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Mahesh Bhatt (born on September 20, 1949), is a prominent Indianmarker film director, producer and screenwriter.

Bhatt's early directional career consisted of acclaimed art parallel films, such as Arth, Saaransh, Janam and Naam.

He was later the writer of numerous commercial films in a range of film genres, from dramas like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and comedies like Duplicate, though he was mostly recognised for thrillers like Inteha, Jism, Murder and Woh Lamhe.


Early Life and family

Mahesh Bhatt was born to Nanabhai Bhatt, (1915-1999), a Hindi film director-producer. His father was a Hindu Brahmin and mother a Muslim. Nanabhai's brother, Balwant Bhatt (1909-1965) was also a Hindi film director. In 1970 Bhatt dropped out of college to enter films.


Bhatt began his career as an assistant to Hindi director Raj Khosla. At age 21 he made his debut as a director, with the film Sakat (1970) , this was followed by Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain in 1974. His 1979 film, Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna, bagged two Filmfare Awards in 1980.

Though 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 illegitimate birth to extramarital affair and created critically acclaimed films 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 dramatic films like Kaash (1987), which dealt with real-life family situations with a tragic end.

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 film directors of the Indian film industry in the coming decade, giving both serious films like Daddy (1989), launching his daughter Pooja Bhatt as a film 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 his daughter Pooja with actor Aamir Khan. He next directed Sadak (1991) and won critical acclaim for the film Sir (1993), which saw Pooja Bhatt acting along with Naseeruddin Shah. In 1994 he won the National Film Award - Special Jury Award for his film, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)

In 1995 he moved to television, then a newly opening up medium in India. He made two TV series, the English language "A Mouthful of Sky" written by Ashok Banker and the popular Hindi language serial "Swabhimaan" scripted by writer Shobha De.

Following this, he directed drama films like Dastak (1996), the debut film of actress Sushmita Sen, and Tamanna (1997), and tried his hand at comedy with Duplicate in 1998.

His film, 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 full-time, 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

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 himself is known for making both art films with realistic topics and commercial films which include a wide division of action, comedy and thriller films.

His serious films demanded strong performances from the performers, and 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 Lamhein, Paap, Jism etc.

Personal life

He has a daughter Pooja Bhatt who is a former actress, from his first marriage to Kiran Bhatt. His second wife is Soni Razdan, an accomplished film actress and director. He also has a son, Rahul Bhatt from his first marriage and two daughters from Soni Razdan Shaheen Bhatt & Alia Bhatt.He also had an intimate affair with Parveen Babi.

In 1970s, he became a follower of Osho Rajneesh, and later found spiritual companionship and guidance with philosopher, U.G. Krishnamurti, whose biography he later wrote as, U.G. Krishnamurti: A Life, in 1992. 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' published in June-2009.

Bhatt is co-owner of film production house, Vishesh Films.



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