Love is an excuse that lust uses – Vikram Bhatt
Vikram Bhatt and Vishesh Films are synonymous with erotica. As Vikram gears up for the release of yet another erotic movie, Love Games, the filmmaker opens up about his take on love and lust and what the youth of today desire. In a freewheeling chat, the director tells us why he believes that his latest film is completely in tune with today’s times.
What inspired you to make Love Games?
The inspiration behind this film is sex. In this generation there’s a nice line where one person might call you sexually liberated, while another person might call you a pervert. It depends on how you look at it. Personally, I’m anti-marriage and pro-casual sex. I have my own fundas, so to speak, as do the youth of today. Love Games is a film about very rich people. People who have so much money that they don’t know what to do with it. They use sex as a drug; it’s like an addiction for them. And when sex begins to get boring with one person, they add another person and make it interesting. That is when they start playing ‘Love Games.’
What was the thought process behind the casting of the film?
Patralekha had already done City Lights. But she was like a behenji (Village Belle) in the film. However she was confident that she could become Ramona (her character in Love Games). She did a photo session for us and looked really nice in it. Gaurav (Arora) had come to us twice before for other films. But when he walked in this time, he was the perfect fit for Sam (his character in the film). And I’ve known Tara (Alisha Berry) for a long while and we’ve always wanted to work together. She’s very talented and I loved her in Mastram.
Though your recent films fall under the genre of thrillers and horror, lust seems to be their central premise. What is your take on this premise?
Love is an excuse that lust uses. There’s nothing like love and I don’t believe in it. All love stories are foreplay stories to lust. It’s a carnal world. So let’s get real about what the youth want. The youth is on Tinder. According to me, Facebook is the biggest dating site. People hook up on Facebook and there are affairs going on on Whatsapp. And in such times if you’re not going to make a film that talks about such relations then it’s a useless film. I think it’s a film that breaks the clutter.
So yours is a film that is in tune with today’s times?
Yes. Today’s generation doesn’t think of sex as a bad thing. When we were little, we were taught that masturbation is a really bad thing and a bad word. And now my little cousin who is just 12-13 years old comes to me from school and says “They told me in school that masturbation is good.” This is what the world is coming to. We either accept it or become like Ostriches and put our heads into the Earth. Either give the youth a youth icon or give them a youth story so that they identify with it.
You’ve been instrumental in introducing several newcomers to the industry. What do you look for in an actor?
Since I write most of my films, I want to see what I’ve written, in the person that I cast. Do I see Ramona in Patralekha or Sam Saxena in Gaurav Arora? That’s the most important thing. After that they should obviously know how to act.
Also, your own journey in films started at a very young age. Has the journey become more mechanical now?
It’s not mechanical. I’m happy because I get to make the stories I want to make. That’s why a film like Love Games. If I was making some assembly line of comedy films then that would be the death of me.
Most of your films have been shot by your father Pravin Bhatt. How has the association been?
It has been fabulous. He has done nearly 100 films since the black and white era to Mr.X, the 3D Sci-fi film that released last year (2015). He’s the only cameraman who has been on the cranes for 50 years. But he retired before Love Games. It is the first film that I’ve done without my father.
Love Games has been given an A certificate from the Censor Board. Do you believe that we don’t need a Censor Board and that the audience is wise enough to choose what they want to watch or not?
I think every person should be allowed to watch what they want, even if it’s pornography. According to me pornography should be legal. With regards to how much you want to show your kids, I believe that there should be different ticketing laws and different laws for home viewing. Every film should have a brief written by a committee. It should have a list of the things that the film contains, for instance sex, violence, cuss words and so on. This should be put up at the ticket counter. As an individual I should be able to see what the film contains and then decide if I want to see this. And if I’m with my daughter, I should be able make the decision whether I want to watch the film or not. I don’t want Pahlaj Nihalani to make the decision for my daughter. Give me the information about what the film contains and let me decide. I believe that this is what should be done. For home viewing there should be separate channels and we have things like Parental Lock etc.