Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a film director, producer, filmmaker and director of music. But in Bollywood industry, he is not only known for his remarkable movies but also for the sets of these films. He started his career as an assistant to Vidhu Vinod Chopra for seven years. He wrote and directed his first ever movie, ‘Khamoshi: The Musical’, starring Manisha Koirala, Salman Khan and Nana Battikar in the year 1996 and now 2020 marks 24 years since he started off his career. Today, he is considered one of most successful directors Indian cinema has ever seen. His second film ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ becsame his biggest success and since then, there is no turning back for Sanjay Leela Bhansali!
Lavish sets, glorious attires and grand characters are the basis of Bhansali movies. From Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to Devdas to Padmaavat, he has carried on his tradition to recreate his stories through massive sets. These sets look as real as possible and mesmerize the audience to a whole another level.
Bhansali portrayed a love story in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam in a very special way, the movie starred Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn. The film shows Rajasthan in variant colours and huge sets were designed to add charm. In the garba song ‘Dholi Taro’, marigold flowers were used underneath the acrylic floor because he wanted to light it up.
Devdas was another epic movie created by SLB starring Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit. Glamorous sets were designed to show Havelis. Aishwarya’s beautiful glass house was made out of 1.22 lakh stained glass pieces which had to be retouched with paint every time it rained. SLB spent Rs.50 crores on the film is still considered as one of the most expensive Hindi films ever made with Rs.20 crore spent on six sets alone. Out of which, the cost of setting up Madhuri’s Kotha in the film was around Rs. 12 crores.
Another great film starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was Guzaarish. The movie had specially designed houses and theatres where lamps inside the theatres along with natural light were only used for a natural look.
Goliyon Ki Raas Leela – Ram Leela was a movie with huge success. It had Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in its lead roles. SLB was the first to put the lovely couple together in a movie! The sets and ambience of every scene was put in with mere attention.
Bajirao Mastani was the film based Peshwa Bajirao. It stars Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra as the lead characters. This film was hit at box office for many reasons like great performances, unique portrayal of history and marvelous sets. During the shoot of the song ‘Deewani Mastani’, the Aina Mahal required almost 4,500 wooden planks and 100 workers a day. The hard work surely paid off because that mahal which is now turned into a museum is very alluring.
Padmaavat is another Bhansali movie which has epic sets and ambience. The film received a lot of backlash but that did not stop him from shooting this movie and we are glad it didn’t because this film is a complete masterpiece! The film shows Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in the limelight and it becomes difficult to choose what to focus on, either the exquisite sets or the stunning attires.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali has offered a lot to this industry and only kept his audience wanting more. If one word would describe this person and his creativity, it would be ‘magnificent’! CineSpeaks wishes him a very happy birthday.
BY RUJUTA THETE