Mahesh Bhatt (born 20 September 1948) is a prominent 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.
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 Bhatt) but his marriage stumbled following the difficulties of his early career.
Bhatt later fell in love with Muslim actress Soni Razdan and married her.
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.