Say Something and You’ll Be Personally Targeted: Vishal Bhardwaj

Vishal Bhardwaj allows his films do the talking for him, and largely stays away from political controversies surrounding Bollywood films. But the elusive filmmaker made an exception when he spoke about everything from the kind of cinema that fascinates him, why the film fraternity chooses to remain silent when fringe elements attack a film ahead of its release, the role of journalism and much more.

The Haider filmmaker also spoke about journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder in a conversation at Express Adda.

"There is a psychosis of fear. If you say something, you will be personally targeted. We have seen that in the way Gauri Lankesh was killed. Bollywood can be just an entertainment form for you, but it’s bread and butter for us." - Vishal Bhardwaj

At an event organised by The Indian Express, Vishal Bhardwaj spoke about the controversies that Bollywood films like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Udta Punjab and others have been embroiled in.

"If we have spent Rs 40 crore on a film and then, one week or three days before, you start an agitation, the cost becomes Rs 140 crore before the film is released. They hit you where it hurts the most." - Vishal Bhardwaj

He also commented on television channels being turned into a “comedy show” and being used as a form of entertainment for audiences.

"The role of film is a mirror to society, which should be the work of the media, But present-day journalism feels like a comedy show, it’s like a comedy circus. When you see Arnab (Goswami of Republic TV) is screaming on the screen, initially it feels like you can’t see it and watch through, and then you start enjoying it."

Bhardwaj spoke about the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) being turned into the “Censor Board” around the release of films with sensitive plots.

"Then, the Censor Board says change the name of Punjab in Udta Punjab but the judiciary allows the film to be released. Anyway, we are considered as bhand (entertainers). We are a part of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and not Ministry of Culture. We are entertainers, who never used to be taken seriously until recently."

(Source: The Indian Express)

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