Family ties

Updated: Jan 1 2006, 10:13am hrs
Being film-maker Mahesh Bhatts nephew sure has its pluses. For Mohit Suri, 24, who cut his teeth as a film-maker, working in uncle Mahesh Bhatts productions for a year (on films like Paap and Jism), before he summed up courage to show his script, the bloodline helped. The shrewd filmmaker in Bhatt recognised the potential in the script of Zeher (Suris first film) and gave Suri three months and Rs 8 crore to make his first film.

The first bit was easy: ensuring cousin Emraan Hashmi and girlfriend Udita Goswami to play lead roles. After a gruelling 40-day Goa schedule, Suris debut film was declared a hit.

I was floating then. Everyone had thought Bhattsaab had signed me on because I was family. But believe me, he is also a businessman and wouldnt want to sign on anyone who could be a risk. My film did show potential at some point and when it became a hit I was vindicated.

But not one to bask on his laurels, Suri promptly started work on his second film which takes a closer look at the porn industry in India, this time around with sister Smiley, child actor-turned-hero- Kunal Khemmu and cousin Emran essaying a small role. Kalyug, which released in December, had to take on the might of Amitabh Bachchans Ek Ajnabee and Yash Chopras smartly packaged and better marketed Neal-n-Nikki. And surprisingly it was the

only film which managed decent initials (close to 70-80 %, which for a film made on a small budget is profitable) in the first

week of December.

Suri once again sounds modest. Kalyug is more realistic and touches chords. That is where its success lies.The film owes its box-office earnings to good script, music and powerful acting by the cast.

Predictably, while Suri wouldnt mind working for outside producers and is quite welcome to the idea, but confesses to enjoying working with the Bhatts the most.

I am working on two scripts and I know that with the Bhatts, its like working from home. We are after all family. And as long as the Bhatt family is also getting accolades and rich dividends, its alright to work together . The Bhatts arent going to complain about Suris devotion to them!