September 20, 1948 |
|Occupation||Director, producer, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Kiran Bhatt (1970−90)
Mahesh Bhatt is a prominent Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. 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.
Early life and family 
Bhatt was born to Nanabhai Bhatt, a Gujarati Hindu and Shirin Mohammad Ali, a Muslim on 20 September 1948. His father, Nanabhai Bhatt was a director and producer of Hindi and Gujarati films. Among his siblings is noted 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. 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. Bhatt and Kiran had a child (Pooja) but his marriage stumbled following the difficulties of his early career. Bhatt later fell in love with actress Soni Razdan a Muslim, during the filming of Saraansh. No longer living with Kiran, but unwilling to divorce her, Bhatt converted to Islam (the religion of his mother) in order to be able to marry Soni Razdan while still married to Kiran.
At the age 21 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, 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.
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 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.
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.
Cinematic style 
||This section may contain original research. (April 2013)|
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 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 
Personal life 
Bhatt fell in love with Lorraine Bright and got married while he was 20. Bright changed her name to Kiran Bhatt. 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 broke up when Bhatt had an intimate affair with the glamorous actress of 1970s, Parveen Babi. The affair did not last long. Bhatt later on married Soni Razdan, a film actress and director. The couple have two daughters, Shaheen Bhatt and Alia Bhatt. Alia was launched as an actor in Karan Johar's film Student Of The Year, and Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi 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 Krishnamurti 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.
|1974||Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain||Yes|
|1979||Lahu Ke Do Rang||Yes||Won Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award|
|1982||Arth||Yes||Yes||Won Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue|
|1984||Saaransh||Yes||Yes||Won Filmfare Award for Best Story
Nominated for India's official entry - 1985 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
|1989||Daddy||Yes||Won 2 Filmfare Awards|
|1990||Aashiqui||Yes||Won 4 Filmfare Awards|
|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||Maarg||Yes||Originally titled Prem Dharam when launched in 1988 but released as Maarg straight to video|
|1993||Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee||Yes|
|1993||Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke||Yes||Won 5 Filmfare Awards|
|1995||Naajayaz||Yes||Nominated Filmfare Award for Best Actor|
|1995||Criminal||Yes||A Telugu - Hindi bilingual film|
|1996||Papa Kehte Hai||Yes||Yes|
|1999||Zakhm||Yes||Yes||Won Filmfare Best Story Award|
|1999||Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan||Yes|
|2001||Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar||Yes|
|2006||Gangster||Yes||Yes||Won Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut|
|2009||Raaz - The Mystery Continues||Yes|
- Sawhney, Anubha (18 Jan 2003). "The Saraansh of Mahesh Bhatt's life". Times Of India. Retrieved 17 Feb 2012.
- "Lahu Ke Do Rang Awards". IMDB. Retrieved 21 Feb 2012.
- "Box Office 1979". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 21 Feb 2012.
- "14th Moscow International Film Festival (1985)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
- "Mahesh Bhatt, leading Indian cultural icon, joins the TeachAIDS Advisory Board". TeachAIDS. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
- Suparn Verma (19 Mar 1998). "The return of Razdan". Rediff.com. Retrieved 17 Feb 2012.
- Mahesh Bhatt (1992). U.G. Krishnamurti, A Life. Viking.
- Mahesh Bhatt (2009). A taste of Life: The last Days of U.G. Krishnamurti. Penguin Group India. ISBN 0-14-306716-8.
- Mahesh Bhatt at the Internet Movie Database
- Mahesh Bhatt applauds Mango Girls for focusing on rural dowry deaths
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mahesh Bhatt|