For director duo Raksha Mistry and Hasnain Hyderabadwaala, Jashan wasn’t an easy assignment. After all box office wasn’t too kind to them in spite of two reasonably entertaining films [The Killer, The Train] while they were charged with lifting scripts from Hollywood sources. However, they promised to make something out and out original once they were set out to make their third film. The result was Jashnn where they had Bhatt brothers backing their dream.
However, life hasn’t been all bed of roses for them as even till the eve of the film’s release, they have been bombarded with queries around Mahesh Bhatt being the driving force for the film. In a conversation with Joginder Tuteja, Raksha Mistry sets the record straight and hopes that eventually it will be the film that would do all the talking and ultimately film lovers would realize that Jashnn has a lot more to it than the mystery surrounding the direction credits.
There have been talks about Mahesh Bhatt being a creative force in the making of Jashnn, which is actually a fair deal. However, were you expecting or rather seeking it as well from Day One?
Let me start from the very beginning. When we started scripting Jashnn, we realized that Mahesh Bhatt was taking the film quite personally. Somehow Bhatt saab’s journey in life is very similar to that of the character that Adhyayan plays in the film due to which I could see him getting attached to the project. Because of this, we requested him to be on the sets because that would have only added value to the project. However, media has its own way of looking at things as they were blown out of proportion and it was being declared that he has directed the entire film!
Bhatt saab’s journey in life is very similar to that of the character that Adhyayan plays in Jashan.
But he did direct a few scenes, right?
There is a technical definition of direction and as far as our film making education goes, he was ‘aiding’ in a few scenes, not ‘directing’ them. He helped in those scenes where there were some real life references because he could help the actors bring in the kind of intensity that the characters felt. Saying anything more than this would be just repeating the obvious!
Going back in the past, The Train didn’t work in spite of Emraan Hashmi, hit music and some good thrilling moments. Have you ever asked yourself, why?
Yes, I have and the first thing that comes to my mind is that it was revealed even before the release of the film that the character played by Geeta Basra was negative. I mean that was THE fulcrum of the movie and since the entire country had seen Derailed, the surprise factor was gone. I was just hoping throughout that the suspense won’t leak out but it did eventually. For a thriller, the biggest plus point is the suspense quotient and our film failed in that very aspect!
The kind of slaps that we got after The Train and The Killer were important us and we knew that in our third attempt, we had to work on an original
And you swore off doing remakes forever, right?
See, at that time we were nobody who wanted to be somebody; something which is also the pitch for Jashnn. Hasnain and I had been assistants to renowned directors and had seen a fair share of struggle. Now after making two movies, life did teach us a lesson. The kind of slaps that we got were important for us and we knew that in our third attempt, we had to work on an original.
From Emraan Hashmi to Adhyayan Suman, the casting did see a change, isn’t it?
I wanted the casting perfectly right for Jashnn. Even if I had to go to hell and back I would have only settled down for what I wanted. I told this to Mukesh-ji and discussed around getting the right faces in. He just said that since Vishesh Films doesn’t work with stars but actors, we had to get the hunt going. He gave us complete freedom to choose the right faces as directors. Today, my best compliment has come from Bhatts who have acknowledged that Jashnn has been cast quite well.
We treated Adhyayan as if Jashnn was his launch pad
For Adhyayan too it’s a big film, right?
Yes, we treated Adhyayan as if Jashnn was his launch pad. In fact he himself believes that. At the end of the day, this is his first solo hero project and the whole film rests on his shoulders.
Any specific guidance that you had to give him before you began the shoot?
We mainly told him that he didn’t have to act. He had to bring in his real life experience into the film while keeping all the ‘filmiyat’ at home!