He’s seen many ups and downs but that hasn’t stopped him from churning out films at regular intervals. So, even if the critics repeatedly pan his work, the audience loves his commercial cinema, especially those who fall for the charms of the horror genre. Although his last film Dangerous Ishhq tanked, he’s back with his next film Raaz 3. Yes, another horror flick from the maverick director. Over to Vikram Bhatt
You have not worked with Mahesh Bhatt for a long time. Was working on Raaz 3 like a homecoming?
Yes, Raaz 3 is a homecoming for Bhattsaab and it was Mukeshji who gave me my break in films. Moving away from them was a painful experience. Raaz 3 is not just a film but a balm that healed wounds. It’s a gift of love from me to them and from them to me.
Raaz is one of your biggest hits. What can we look forward to in the third edition of the film?
Raaz was about obsession, Raaz 2 greed and Raaz 3 is about jealousy. It’s a very powerful script written by Shagufta Rafique. That Raaz is a horror film is a known fact, that it has great music is also a known fact. But what makes the film really special is the human drama that has a ring of truth, which is difficult to find in films today. Raaz 3 has world-class 3D too and performances that will light up the screen.
Why did you part ways with the Bhatts?
To be honest, I don’t remember why but it had nothing to do with films. It was like a lovers’ tiff. When there is a lot of understanding, there can also be misunderstandings. But if our relations were not based on solid ground, we would not be working together again.
With Raaz 3, Bipasha Basu will be seen in this edition of the series after seven years. Are you confident of her appeal, considering she hasn’t had successes at the box office lately?
Who does not have hits and flops in this industry? It does not mean anything. Raaz 3 is the best thing that could have happened to Bipasha and Bipasha is the best thing that could have happened to Raaz 3. Only Bipasha could have essayed the character of Shanaya. She is sensational.
Why isn’t Dino Morea part of the film? Do you think it was wiser to cast Emraan Hasmi, who has had a string of recent hits?
Raaz is a franchise now and not really a sequel, so it was open to casting. Besides, Emraan hit his purple patch during the making of the film, not before. He is someone who had stardom coming his way for a long time.
You have achieved huge success with horror films, and your upcoming films are of the same genre. Why are you only focusing on horror?
Somehow, everyone wants me to make horror films! What can I do? Ha ha!
Is that why your last film Dangerous Ishhq (not horror) did not do too well in cinemas?
Dangerous Ishhq is a film I am proud of. We could not market the film in its true form.
Hindi filmmakers are shying away from 3D releases. Dangerous Ishhq was in 3D. Do you think 3D films are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain at the ticket window?
I think Raaz 3 will change all that.
What kind of working relationship do you share with ASA Productions? Do you take all the creative decisions?
ASA Productions is my baby and I take all the creative decisions. The financial ones are taken along with my partners.
Are you contract-bound to not work for any other production house?
I have no such contract. I can work with anyone I choose to work with.
ASA Productions was also active in the television space and produced a number of shows. What is happening on that front?
Honestly, we lost money in television and I cannot come to terms with the fact that one has to churn out quantity at the cost of quality. The budgets are not very enticing either. We would have continued working with television if we could sustain quality.