Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt today said he sees his daughter Alia Bhatt and many other actresses fitting into the shoes of Smita Patil, who could handle both commercial and parallel cinema with aplomb.
Smita Patil and Alia Bhatt (Pic/Santa Banta)
"There is a new dawn, a new energy. There is a new beginning I must say... I see a lot more actors, including a few regional parallel cinema actresses and also my daughter Ali Bhatt walking the way this great actor Smita did way back in time. "She could act both in commercial and parallel films and yet not get cliched," he told PTI in an interview here. Bhatt was here to attend the two-day Smita Patil festival organised by Pickle Jar, which offers socially relevant programmes.
The filmmaker said Alia has all the potential to walk the path of Smita as she has been doing both commercial and experimental films from a very young age. "Why shouldn't I mention my daughter Alia? She has done 'Highway' and also some lighter roles at a very young age. She can do both commercial and experimental films as she has grown up seeing Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi's movies by my production house," he said.
"However, I do not want to limit this to my daughter alone alone... there are other girls doing regional films. They are talented. I think once they make a foray into mainstream cinema, they may become smart to oscillate between doing parallel and commercial cinemas," he added. Bhatt said parallel filmmakers did not feel betrayed
when Smita did commercial films like 'Namak Halal' and 'Shakti', but benefited by the star value she brought to their respective tables.
"I think they benefited enormously after she switched over to mainstream cinema. Smita did exactly what Emraan Hashmi is doing, bringing star value to the table of parallel filmmakers by doing commercial films and offbeat film like 'Shanghai'," he said. Bhatt recalled that Smita was not unfair to parallel filmmakers as she was always available to them. "She was always available whenever they came to her with a story idea or a film," he added.