Vishal Bharadwaj: The fall guy?

May 10, 2013, 08:35 IST | Jigar Shah

A maverick and one of the most respected film-maker he is, but lately we hear corporate houses are shying away from investing in his films. Will Vishal Bharadwaj tide over this difficult phase?

Vishal Bharadwaj can safely be called the thinking man/woman’s director. This film-maker has earned huge respect thanks to his immense talent in music and film-making. While his music was accepted whole heartedly (he recently claimed that music will remain his first love), unfortunately his recent movies have not been able to create any ripple at the box office.

Vishal Bharadwaj

It is said that the last film of his that actually made some money is Ishqiya back in 2010 -- which was produced by him but directed by his protégé Abhishek Chaube. It’s been three years since a film that came from the Bharadwaj stable has apparently managed to make much profit. So understandably, the corporate houses are not so sure of backing the film-maker.

According to a source, Bharadwaj is planning to direct a film but when he approached Fox Star Studio, which had earlier produced his film, he was apparently turned down. But later, they budged and put down a condition that they will produce a film provided Chaubey directs it.

However, they deny the whole episode. “We have had a great association with Vishal on Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. The film’s opening weekend is among the top five of the year and we recovered all our costs.

While at this point, there is no discussion with Vishal for a project, we are always up for working with talented directors across the spectrum,” says Vijay Singh, CEO of the production house.
The source further informs, “Vishal is on the wish list of most of the actors in the industry today and the kind of performances he draws from them catapults the actors into a new territory. So it would be sad that if he doesn’t get the funds to do the kind of films that he makes.”

His last directorial venture Matru ki Bijli...made Rs 38 crore from the box office whereas his last production Ek Thi Daayan made R 26 crore. Saat Khoon Maaf did Rs 20 crore and Kaminey (2009) grossed around Rs 65 crore. Abhishek Choubey’s Ishqiya was made at a very modest budget but was a hit and made Rs 25 crore at the box office.

It is sad if Bharadwaj, who’s the recipient of multiple national award winner, has to go around looking for financiers for his kind of movie.

A source from UTV, which made Saat Khoon Maaf with Vishal (which was another dud at box office) said that they have nothing on schedule for this year with the film-maker. “But if Vishal does come up with something interesting, we would love to be part of the film.”

Distributor and exhibitor Akshaye Rathi says, “I’d call Vishal Bharadwaj a brave artiste! His films may never have been moneyspinners, but each one of them has pushed the envelope a great deal when it comes to the ‘art’ of film making and extracting outstanding performances!

Be it Saif's Langda Tyagi, Priyanka Chopra’s Susanna in 7 Khoon Maaf or Shahid Kapoor’s Charlie in Kaminey -- each one has been a memorable performance! Surely not the most ‘commercial’ film maker in B-Town, but Vishal Bharadwaj is undoubtedly among the most talented directors around!” 

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