Sanjay Leela Bhansali,"Every woman should be treated like queen"

By Team Bollyy
New Update

Ace filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ,”Heeramandi” which is all set to premiere on an OTT platform soon - Glimpses  from “Heeramandi “were shown to the media. The huge  cast of Bhansali’s world of courtesans who were queens has a huge ensemble female cast- right from Manisha Koirala, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha and more. The story will depict  about the lives led by the courtesans of Lahore and explores the not much known facts about their lives set in the pre independence era…which sounds interesting. Present on the occasion the platform head Ted Sarondos and Sanjay who seemed to be gaga over him says, “Being associated with Ted I would just want Ted to be stationed in India and not go back . He should give more and more chances to all our new/fresh and talented filmmakers.”

Sanjay Leela Bhansali (3)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali answered some straight queries of the media-


How did you decide that these ladies were perfect for the characters?

They are not perfect for the characters and because they are not perfect it was so exciting to find and discover how they are going to interpret the role and that role could be interpreted in so many ways. What Manisha Koirala brings to the table and therefore to discover the process of 'O I have cast correctly comes i believe only in the end. What does Sonakshi bring to me besides her beauty, stardom and her aura, what does Aditi bring to me. So, I feel that there is a perfect cast as you make it... Intuitively I have cast these women because I always wanted to work with each one of them and they are wonderful talents, and they can do anything.

Adding more about them he gushes,”Yes, they have tantrums, they would take three hours to come out of the van because they are wearing jewellery, hair, and make up. Then the manager comes and says, 'Madam, has to go early or madam has to take a break'. I would be like, 'go for it'. Because they are so lovely, when they step out of the van and you think, you are just looking at them when they walk past, and when they take the paper and do reading, you look at them and say, 'Oh My God', and you think it is worth it and it doesn't matter. I had a blast shooting with them. They are not a perfect cast, by the end of eight episodes; I will be able to say, I will be saying, they are the perfect cast.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali (2)

How can film-makers hold the audiences?

Any filmmaker who says he knows the audience, he is living in a fool’s paradise; they are everything to you. They are our mai-baap.To understand how they are changing is impossible.Millions of people who watch the filmmakers have to understand himself. He should do such work that the audiences don’t expect and feel it’s something new what they are watching. The filmmaker has to change the audience. The filmmaker should believe in what he is doing rather than worrying about what they want to or that. You just make a film instinctively whatever comes to your heart, you need to make it fearlessly and if well you feel happy. But  if it doesn’t then you go into depression which is good because you get up and make another film. But never try to understand the audience. Yes everything has changed post covid we don’t know what the audiences may expect for the theatre they want different stuff and for OTT platforms they want to watch unused /fresh and unused stuff. Their demand of quality that they want from the film maker,he  should be on high alert and has to work hard to give new treatment to new subjects and nuances as well.Everybody needs to come together while making a film.

Your films have important aspects of history and are larger than life yet magical. How do you create it so excellently?

When you are making historical films in your country you have to get your facts right and be careful. That is where my research ends. Most of it for me is how I see the period and purely my imagination. I as a filmmaker am not set out to make a documentary and be exact. My childlike/Grown up and heartbroken impressions, I want all that to come in.I start making a song in place. Music is a very important part of my films. Music is my inspiration and that’s my research.Imagnations of how that music will happen, how that woman will look/talk  and the dialogues inspiring me are always in my mind.  I just start floating.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali (1)

So do you make films purely with your imaginations hence the stories are different?

If it’s real then people must have seen it in a documentary etc. So I make stories from my imaginations. What is Devdas like, it's a literary character. What is Bajirao Mastani like-They have not seen Baji Rao Mastani so I can have the liberty of making her look through my imaginations. What do I give them in order to connect them  to the film that they are seeing today? Fifty years ago if I had to make a Gangubai it would be a different approach. So there has to be a modern approach to the film in the time you are making. They have to relate and connect to whatever I present to them.Gangubai was set in forty years ago but it worked. I have lived next to the brothel for 30 years of my life. So I knew how the lanes looked and smelt like, what the faces of my research are like,rest were imaginations. This is my style of filmmaking.

Your stories are mostly based on  strong women's point of view and Heera Mandi is from that perspective,is it a  deep dive into their lives?

I think every woman in her life needs to be treated like a queen.My mother was a queen.These were courtesans who behind their way were real women and felt so much pain that they went through.Yet they would come in the evening and sing and dance These courtesans don’t have respectful place in the society wherein the society goes to them. They entertain these men. Once the prime time is over the courtesans are dead and go to sleep.You need to watch it to be able to relate to it.

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