Mumbai: Vikram Bhatt is back with his next scariest film that he ever made in his life, Ghost. The film stars Sanaya Irani and Shivam Bhaargava in lead roles. The trailer of the film is spooky enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. The story revolves around an Indian politician Karan Khanna (Shivam) who is accused of murdering his wife in the UK. He claims that supernatural energy made him do it. Simran Singh (Sanaya) plays the lawyer who battles the case of Shivam. Will the court understand that a ghost has committed the crime?
In an exclusive conversation with Deccan Chronicle the star cast Shivam, Sanaya and director Vikram reveal details about their skin-deep journey with the film, horror as a genre their views on spirituality, multi-universe, and their spooky experiences.
Vikram do you believe in the concept of parallel universe? Do you think that we only die physically but the soul is immortal and what you give you get?
Vikram: There's no simple answer. My belief system is based on a lot of books that I have read and a lot of research I‘ve done. I believe that we chart out the lessons we need to learn. We actually request people to be our enemies in this birth so that we can learn our lessons. We have some contracts with souls on the other side who are born. Quantum physics and spirituality says there are souls on the other side. As a matter of fact, when they were trying to reach the singularity in Mathematics which is a String theory. They could not come to Big Bang until and unless they added the multiverses of the parallel universe. There are 2 theories on parallel universes one is that every time we make a choice there's a part of us that does live the choice that you have not taken and a collection of those choices exists the belief, both in Quantum Physics and Spirituality. I do believe that's there's a parallel universe. There's a remarkable theory that gravity should be far far more than what we experienced. Imagine the planet that has the mass of Earth that actually should have so much gravity that if you throw a ball it should not be able to pull down. Why is gravitational force weak? There's a theory that gravitational force is shared by the universes and theory says that gravitational force is leaking. Scientists are seeing if via this force we can enter the multiverse. It's a fascinating subject.
Shivam as Karan Khanna you are tied between logic vs supernatural energy which has been controlling your actions. Do you believe that unforeseen incidents that occur in life are pre-planned?
Shivam: I do believe that there's some kind of destiny otherwise everyone whose hardworking would achieve what they have meant to achieve. Sometimes you have to be at the right place at the right time which kind of and it comes into the whole destiny thing. I believe that if you have to keep doing your bit and keep giving your all. If you want something you have to create it. Sometimes you create your own destiny.
Sanaya what was your spine chilling experience in real life?
Sanaya: I haven't had too many eerie experiences. There was a point in my life like I think a month almost I was having extremely terrible nightmares. I always used to wake up at 3 Am. It was just a weird time. There was a time when I was asleep and I felt someone blow in my ear. I was really freaked out.
Vikram your songs in horror movies are always layered. Whether it's Raaz or Jaltey Bujhtey from Ghost? How are they so beautiful? What do you intend saying with the words?
Vikram: I think the beauty of horror films is that when you make a song there are two layers in a song. There the said and unsaid and both are part of it. I always tell my lyrics, writers, that when you listen to the song after seeing the film it should mean something else to you. Right now ‘Jaltey Bhujhtey’ seems like this soft seductive number. When you see the film and come out of the film it would mean something totally different else and yet it the words would make sense. That's the kind of genre horror has a beauty.
Sanaya and Shivam what were your greatest challenges playing Karan and Simran? As seen both have a troubled life emotionally and personally.
Shivam: It was not challenging emotionally but on why Karan was feeling what he was feeling. It was about the layers of his character. The character is very logical and straightforward. But things that are not understandable are happening to him. To deal with them he had to be the way he was.
Sanaya: For me, it was an extremely challenging role. When you see the film you will understand that Simran is an extremely complex person. She is having too many issues to deal with in her life. She has personal demons of her own. She has professionally faced with the demon. It was a very challenging character and that being said, the film is a horror genre. You have to move on with the story. It's not a drama or an emotional film or one of those films where you have enough time to lay a character, go with her and feel every moment. The challenge for me was to convey to the audience what she is going through, what she is feeling and facing at a quicker pace. I hope that they get it.
Sanaya what does love mean to you. As seen in 'RoohKa Rishta’ is the song that celebrates the bond of love.
Sanaya: I think love is love when it is unconditional and selfless.
Shivam ‘Janmo Janam’ has been a song about the untold feelings of the characters. Have you ever faced a similar situation in real life where your feelings were left unsaid?
Shivam: I’ve actually. It was not that deep as I was much younger and it was more of an infatuation than the ‘Janmo Janam’ kind of love. Sadly I was very practical in life even as a child. When I knew this was not going to work I don’t waste my time. Maybe it would be different if I was deeply in love.
Vikram how extensively have you pushed boundaries with Ghost when it came to film making? You have said previously that it's one of the scariest films you have made.
Vikram: You know what you don’t have to push the boundaries. As a matter of fact, you’ve to bring the boundaries closer because the more believable the more scarier. If you make something fantastic and say, ‘oh I am pushing the boundary’ then you are not doing the same but making it unbelievable. When you bring the boundary closer to the characters and emotions, to the setting and you feel that ‘Oh My God’ this could happen to me also. This could be in my house, people could be in my closet that’s when it gets scary. Like 1920 is a very scary film but at the end of the day, it is happening in 1920. This is happening now. If you have a horror experience in an elevator it can scare you up. If you have something under your bed it will scare you. The more believable the better. For making it believable you have to get it closer to the audience as supposed to taking it far from them.
Sanaya, from TV to films how has your journey been? Is it different when you compare TV and the silver screen?
Sanaya: Well, when it comes to my journey I feel that my journey just happened organically. I didn’t try to make any move into films. I was following the path of good content actually and that happened organically. Yes acting on the TV and big screen is very different.
Infact acting on a web series and the silver screen is also different. Vikram used to tell me during the filming of the film that when your face is blown up on such a big screen, subtlety is all you need, for every little twitch in your face, every little movement looks extra.
When that face is there on a small screen it impacts differently. That way I had to calm myself down. Be a little more subtle which I hadn’t been in the last 10 years of acting because I probably never got such roles. This character was different. I cannot act according to the audiences on TV and films. Some may feel my acting is beautiful, some may call it terrible. I cannot act according to somebody. I need to act according to what is written in the film. I need to portray a character that the writer has written and nothing else.
What my director wants from me, what the writer thought about the character, not even what I perceived it as. When I read the character of Simran I perceived something else, and when I went on sets I was completely taken aback because Vikram had written and was directing it. There are people out there with zillions of opinions and I would go crazy thinking everyone has to like me. I need to justify what the writer has thought about the character. If I can do justice to that then I think I have done my best.
Shivam what do you learn from horror as a genre?
Shivam: As an actor, there's a lot left to your imagination. There’s a lot you have to react to by just your imagination of what might be happening. Normally with any other kind of genre you are reacting to your co-actor, to certain chances of things happening around you which are very tangible or right there. That’s the biggest difference when you’re doing horror or Sci-Fi or superhero film.
After Stree the audience's expectations have risen with horror genres. What are your expectations from the same Vikram?
Vikram: I think every film makes a promise. The promise of Ghost is, “hey! we’re gonna scare you”. It will draw you into the lives of people who are fighting strange people. The test of the film is what you deliver what you promise. I don’t think people will watch the film saying, “hey! let’s go and watch another Stree”.
They’ll come to watch what we have advertised. They won’t come and say, “arey yaar Housefull 4 jaise nai hai yaar”. That’s not a promise. The promise is something else and be true to it, and that’s what audiences need. It’s like you going to a restaurant which promises you a great meal. You have the same and you are happy. When you don’t have one you go and write some crap. It’s the same relationship with the masses.
Vikram what are the difficulties and limitations while making horror movies for Hindi cinema?
Vikram: The audience is definitely divided. There is A++ who see 'The Sky Is Pink'. They ask me why don’t I make films like Conjuring or Annabelle? My answer is it’s already been made. Secondly there is a bit of hypocrisy that exists within a certain kind of audience that thinks that if there is a Hanuman Chalisa and if there is a Pandit then he is bad. When you watch Emily Rose the priest is seen as cool but if the Pandit is chanting Hanuman Chalisa you are like, “kya yaar Hanuman Chalisa”. How LS (Low Standard). We think that our religion, our pandits are LS but the priest whose an American is cool. I don’t make films for that audience. I make films for an audience that understands 'Aatma', 'Paramatman'. I don’t make films for the devil, god and people who want to borrow from other cultures.
Vikram what's your thought process while directing a horror film? Does it ever get exhausting?
Vikram: Making horror films is a very spiritual thing. It is about spirits. The difference between a soul and a spirit is that you know when we die we are just souls as the Geeta says. We have had many births and reincarnations and the soul can’t be destroyed.
It doesn’t start from somewhere and doesn’t end somewhere. It’s an endless piece of God. But a spirit is a soul that refuses to give up on its last incarnation identity. Even after death, it refuses to go into the light, the fact that I am part of the whole. Then they linger because they don’t want to siver. They want to be alive. That is a spirit and I believe in that and I make a film out of that.
Shivam, Sanay and Vikram if you had one supernatural power what would it be and how would you use it?
Vikram on Shivam: He can eat anything and not put on weight (laughs). Shivam adds, I would change the world by sparing some food so that others could eat.
Sanaya: I would like the power to do teleportation. I would like to be anywhere anytime whenever I want.
Vikram: I think I wish I could merge my consciousness with other people. Especially with people in pain so that I could heal them. There is so much of sadness which needs to be end. I can’t end the Kalyug for which you need to wait for Kalki.
Watch the trailer:
The movie is set to release on October 18....