From the moment the trailer of Sadak 2 has dropped, it has been met with a barrage of backlash, making it the most disliked video ever on YouTube, and a lot of it has stemmed from people’s buying into the agenda that Alia Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt are in some way or another linked to either Sushant Singh Rajput’s death or him being ostracised from Bollywood news circles or both. In an exclusive interview with BollywoodLife, we asked Prakash Jha, who’s known for making great films like Gangaajal, Raajneeti, Mrityudand and Apaharan, which have always displayed a sense of social justice, to weigh in on the flak against the Sadak 2 trailer and subsequently, the hate Alia and Mahesh Bhatt have been drawing.
Opening up on why a great actress and director are being targeted WITHOUT any proof, Prakash Jha said, “I’m not on social media much, honestly. I’ve heard about this dislike and I don’t know what sort of message it sends, but it’s unfortunate. I also think it’s probably the product of this depressing pandemic time when people are getting the opportunity to vent their feelings in abnormal ways. No one can deny that Alia Bhatt is a brilliant actress. I don’t want to sit in judgment and say that she’s a brilliant person, I’ve never met her, but as an actor, she is very good. As a director, Mahesh Bhatt is very good. I don’t know if they’ve made a good or bad film, when the film comes, it’ll be judged then. But the access to social media to be able to vent your feelings has created this atmosphere where people are immediately jumping to opinions and judgments and things like that and if this is what the world has come to be, if a small virus can bring the world to its knees, things like dislikes for a trailer hardly matter.”
Reflecting on the Sushant Singh Rajput angle, the filmmaker added, “Think about it, the guy (Sushant) was doing such good work. I would’ve loved to work with him, unfortunately, I never had an opportunity to meet him. Maybe there were certain offers where he was kind of like pushed out, I don’t know, but that happens all the time. You can’t make that as a general rule and some people who are trying to make a big thing out of it, and it’s obnoxious, I don’t feel (it’s right). This is a part of this life. But think about it, the guy was doing such good work. When you come to Mumbai to prove yourself in the film industry, be prepared to strive and work very hard and to take rejection as many times as it happens because eventually, when you’ll get accepted, you shine. That is the beauty of this world.”
Elaborating how newcomers from outside want it too easy these days, he continued, “Of course, there should be less pain for the people stepping in, but these days, the guys coming, in two years or even one year they want to become successful, thinking everything is like on the shelf. But, no, it doesn’t happen (that way) here. There are young actors who meet me somewhere and say, ‘For six months we’ve been trying to meet you and your office doesn’t allow us to’. Now, that is possible, that may have happened because I would like to spend my time working rather than meeting all the people. There’s a process to meet people, you meet them only when you’re casting, and there are casting directors now, there are systems in place who look after that. But, I work with people who are fresh and new and who are also established, who are big actors. I’d definitely want us to take lessons and create systems where a talent doesn’t go unrecognised. But, don’t blame the industry for things that are quite unnecessary.”
Calling a spade, a spade, just as Prakash Jha is known to.