Sanjay Leela Bhansali
The Movies I Loved Growing Up
The Saawariya director picks his flicks...
Meghe Dhaka Tara(1960): The way Ritwik Ghatak used Rabindra Sangeet and the level of performance he got out of the leading lady Supriya Chowdhary act remain etched in my mind. Ritwik was so ahead of his times. He himself never knew why he was taking a shot in a particular way. Ritwik Ghatak understood the power of sound and image.
Mirch Masala(1985): For the sheer power of the folk tale. The folk tale is told in such vibrant colours. The use of colour red and the tribute to woman power. And at the centre of it all, the amazing Smita Patil."
Pakeezah(1970): Director Kamal Amrohi was able to preserve a language that's so Indian so traditional and elegant. The Mujras , sher-o-shayari, amd the tahzeeb of nawabi culture,great songs dialogue scale and Meena Kumari... so breathtaking."
36 Chowringhee Lane (1981): I love its tenderness and photography. But most of all, I love Jennifer Kapoor. This was unarguably one of the best performances seen in Indian cinema. So shocking that it missed the National award. Aparna Sen beautifully captured the sounds, sights and scents of Kolkata. A lot of detailing went in getting the Anglo-Indian lifestyle correct. And specially illuminating was Aparna's portrayal of loneliness. Everything from the title to supporting performances by Dhritiman Chatterjee and Debashree Roy were bang-on.
Bandini(1963): A beautiful and haunting tale told beautifully by Bimal Roy. Nutan's performance ranks next to anything that Meryl Streep has done.They don't make actresses like her anymore. The climax of the film is one of the most poignant interludes. And S D Burman's music...ooof! Bimal Roy's control and restrain are not my style of filmmaking. He was a minimalist. I am not. Though I must say the heroine in my film are inspired by Bimal Roy. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Nandini in Hum...Dil De Chuke Sanam was Bandini. And the dilemma that the heroine faces in Hum Dil and Saawariya was Bimalda's Bandini.