Mahesh Bhatt on the renaissance that led to this change
Meena Iyer (BOMBAY TIMES; February 7, 2013)
Is it true that Brand Murder has been reinvented in your latest offering? Why have you done that?
We at Vishesh Films had pioneered a new kind of cinema with Raaz and Murder at the beginning of the 21st century, which saw us go from strength to strength. And, just when we had peaked, this young lad Vishesh, my brother Mukesh’s son, came and used a term that got me thinking. He said we have succeeded backwards.
He pointed out to me that there is no doubt that our economic model had worked, there is no doubt that our marketing skills had worked and the products on our ledger were showing an all-time high. But there was no getting away from the fact that the emotional content, for which we were known, had gravitated to an all-time low. He told us that we should look at this bitter truth unflinchingly and have a renaissance. ‘Let us make a new beginning.’
And, with that discussion was born the idea of Murder 3 (which has Randeep Hooda, Aditi Rao Hydari and Sara Loren). We decided to take our franchise and reinvent it. The 007-Bond brand changed because the times changed. Brand Murder too has changed because the times have changed.
It has been done by a new mind, right?
Yes, Vishesh comes from our gene pool, but he has a contemporary mind. He has studied cinema in New York. He is in the driving seat of this particular project. What we have created in Murder 3 is a state-of-the-art product, which has the finish of an international film with very strong emotional quotient.
Murder 1 and 2 were successful; so why did you do away with the earlier formula?
Vishesh Films and Brand Murder are making a fresh beginning. Our earlier lot of films were superficial, skindeep thrillers. But history has killed that kind of cinema. Now, even thrillers need a lot of depth. Even the Bond franchise now has more depth. It is not just about sensational stunts and titillating scenes of beautiful women.
Similarly, Brand Murder is now all set to ride on a new energy of a younger mind, which had the guts to bring on a renaissance. For that, this youngster Vishesh, the director, is responsible.
So, reinvention, according to you, is the key to success?
The Barbie Doll, the pop icon Madonna, the enduring Amitabh Bachchan and Vishesh Films have found the secret for longevity and relevance through constant reinvention. Just when you think that we have played ourselves out, when you think we have peaked with Raaz 3 and Murder 2, like Madonna, we have transformed ourselves into a new persona. And Murder 3 is the result of our reinvention.
Is Murder 3 a woman-centric thriller?
It’s a woman-centric thriller that picks up emotionally the threads of what I and Mahesh Bhatt had left behind in Arth. And the springboard for Murder 3 is this Spanish film that we acquired from the Fox treasure trove. Only the core idea of the Spanish film is borrowed. Vishesh, others and I metabolised it and we have created a product that is nothing short of brilliant and that will dazzle everyone, when it is out.
Murder 3, produced by Mukesh Bhatt and presented by Fox Star Studios, releases February 15.