Bollywood Hungama
Last Updated 20.03.2019 | 10:30 PM IST
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Pooja Bhatt’s new baby – ‘Paap’

Pooja Bhatt tied the nuptial knot around two weeks ago. But a honeymoon is not on her agenda as of now. At least for the time being! Instead, she’s back on the sets of her new film PAAP, giving instructions to John Abraham, new-find Udita Goswami and Anahita Uberoi about the sequence that’s going to be shot at a bungalow in Khar. “It’s no point going for a honeymoon when all you’re thinking of is your work, your project,” she confesses. PAAP is special, more so because Pooja is handling several responsibilities simultaneously. She has earlier designed projects, besides producing films. But this time, she’s directing the film as well as producing it. With PAAP, the actress of calibre, who turned producer with TAMANNA, has decided to call the shots. Literally! One would’ve expected Pooja to look hassled with the kind of responsibilities she’s shouldering this time around, but she’s as cool as a cucumber. That could also be because she has wrapped 90% of the film in a 40-day non-stop schedule in Spiti, on the Indo-China border. “Spiti is a picturesque locale and provides the perfect setting for my film,” Pooja tells me, as soon as she okays a shot, “The monasteries, the hills, the silence… It’s a secluded spot, but its beauty is mesmerising.” The actress turned film-maker was contemplating shooting the film at Ladakh, “But too many films have been shot there. Besides, it’s expensive to shoot during the peak season. I decided to opt for a locale that resembles Ladakh, yet was within my reach as a producer. It’s no point eyeing foreign locales when we’ve the best of locations in our backyard,” she smiles. True! So what’s PAAP all about? “Well, it’s a triangle of sorts. But the triangle in this case is not about three lovers, it’s about a woman who’s torn between her father’s ideologies [Mohan Agashe] and the new man in her life, her lover [John Abraham],” she divulges. Throwing light on the story, she continues, “The father had lost his wife early. He decides to leave the sorrows behind and seeks refuge in religion, by serving in a monastery. And embracing religion is the correct way to lead a fulfilled life.” But things change… The girl falls in love. She falls in love with a cop, a man of today. That’s when she has to make a choice! The role of the cop fell on John’s lap since Pooja feels he has the looks to carry it off with elan. “He’s a good looking man and at the same time has that vulnerable look this character demands. Even otherwise, John has grown tremendously as an actor. He’s more relaxed now than he ever was,” she says. Pooja continues, “If the lead man happens to be good looking and also has substance to offer as an actor, then working with such people becomes much more enjoyable.” In fact, Pooja is working with a young team this time around. “They [the youngsters] bring in lots of positive energy on the sets,” she smiles. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, signing Bipasha Basu [or any established heroine for that matter!] was never on the cards. “Frankly, I wanted an actress without an image. At the same time, she had to look unaffected by the rigmarole of everyday life,” she says. Pooja’s father, the celebrated Mahesh Bhatt, is scripting PAAP. “I would be a fool if I didn’t take his suggestions. His vast experience and valuable suggestions are only for the betterment of the film, although I must add that he never thrusts his ideas on me. He does suggest his point of view, but it’s up to me whether to accept it or reject it,” she beams. PAAP is Pooja’s sixth film as a producer, her second with Shreya Creations, her partners in this project. “The equations are simple. They don’t interfere in the creative department, nor do I interfere in the day-to-day monetary transactions. That’s Sheel Kumar and Ashok Karumbaya’s department,” she explains. So, what next? “Well, I intend making at least four films every year. Not mammoth ventures, but medium-budget films. Films that have a story to tell. I can’t make the run-of-the-mill commercial formula-ridden films. The box-office success is important, but not at the cost of compromising on the content,” Pooja states firmly. PAAP is racing towards completion and is being readied for a December 2003 release.

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