When his first feature film Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar released in 2000, a passing dialogue resulted in a backlash from a local political party. Today, after a few hits and many misses and much soul-searching, director Hansal Mehta is back with a biopic on the life of slain lawyer Shahid Azmi. Titled Shahid, it follows the critically acclaimed Chhal and Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai, which Mehta admits as a�?filmmaking at its worst.a�? And then there was the other debacle called Woodstock Villa.
The computer engineer and producer of TV show Khana Khazana,A� says his only star discovery was celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor. That changes with Shahid in which Raj Kumar pitches in with an award-worthy performance cementing his position as a towering actor, glimpses of which were seen in Gangs of Wasseypur and Kai Po Che. a�?Shahid reflects what I believe in and what I dona��t believe in,a�? says Mehta, whose film screened at the Toronto and Mumbai film festivals last year.
As his film releases today, Mehta says, a�?I also feel relieved for those who had faith in me a�� my editor and co-writer Apurva Asrani, cinematographer Anuj Dhawan, producers Sunil Bohra, Anurag Kashyap and Shailesh Singh and most of all my family.a�?