Monday, June 21, 2021

Vikram Bhatt on Covid crisis: Theatres are in a lot of trouble but this is not the time to talk about our personal losses

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Everything has been thrown into a disarray with the second wave of Covid-19 gripping India. The entertainment sector, which was just beginning to get back on its feet since late last year, is again seeing work getting stalled.

Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt says the business continued to get impacted, even after things had opened up around October last year when theatres reopened after seven months.

“We’re still reeling under the impact. I think we only got one proper release, Roohi (in February). Even Sanjay Gupta’s Mumbai Saga (that released in mid-March) got hit badly by the lockdown. I’m sure he suffered losses on a film that’s complete,” notes Bhatt, adding that the situation is grim everywhere.

“But when you look around and see people dying, the chaos and death around, you realise your problems are very little compared to what others are going through,” he says.

While the filmmaker, 52, admits that there’s trouble around, he insists that this is the time to come together to fight one single enemy, which is the virus. “Our theatres are in a lot of trouble, but the nation is in a bigger trouble. Right now is not the time to talk about our personal losses. I’d think this is the time for us to get together like a nation,” he asserts.

Bhatt had been shooting for a project, Anamika, with actor Sunny Leone, which came to a halt as the lockdown was announced in Maharasthra, last month.

“I was almost done with the shoot when work was again stopped. It was pretty tough. We did rapid antigen tests every day, and a RT-PCR every seven days. Luckily, I had another project, (recently released web series) Bisaat:Khel Shatranj Ka, which I had finished before in the interim period where we had less cases. That time, it wasn’t that bad,” shares the filmmaker.

Ask what’s keeping him occupied in this lockdown, and Bhatt reveals he is writing a lot. “My boss Mahesh Bhatt, an integral part of the creative process of my company, is on my case when I’m not doing enough. He’s a taskmaster. Thankfully, writing is something you can do when you are in a lockdown,” he ends.

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