February 15, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Crook: It’s Good To Be Bad’ to be directed by Mohit Suri, will go into the ugly world of racism in Australia. The problem is will Australia allow a film on such sensitive subject to be shot in the country?
In the wake of the series of racial attacks against Indian students in Australia, a Bollywood film being planned on the subject is now being hastened into production.
Attacks on Indian students in Australia notwithstanding Bollywood’s filmmakers continue to shoot their films in the land of the Aussies. The unit of Karan Johar’s ‘Stepmom’ (tentative title) which included Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal has recently returned from Sidney.
But would Suri’s ‘Crook: It’s Good To Be Bad’ be allowed to shot in the country that the film will categorically deride for allowing foreign (Asian) students to be segregated and attacked?
Throwing light on the film’s theme Mahesh Bhatt says, “‘Crook: It’s Good To Be Bad’ chronicles the journey of an indifferent young Indian who believes in the I-ME-MYSELF creed, until the guy gets sucked into the quagmire of hate when racial war breaks out in Australia.”
The films, says Bhatt, is the story of the young protagonist’s (Emraan Hashmi) journey from apathy to sensitivity about the way young students are treated abroad.
If the Australian government grows conscious of the fact that Bhatt’s film condemns racial policies in the country it would in all probability bar director Suri from shooting in the country.
Remember how Deepa Mehta’s film ‘Water’ on the poignant plight of the widows in Varanasi had to be shot in Sri Lanka after the shooting was disrupted in India?
Mahesh Bhatt, no stranger to risks and controversies will probably sneak into Australia quietly, shoot his film and return before the Aussies realize what the film is about.
Or else Suri and Bhatt have another choice. They can shoot in another country and pass it off as Australia.
However Mahesh Bhatt is hopeful. “We are not demonizing Australia. We are taking a more enlightened view on the subject. We are hopeful there would be no problem getting to shoot in Australia. I’m certain Australians will stretch themselves to help us shoot in their land. Our film’s concerns are life-affirming.”
Either way ‘Crook: It’s Good To Be Bad’ promises to be one more rule-bending work of cinema from Mahesh Bhatt.
By Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire