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Home > Entertainment News > Bollywood News > Article > Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his passion and penchant for gorgeous leads and striking frames

Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his passion and penchant for gorgeous leads and striking frames

Updated on: 28 June,2021 08:54 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

His upcoming ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ is about a naive girl sucked into the world of prostitution. But the frames are just as exquisite. The filming is finally finished, and it’s apt to talk about his gorgeous leads and striking canvas.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his passion and penchant for gorgeous leads and striking frames

Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on the sets of 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'/ Picture Courtesy: PR

The name Sanjay Leela Bhansali suggests grandeur, especially after his last two successes- ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and ‘Padmaavat’. But the name also represents heartache and estrangement. Arguably the only film of the filmmaker to leave me with a smile is his debut ‘Khamoshi- The Musical’. The rest have had conflicted thoughts and emotions in the way they concluded. But the man indeed knows how to stage a scene and surreally present his leading women.

His upcoming ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ is about a naive girl sucked into the dungeon of prostitution. But the frames are just as exquisite. The filming is finally finished, and it’s apt to talk about his gorgeous leads and striking canvas. How tall will Alia Bhatt stand is something we’ll have an answer on soon:

Manisha Koirala- Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)

First films are always special. Especially if it’s a film as soothing and stunning as this musical. The title uses silence and music in the same line and breath, and it’s a beautiful ode to both. The enchanting Koirala plays Annie Braganza, who’s born to deaf and mute parents. When her father (Nana Patekar, just as effective sans dialogues) senses she can hear, he beams with joy. This is just 15 minutes into the film and we know how endearing this maiden attempt would be. Koirala was gentle and gorgeous in every frame, and just as furious and frustrated at her parents’ stubbornness. She falls in love with Raj (Salman Khan at his restrained, charming best) who brings music to her life. Ironically, Annie has brought music to her parents’ life too. How can one not smile? 

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

It has often been argued that Bhansali has presented Bachchan in a way nobody else has. The words have come out of the filmmaker’s mouth that directors don’t understand the aura of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, the power she can generate on screen. In many of her films, she’s trying to find something from the director. In this love triangle, she found a role she could recollect even after a lifetime. Nandini is a firecracker, she’s free-spirited, ferocious, and also emotionally fragile. Her romance with Sameer (Salman Khan at his comedic and emotional best) is all through eyes, at times naughty, at times coy. Her marriage to Vanraj (Ajay Devgn) changes how she perceives love. The culmination of this saga leaves us conflicted about Nandini’s decision, but the gorgeousness of Bachchan and Budapest (shown as Italy) compensate for the confusion. 

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan- Devdas (2002)

The success of his last film inspired SLB to aim for something bigger and grander for his next film. ‘Devdas’ came out after Bachchan had turds like ‘Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke’ and ‘Albela’. Devdas and Paro’s story is possibly one of the most tragic ones. One suffers emotionally, the other emotionally and physically both. Booze becomes the weapon of self-inflicted harm that ultimately and predictably drives him towards a painful, lonely death. What keeps this ambitiously mounted drama alive is the way Bachchan approaches the character of Paro, with immense help from Bhansali’s aesthetics and regard for grandeur. Every frame and moment of this exorbitant saga suggests audacity and allure. 

Rani Mukerji- Black (2005)

The name could be metaphorical. The central character of Michelle (a stunning Rani Mukerji) is deaf, mute, and blind. Her eccentric teacher Debraj Sahai (A commanding Amitabh Bachchan) is her guiding light. Their montages aren’t punctured by unnecessary songs and monologues. There isn’t a place for monologues in this story since the one in the process of transformation is learning how to respond. It may not be Bhansali’s best, it’s easily one of Mukerji’s finest hour in films.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan- Guzaarish (2010)

The name suggests plea. It’s the plea of the brooding, broken protagonist named Ethan, a magician left paralytic after a planned mishap by a clandestine rival. Hrithik Roshan in the same frame as his actresses can overpower them with his Greek-god beauty, and it’s appropriate that the filmmaker opts for Bachchan for the third time. Roshan and Bachchan’s collective radiance and robustness elevate this drama from being tiresome. The filmmaker chooses Goa for the second time in his career for his story after a defining debut but the frames are more extravagant. Equally extravagant is the leading lady as Ethan’s nurse Sofia. Ethan remarks the day she wears a skirt to work, he’ll start walking. The man may have lost everything he once owned, he hasn’t lost the ability to flirt, and also the hope of being able to stand on his feet again. This is the power of her beauty, all she has to do is say a Yes! 

Deepika Padukone- The Trilogy 

Padukone essays ache with such conviction that we instantly relate to her anguish. She did that in the career-defining ‘Cocktail’ and then in her collaborations with Bhansali. The first one being another adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. After the failure of his last two films, it was time for the filmmaker to revisit what he may have wished to leave behind. ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela- Ram Leela’ echoes the sentiments of his second saga. Leela is not very much different from Nandini, their responses to advances and outbursts at their men are pretty much similar. But Ram and Leela’s romance is far more rustic and arousing. Their passion is gratifying and hate for each other in the later portions explosive. This is no-holds-barred at its Bhansali best. 

In ‘Bajirao Mastani’, SLB silences Padukone and fixes his camera on her piquant face and haunting eyes. Even Peshwa Bajirao (the tireless Ranveer Singh) is instantly enamoured by her striking presence. The hushed whispers between the surreptitious lovers add more depth to their impassioned romance. Debatably, the other actress of this tragic story, Kashibai, stole the show. Priyanka Chopra’s greatest moments on screen have been seen in this film, where she channels childlike innocence, sparkling intensity, and the envy of another woman in her husband’s life. And in two of these emotions, she doesn’t utter a word. ‘Bajirao Mastani’ is surely a film of minimum effort, maximum effect. 

‘Padmaavat’ is mostly a Ranveer Singh showreel but the story cannot exist without the Queen. Padukone plays Rani Padmaavati, whose beauty catches the fancy of a beast, Alauddin Khilji. No filmmaker in recent memory derives pleasure out of putting his actors in deep pain. For one more time, the story culminates in tragedy. The act of Jauhar by Padmaavati and several other queens is established as a sign of their freedom. They would rather sacrifice their lives than be ruled by a ruthless animal. Even while performing the act of self-immolation, the gorgeousness of the actress stays intact. It’s not just the face, what also counts is the gaze of the man behind the lenses. Beauty always lies in the eyes of the beholder! 

Also Read: Inside Photos: Alia Bhatt, Meezaan Jafri and many more grace Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s birthday bash

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