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Citylights is painfully honest, like my film Zakhm: Mahesh Bhatt


Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt gifted his Filmfare award for Saaransh, the Anupam Kher-starrer movie that completed 30 years recently, to director Hansal Mehta on Monday.

Bhatt handed over the black lady to the Mehta, who won National Award for his debut film Shahid, after watching his latest directorial venture Citylights.
Appreciating Mehta's "fearless" filmmaking spirit, Mahesh Bhatt told Hindustan Times, "Several directors have arrived through our (Bhatt productions) platform but when I see Hansal Mehta, I feel he really takes inspiration from the kinds of movies I have created."

"I left direction 15 years back after my semi-autobiographical film Zakhm. Citylights is painfully honest in a similar way as Zakhm. I think Mehta is a dangerous filmmaker, the economics and honesty in his films make him dangerous," Bhatt added.
Mahesh Bhatt who has been sharing pictures from the sets of Saaransh, Naam and several other films on Twitter, is extremely excited for Rajkummar Rao-Patralekha-starrer Citylights that hits theatres on May 30.
Hansal Mehta has said that Arth inspired him to become a filmmaker, Bhatt said "I handed over my award for Saaransh to Hansal because he makes films with the same passion and honesty as I did. It is a token of appreciation from my side. I salute his spirit."
Talking about Citylights, he said, "It is a painfully honest film, one that is much required in today's time."

Shabana Azmi, one of Bhatt's favourite heroines, also concurred with his views. In a tweet, she said she was reminded of Bhatt's handling of sensitive scenes after watching Citylights.

Starring Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha, the movie is an adaptation of British film Metro Manila. It will hit approximately 400 screens, but Mahesh believes the movie is already a hit.

Made at a budget of less than Rs. 6 crore (including production and marketing), it has already earned an impressive amount from satellite rights and music.

“If it works, I will ask for more money to make such movies. If it doesn’t, which is quite impossible because it has to earn very less money... we can say that the film is a hit. Now, how big it will be only time will tell. Market will come if it’s very big hit. The revenue from satellite and music has been covered to some extent and now it is the profit that we need to know about,” he said.

Mahesh, who co-owns the production company with his brother Mukesh, said that he had to fight at his home to make Citylights.

“I fought at home to make this film. It wasn’t easy to make the film. There were ideological differences. My brother doesn’t support this kind of cinema. He said we have earned so much and have been successful for years so, why this now. I said if you want to be alive you need to be on the edge and play,” said Mahesh.

He believes that there is a need to keep fear alive - whether the movie will work or not - so that it reminds you that you are a human being and not god.