Mahesh Bhatt
Mahesh Bhatt

Just a couple of months after their last big screen outing Murder 3, Bhatts are back with yet another product coming from the house of Vishesh Films, Aashiqui 2. The fact that the two films are as different from each other as chalk and cheese doesn’t have to be stated. Though Murder 3 stayed away from the erotic quotient, it was a film with crime and passion in the middle of it all. Now with Aashiqui 2, even though passion remains intact, what with music being a central element here, erotica is entirely out of the picture as pure love takes centre-stage.

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The film was earlier supposed to arrive in the month of May but you did something unthinkable by advancing the film’s releasing. The trend is to see filmmaker moving their films ahead.

I think what happened was that we didn’t anticipate our first song ‘Tum Hi Ho‘ to create such a stir. I will share with you an anecdote. Just last weekend I had this British girl uploading her version of ‘Tum Hi Ho’ on the internet. She was singing in this thick Brit accent but I could experience that the emotions were intact. I realized that the song had made inroads into regions where normally Hindi film music doesn’t reach. When your music creates such kind of buzz in so less time and creates an all around excitement, it makes sense to capitalize on that. This is the reason why we pre-poned the film.

It must have challenged your overall marketing and promotional plans though.

For Bhushan (Kumar) and us, this was a challenge we were willing to take. As for Mohit (Suri), he too has a task in hand to finish post production work in a much quicker time. Yes, there were anxieties around whether we would be able to race against time. However our young team has managed to crack it now. It did mean more working hours, more workforce and more heartburns but then all of that has been worth it.

One looks forward to the film too being a worthy successor to ‘Aashiqui’. So what really is the core of ‘Aashiqui’ as a franchise which makes it stand out when compared to any other love story, whether from Vishesh Films or otherwise?

If you look at films coming from our production itself during the decade gone by, there was an inherent sensual quotient that played throughout. Now here is Aashiqui 2 which is one film coming after a long time that returns to the past. We had to do that so that we can pave our journey into the future. After having catered to the body, we have catered to the heart and soul now. Aashiqui 2 is love story of extraordinary dimension. It will make people say that ‘Aah, we wish we experience love like this in our life time’. This is what is special about the film.

When ‘Aashiqui’ (1990) came, it’s soundtrack by Nadeem Shravan and Sameer changed the course of the music industry in general. Has that been an aspiration with ‘Aashiqui 2’ as well?

In the 1980s prior to ‘Aashqui’, the music industry was in its last gasp; it was almost in a terminal stage. Movies were made with action, stunts and violence while romance and music had gone away. It was Gulshan Kumar who turned out to be a game changer. This is where ‘Aashiqui’ turned out to be a watershed event. India was getting into a new phase and the Soviet socialist narrative on which India was running was being looked at differently. A new India was emerging, liberalization came in and we were on the threshold of a change. 20 years later when are arriving with ‘Aashiqui 2′, the country is again through a change. Obviously, the music is bound to be in sync with that. We are a much younger country today.

Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder

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