Filmmaker Hardik Gajjar’s latest offering Atithi Bhooto Bhava recently released on a digital platform. The film stars Jackie Shroff, Pratik Gandhi and Sharmin Segal. The Free Press Journal caught up with the director for an exclusive chat.
Hardik’s previous film Bhavai also had an unusual title like his latest release Atithi Bhooto Bhava. When asked the reason behind keeping out-of-the-box titles, he reveals, “The original idea of the title was of my writer Aniket (Wakchaure) since we initially planned to make a Marathi film on this subject. We say Atithi Devo Bhava, which means, guests are like gods and Atithi Bhooto Bhava means that even ghosts are like gods if they visit your house. The whole idea is to grab maximum eyeballs for the title and to highlight that not all ghosts are evil.”
When further asked about the relevance of the subject that deals with the ghosts, Hardik explains, “Including Bhootnath, there have been several films made on similar subjects but as a filmmaker, I see my film Atithi Bhooto Bhava in a very different manner. Technically, it’s an out and out love story. I feel the youth have lost the importance of love in their lives since they live a mechanical and fast food era. Earlier, the style of romance was way different. It had purity and innocence.”
Opening up about the plot, he reveals, “The film is about a 60-year old man, played by Jackie, who passed away five years ago when he was 55 year-old but he revisits life as a ghost to make the couple feel the importance of true love. I won’t call my film a horror-comedy.”
Atithi Bhooto Bhava is Hardik’s second association with Pratik after Bhavai. On his camaraderie with him, Hardik gushes, “More than a filmmaker and an artiste bond, it is like friendship between us. When we were discussing Atithi Bhooto Bhava, he also gave his creative inputs. Our wavelengths are in sync, we both understand our silences even. On the sets, it’s a very easy going process. I am sure that people saw a different Pratik in the opening sequence of the film.”
Sharmin plays Pratik’s love interest in the film. On a concluding note, Hardik tells us why he wanted as her leading lady. “More than finding a girl opposite Pratik, it was the character which represents today’s youth. In her debut film Malaal, she had a slightly glamorous role but this is more natural and realistic. I wanted a strong relatability. I loved her performance in Malaal and her face cut also resonated with a Bengali girl,” he signs off.