Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who is making his acting debut with the film The Dark Side Of Life: Mumbai City, helmed by Tariq Khan, says the director gets all the credit for pushing him into this new role.
On his acting debut, Bhatt told the media here: “Tariq Khan is a good and a decent human being. He came to me with this role, and he insisted that I take it up. I have always supported new and honest talent, and Tariq is one such guy. I liked him immediately. He came straight to the point in a very simple manner.
“He (Tariq) explained the character to me of this Muslim father, who lives alone and his son lives in the US. He keeps a Hindu boy in his house as a tenant.”
According to Bhatt, Tariq has treated this relationship very sensitively, “especially in a city where people reach the point of giving up on life and commit suicide”.
He said the movie has a message for such people.
“Keep on living and struggling with life. I liked that message a lot because suicide is such a reality which society hasn’t dealt with. I think we are in danger from ourselves, so I liked this core as well,” Bhatt said.
He found it important to support a brave filmmaker like Tariq.
“Suicide is 21st century’s self-generated disease. The dark side of human nature… We are our biggest enemies. This plot has been successfully handled. This is a very unusual plot and handled beautifully… The filmmakers doesn’t make films like this, they just cannot get over the entertainment genre.
“So when someone comes up with a different kind of cinema, it is essential that we support him and I have supported him.”
Newcomer Avi Pardasani plays the role of the Hindu boy, who lives with Bhatt’s character Zulfikar Hussain, in the film.
On working with the newcomer, Bhatt said: “He is such a sensitive child. I liked him the moment I saw him. I really wanted to hug him the moment I see him. He is such a sweet child”.
In the film, Bhatt plays a painter. It also features Kay Kay Menon, Nikhil Ratnaparkhi, Neha Khan and Allisha Khan.