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Director Soham P. Shah: “Kartam Bhugtam is a gripping narrative that juggles ancient universal truths of astrology and karma”

Starring Shreyas Talpade, Vijay Raaz, Madhoo, and Aksha Pardasany, Kartam Bhugtam will be released in cinemas on May 17.



Shreyas Talpade (L) and Soham P. Shah (R)

By Jyothi Venkatesh

Filmmaker-actor Soham Shah, who has earlier helmed films like Kaal and Luck, is all set with his new project ‘Kartam Bhugtam’. Starring Shreyas Talpade, Madhoo, and Vijay Raaz, among others, the film talks about how people are drawn towards astrology and superstition during vulnerable times.

In a chat with JYOTHI VENKATESH for Cine Blitz, Shah spoke about his new film, his choice of moving out of Dharma Productions after his debut ‘Kaal’ (2005), and also opened up about his learnings from his past films, including the failure of Imran Khan-starrer, Luck.

You left Karan Johar’s production house in 2007.

It (Dharma) is still one of the biggest production houses, but things happen when it happens. What’s important is that today, we have a cordial relationship. It’s all nice and friendly between us. I really feel that your career graph and the movies don’t matter, it’s all about human relationships and the equation that we have built. That’s really important.

Believe it or not, Kaal was made on a budget of Rs 9.5 crore at that time, and it did a business of Rs 36 crore. I don’t think it needed more numbers. There was a perception, for whatever reason, that the film failed. But it made decent money for the producers and the company. And if people are still talking about it 18 years later, that says something. I think some films get their dues later in life. But I liked what I made, that’s what I knew at that age. I gave it my best shot.

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What did you learn from your stint as an assistant with Karan Johar, whom you assisted in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham?

It was Karan Johar who taught me the aesthetics to make a good-looking film. I learned from him how to make a film look big. Ramgopal Varma, whom I assisted in Bhoot, taught me the technique of making a good film on a very low budget.

Can you tell me about how you delved into your latest film Kartam Bhugtam?

The intriguing world of Kartam Bhugtam, a psychological thriller stars Shreyas Talpade, Vijay Raaz, Madhoo, and Aksha Pardasany and is a captivating blend of suspense and drama. The story follows Dev Joshi (Shreyas Talpade), a non-believer in astrology who returns from New Zealand to his hometown for a brief visit.

However, his plans take a mysterious turn when he consults an astrologer and finds himself entangled in a web of predictions and fate. As Dev struggles to escape this unexpected journey into the world of Jyotish Shastra, he discovers that every action has consequences, reflecting the film’s title, Kartam Bhugtam, which means “what goes around, comes around”.

With its original story by me and a gripping narrative that juggles ancient universal truths of astrology and karma, Kartam Bhugtam, an intriguing and thought-provoking movie in the language of your choice – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam explores how Dev navigates the mysterious circumstances that trap him. This film offers a thrilling ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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How did you think of making Kartam Bhugtam in a completely star-based industry?

As a filmmaker, I know for a fact that people relate to me as the director of films like Kaal and Luck. The script was with me for several years because most of the producers here lack vision which people had earlier. Luckily, the demand for content-backed films cropped up and after a long gap after Luck and Kaal, I bagged the producers with the right vision and launched Kartam Bhugtam. There should be a combination of sensibility of characters especially since the language of cinema has changed tremendously of late

How would you describe your film?

Times have changed now and Kartam Bhugtam is a massey film with which the lower middle class will instantly connect, not elite audiences. As a filmmaker, I like to make films that are out of the box and new subjects.

Where did you shoot your film and in how many days?

I shot my film in 26 days in Bhopal and Bangkok.

How did you zero in on the title Kartam Bhugtam?

Earlier, people were confused over the title, Kartam Bhugtam but I felt that It goes very well with the theme of the film.

What are your future plans?

I have two projects in the pipeline. One of them is a web series. I am also in talks with an actor for a film. It will be a drama-based genre and a biopic which is based on true incidents.