After more than two decades of directing films it was only until recently that Vikram Bhatt was seen doing cameos in one or two films. The director will be now seen taking up a full-fledged role in his daughter Krishna Bhatt’s web series ‘Untouchables’.
In an exclusive conversation with Glamsham the filmmaker spoke at length about his new app ‘VB Theatre on the Web’, his experience of being directed by Krishna and why he would advise her not to get married. Read on…
Tell us about your show ‘Untouchables’
My latest show ‘Untouchables’ is out there on my app VB Theatre on the Web. So what we have done is actually made a theatre and the concept is that it’s not a subscription kind of model. It’s the model where anybody can come and buy a ticket for a show and the ticket rates are really low, wherein you can watch the entire ‘Untouchables’ for as less as 18 rupees!
What is ‘Untouchables’ all about?
‘Untouchables’ is about an escort (played by Sreejita De) who also happens to be a medical student but in order to make ends meet she gets into prostitution and then how she gets involved in a murder that she hasn’t committed but the world assumes that since she is an escort she must have committed the crime. Now she has to fight the prejudice of the society and there is a lawyer Aakash Awasthi who hasn’t fought a case in a while, but takes up her case. So it’s the story of these two people and how ultimately they win.
How did Krishna convince you to play Aakash Awasthi in this series?
I was easy to get convinced because I understood Aakash’s character really well and I think nobody could have played Aakash Awasthi the way I did. Actually what convinced me was I would be able to see my daughter direct a series so I used this opportunity as an excuse to see Krishna direct.
With you being in front of camera and your daughter behind camera, how was the experience? You must be proud of your daughter
She is a bully yaar. She used to completely bully me. If people think that I had any say in the matter then they are totally wrong.
So you didn’t give her any advice or tips?
Not at all. In fact once or twice I tried but she got up and said “Okay then you direct” she even said “Why you gave me to direct then?” I said that “You also give me suggestions when I am directing!” then she says “That is okay”. So ultimately I told her, “Kar baba tujhe jo karna hai kar”
The way you are describing things you guys must have had lot of fun while shooting for this show?
Actually first 2-3 days I was very worried ki yeh kya bana rahi hai pata nahi. Then I asked my editor to quietly cut few scenes and send it to me. And after watching them I was quite blown away by what she has done. After that I was relaxed.
So you blindly put your faith in Krishna and continued to follow her instructions?
Actually that is the kind of person I am and it’s not about just Krishna whether it’s Anupam or Siddhanth (his other web show’s directors) or anybody else once I give somebody to direct then I don’t even go on the sets.
Is it true that this show is inspired from Amanda Knox’s case?
Actually it’s not like we have taken anything from there, it is just that we saw the documentary of Amanda Knox and we really found the innocent girl caught in a legal jam very appealing. So more than inspired I think it was like we got the seed of the idea from there.
Give us two reasons why one should watch ‘Untouchables’?
Untouchable is everything you want in a series it’s got suspense it’s got drama, emotions with lot of twists and turns but more than anything it’s a story with a heart and people likes to see such stories.
Vikram Bhatt with daughter Krishna
Two advice that you would like to give to your daughter – one as a father and other as a filmmaker
As a father I would like to say that don’t get married if you really want to be a director because direction is a 24/7 job and you will have no personal life and as a web series director my advice would be to be more patient and don’t shout at your father. (laughs)
How was Sreejita De as a co-star? Was she intimidated by your presence?
Oh she is a great actor and she has done really well.
So did she come up to you for any kind of advice?
We are co-actors sometime she would turn to me, sometimes I would turn to her but I don’t really interfere in somebody else’s work I think that’s the director’s job.
Now that you have acted in this show. So out of directing and acting what’s one thing that you enjoy the most?
My first commitment is to be a story teller and of course if I am offered good roles then I might be tempted but to make my app a success and to make my company a success would be my first call . Storytelling will always be my first love.
What’s next in pipeline?
There are 2-3 films that I am working on but let’s see I have my hands full with lot of things right now as there are four web shows that are going on and then there are films so there’s lot to do.