Mahesh Bhatt has always given us films that have pushed against boundaries, leaving us with something to take home after the credits roll. The director says that it is this desire that influenced the making of Jalebi as well. “This generation is no longer ready to consume stories they have been seeing in cinema for a long time. Jalebi respects this changing India that has matured because the world too has matured,” says Bhatt about the film, adding, “Jalebi shows us that, in order to make a good love story, a relationship does not have to end.”
When the topic is love, the director can wax eloquent. Talking about the nuances of the emotion, he says, “Love is one of mankind’s enduring gifts and it has its own shadow. You cannot love without the shadow of pain; such is life. This generation is open to looking at the realities of love and Jalebi too looks at life in the eye.”
When quizzed about the plagiarism accusations surrounding the film’s poster, since many have pointed out its striking similarity to the iconic Korean War Goodbye Kiss photograph, Mahesh says, “I have never boasted about being original. Any joker who thinks he is original is an idiot and is fooling himself. Everything is sourced from somewhere; nothing is original. So I say that the poster has been picked from life, from the sea of images that pour into our cell phones. The human brain is not a creative brain; it is a recycling brain. Whatever is put inside will come back at some point.”
Though Jalebi has been pegged as a family film, Mahesh is not apologetic about his previous offerings, which have been peppered with generous doses of X-rated scenes. “I took a conscious decision to turn to erotic thrillers because that’s what the young generation wanted. While the old guys were making family films, I made movies that created Emraan Hashmi and Bipasha Basu, and these films entertained people. Sin is a profitable business. Where would the police, judges and the media be if there were no sinners? Long live sin and the sinners,” he exclaims in jest.
Talking about Sadak 2 and his return to direction he says, “I felt like exhaling all that I had inhaled through my journey, and that’s how Sadak 2 happened.”
Despite his successful career, the filmmaker says that he is in awe of both his daughters. “While Pooja is like a sunrise in the desert, Alia is like a sunrise at the peak. But both are like sunrises for me. My kids have been unique from the time they were born and I have been awestruck by them. An attempt to define them will be like bottling huge oceans, which is not possible to do. I cannot freeze them by my description because they are ready to go miles,” he concludes.