Mahesh Bhatt

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Mahesh Bhatt
Mahesh Bhatt still7.jpg
Native name महेश भट्ट
Born (1948-09-20) 20 September 1948 (age 66) [1]
Bombay, Bombay State, India
Occupation Director, producer, screenwriter
Spouse(s) Kiran Bhatt
Soni Razdan
Children Pooja Bhatt (b. 1972)
Rahul Bhatt (b. 1982)
Shaheen Bhatt (b. 1988)
Alia Bhatt (b. 1993)

Mahesh Bhatt is a film director, producer and screenwriter from India. Bhatt's early directional career consisted of acclaimed movies, such as Arth, Saaransh, Janam, Naam, Sadak and Zakhm. He now produces and writes for commercial and more box office friendly films such as Jism, Murder and Woh Lamhe.[2]

Early life and family[edit]

Mahesh Bhatt was born to Nanabhai Bhatt,and Shirin Mohammad Ali.[3] Bhatt's father was a Gujarati Brahmin and his mother was a Gujarati Shia Muslim of Dawoodi Bohra background. [4][5][6]

Among his siblings is the Indian film producer Mukesh Bhatt. Bhatt did his schooling from Don Bosco High School, Matunga. While still in school, Bhatt started summer jobs to earn money.[2] He also made product advertisements. He was introduced to film director Raj Khosla through acquaintances. Bhatt thus started as assistant director to Khosla. Bhatt married his first wife Kiran (born Lorraine Bright) whom he had met while still a student. His romance with her was the inspiration for his film Aashiqui.[2] Bhatt and Kiran had two children (Pooja Bhatt and Rahul Bhatt) but his marriage stumbled following the difficulties of his early career.[2]

Bhatt later fell in love with actress Soni Razdan and married her.


At the age 26 Bhatt made his debut as a director, with the film Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain in 1974. His 1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna in lead roles, won two Filmfare Awards in 1980:[7] Helen received her first Filmfare as Best Supporting Actress and Madhukar Shinde won it for Best Art Direction. The film did "above average" at the box office.[8]

His first major hit came with Arth (1982), when he turned to his personal life for inspiration but doubt persist whether it is an original film.

Later, he made many more films taking insights from his personal life, where he highlighted personal narratives, ranging from out-of-wedlock birth to extramarital affair and created critically acclaimed work 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 dramas like Kaash (1987), which dealt with real-life family situations with a tragic end. Saaransh was entered into the 14th Moscow International Film Festival.[9]

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 directors of the Indian film industry in the coming decade, giving both serious productions — like Daddy (1989), launching his daughter Pooja Bhatt as a movie 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 work to date either directed or produced under his Vishesh Films. He won critical acclaim for Sir (1993), which saw Pooja Bhatt acting with Naseeruddin Shah along with the hit Gumraah and Criminal (1994). In 1994 he won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award for Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993).

In 1995 he moved to television, then a newly opening 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 dramas 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. 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.

Mahesh Bhatt enter in the world of theatre with his protege Imran Zahid as if now he produced three play .The Last Salute, based on Muntadhar al-Zaidi's book of the same title, a journalist investigating atrocities Trial of Errors, that opened on 29 March 2013 in Delhi. stage adaptation of Bhatt of his movie, Arth (film).,[10][11][12][13] Mahesh Bhatt also produced The Last Salute, a play directed by Arvind Gaur, based on Muntadhar al-Zaidi's book, starring Imran Zahid.[14][15][16] [17]

Cinematic style[edit]

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 of characterization to their actors, who included both parallel and mainstream stars. Bhatt is known for taking inspiration from Hollywood movies into Hindi films. He has always been criticized for the same. Bhatt is known for making both art films with realistic topics and commercial films which include a wide division of action, comedies and thrillers.

His serious films demanded strong performances from the performers; 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 work, Bhatt portrays female protagonists who are hapless in the beginning but go strong gradually and take matters into their own hands when situation demands them to. Case in point: Dushman, Dastak and Kasoor where the heroines bump off the villains in the climax when they have no one else left to save them.

Other professional work[edit]

Bhatt is co-owner of film production house, Vishesh Films, with Mukesh Bhatt. He is a member of the advisory board of U.S. nonprofit TeachAIDS.[18]

Political views[edit]

Bhatt believes the Congress party is committed to secularism. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he campaigned in a Karvan-e-Bedari (caravan of awareness) asking people to vote for Congress[19] and defeat BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, as he believes that Mr. Modi is communal.[20] Mahesh Bhatt also criticizes communal record of Congress Party, for its role in even bigger riot of 1984 Sikh massacre. He is planning to make a film, which will address the 1984 Sikh riots that took place in Delhi.[21]

Mahesh Bhatt's critics have accused him of spreading divisive communal polarisation.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Bhatt fell in love with Lorraine Bright and got married when he was 20 years old. Bright changed her name to Kiran Bhatt.[2] The couple have two children, a daughter Pooja Bhatt, a former actress, now a producer, and a son Rahul Bhatt, an aspiring actor. The marriage ended when Bhatt had an affair with the glamorous actress of the 1970s, Parveen Babi.[2] The affair did not last long. Bhatt later married Soni Razdan in 1986 in an Islamic wedding ceremony,[2][23] The couple have two daughters, Shaheen Bhatt and Alia Bhatt. Emraan Hashmi is his nephew.

In the 1970s, he became a follower of Osho, and later found spiritual companionship and guidance with philosopher, U.G. Krishnamurti. Bhatt calls Krishnamurti his lifeline and says "Take him away, and I am empty".[2] Bhatt in 1992 wrote Krishnamurti's biography titled U.G. Krishnamurti, A Life.[24] 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.[25]


Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
1974 Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain Yes
1977 Vishwasghaat Yes
1978 Naya Daur Yes
1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang Yes Won Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award

Filmfare Best Art Direction

1980 Abhimanyu Yes
1982 Arth Yes Yes Won Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue

Won National Film Award for Best Actress-Shabana Azmi

1984 Saaransh Yes Yes Won Filmfare Award for Best Story

Nominated for India's official entry – 1985 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

1985 Janam Yes Yes
1986 Aashiana Yes
1986 Naam Yes
1987 Aaj Yes
1987 Kaash Yes Yes
1988 Thikaana Yes
1988 Siyaasat Yes
1988 Kabzaa Yes
1989 Daddy Yes Won 2 Filmfare Awards

National Film Award – Special Jury Award

1990 Awaargi Yes
1990 Jurm Yes
1990 Aashiqui Yes Won 4 Filmfare Awards
1991 Swayam Yes
1991 Saathi Yes
1991 Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin Yes
1991 Sadak Yes Won Filmfare Award for Best Villain

5th highest grossing Hindi movie of the 90's decade

1992 Saatwan Aasmaan Yes
1992 Junoon Yes
1992 Maarg Yes Originally titled Prem Dharam when launched in 1988 but released as Maarg straight to video
1993 Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee Yes TV movie (Zee TV)
1993 Gunaah Yes
1993 Sir Yes
1993 Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke Yes Won 5 Filmfare Awards

National Film Award – Special Jury Award

1993 Gumrah Yes
1993 Tadipaar Yes
1994 The Gentleman Yes Yes
1994 Naaraaz Yes
1995 Milan Yes
1995 Naajayaz Yes Nominated Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1995 Criminal Yes A Telugu – Hindi bilingual film
1996 Papa Kehte Hai Yes Yes
1996 Chaahat Yes
1996 Dastak Yes
1997 Tamanna Yes Yes
1998 Duplicate Yes
1998 Angaaray Yes
1998 Dushman Yes
1999 Zakhm Yes Yes Won Filmfare Best Story Award

National Film Award for Best Actor and Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration

1999 Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan Yes Originally titled Mr. Aashiq, audio released under that name as well
1999 Kartoos Yes
1999 Sangharsh Yes
2001 Kasoor Yes
2001 Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar Yes
2002 Raaz Yes Yes
2002 Gunaah Yes
2003 Saaya Yes
2003 Footpath Yes Yes
2003 Jism Yes
2003 Inteha Yes
2004 Murder Yes
2005 Rog Yes
2005 Zeher Yes
2005 Nazar Yes
2005 Kalyug Yes
2006 Gangster Yes Yes Won Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut
2006 Woh Lamhe Yes Yes
2009 Raaz - The Mystery Continues Yes
2009 Tum Mile Yes
2011 Murder 2 Yes
2012 Jism 2 Yes
2012 Raaz 3D Yes
2013 Murder 3 Yes


  1. ^ Sawhney, Anubha (18 January 2003). "The Saraansh of Mahesh Bhatt's life". Times Of India. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Sawhney, Anubha (18 January 2003). "The Saraansh of Mahesh Bhatt's life". Times Of India. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  3. ^ My wife and my audience, both took time to understand me: Emraan Hashmi – The Times of India
  4. ^ "Purnima". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "I have great reverence for women: Mahesh Bhatt". 01/18/2014. 
  6. ^ "Mahesh Bhatt's article about Ramzan, Ramadan". Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Lahu Ke Do Rang Awards". IMDB. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Box Office 1979". Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "14th Moscow International Film Festival (1985)". MIFF. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Kalsi, Jyoti (25 January 2011). "Mahesh Bhatt talks about 'The Last Salute'". Gulf News. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Review: Now, communalism and counter-insurgency ops on stage". Zee News. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Imran Zahid gets applaud in Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Trial of Error’". The India Awaaz. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  13. ^ Madhur Tankha (29 July 2013). "Arth stages a comeback". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Mahesh's next on Iraqi journalist". Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Uday Bhatia (19 January 2012). "A footwear-flinging Iraqi journalist inspires a new play, says Time Out". Time Out. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  16. ^ Mahesh Bhatt (14 May 2011). "Footprints of dissent,FIRST PERSON-Mahesh Bhatt". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Rana Siddiqui Zaman (3 June 2011). "Shoe act hits the stage". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Mahesh Bhatt, leading Indian cultural icon, joins the TeachAIDS Advisory Board". TeachAIDS. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  19. ^ "Mahesh Bhatt’s karvan comes to Congress’ rescue". Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Modi is communal, should be defeated, says Mahesh Bhatt". Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Mahesh Bhatt planning to make a film on 1984 Skih riots by Congress". Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Mahesh Bhatt's critics have accused him of spreading divisive communal polarisation". Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  23. ^ Suparn Verma (19 March 1998). "The return of Razdan". Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  24. ^ Mahesh Bhatt (1992). U.G. Krishnamurti, A Life. Viking. 
  25. ^ Mahesh Bhatt (2009). A taste of Life: The last Days of U.G. Krishnamurti. Penguin Group India. ISBN 0-14-306716-8. 

External links[edit]