai riots of 1993. His last film as director was Kartoos (1999). Thereafter, Bhatt retired a director, and took to screenwriting, churning out stories and screenplays for over twenty films, many of which were box-office successes, like Dushman, Raaz, Murder (2004), Gangster (2006) and lastly Woh Lamhe (2006), based on the life of actress Parveen Babi, and on whom he has also scripted the 1982 film Arth. Recently Mahesh Bhatt also produced a play "The Last Salute" directed by Arvind Gaur, based on Muntadhar al-Zaidi s Book, starring Imran Zahid. Pooja Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt announced a film on this play.
Bhatt s films show an unusual engagement with the psychological damage arising from infringement of social norms, situations which are characteristic deep mental/emotion damage and trauma. These films provided challenges ofcharacterization to their actors, who included both parallel and mainstream stars. Bhatt himself is known for making both art films with realistic topics and commercial films which include a wide division of action, comedy and thriller films.His serious films demanded strong performances from the performers, and actors who worked under Bhatt s hand have won awards for their performances in his films, like National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards. Whatever the concept may be his movies always contain a relationship of friendship. That can be marked in his Zeher, Woh Lamhe, Paap, Jism, etc.
In most of his films, Bhatt portrays timid female characters who go strong towards the end of the films. Case in point: Dushman, Dastak and Kasoor, where the female protagonists bump off the villains in the climax.Bhatt is co-owner of film production house, Vishesh Films, with Mukesh Bhatt. He is also a member of the advisory board of U.S. nonprofit TeachAIDS.
Bhatt fell in love with Lorraine Bright and got married while he was still 20. Bright then changed her name to Kiran Bhatt.The couple has two children, a daughter Pooja Bhatt, a former actress, now a producer, and a son Rahul Bhatt, an aspiring actor. The marriage broke up when Bhatt had an intimate affair with the glamorous actress of 1970s, Parveen Babi.The affair did not last long. Bhatt later converted to Islam and married Soni Razdan, a film actress and director.The couple has two daughters, Shaheen Bhatt and Alia Bhatt. Alia will be launched as an actor in Karan Johar s film Student Of The Year.Emraan Hashmi a Hindi film actor is his nephew. In 1970s, he became a follower of Osho, and later found spiritual companionship and guidance with philosopher, U.G. Krishnamurti. Bhatt calls Krishnamurthy as his lifeline and says "Take him away, and I am empty". Bhatt in 1992 wrote Krishnamurti s biography titled U.G. Krishnamurti, A Life. Apart from this he has edited several books based on conversations with U.G. Krishnamurti. Mahesh Bhatt s latest book A Taste of Life: The Last Days of U.G. Krishnamurti was published in June 2009.
He is a supporter of Indian National Congress party. He came out openly in support of the party in Indian general election, 2009 and Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly election, 2012. He specifically appealed to Muslim community to vote for Congress.
Won Filmfare Best Screenplay Award in 1984 for Arth
1985 Filmfare Best Story Award: Saaransh
1994 National Film Award - Special Jury Award: Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke
1999 Filmfare Best Story Award: Zakhm