Renowned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali turned 54 today. In his illustrious film career spanning around three decades, he has carved a special place for himself and his work—one which often symbolises grandeur. Being an avid film buff, I have been fortunate to sit back and watch his exemplary work come alive on the silver screen. Right from the sets to dialogues and even the emotions, a typical SLB flick is larger-than-life in all aspects.
Having assisted Vidhu Vinod Chopra in films like Parinda and 1942: A Love Story, Bhansali achieved limelight when he directed Salman Khan-starrer Khamoshi: the Musical. And then there was no looking back for this graduate from the prestigious Film And Television Institute of India (FTII).
As I said earlier, Bhansali’s films have been synonymous with grandeur. Do you remember the scene in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam wherein Nandini (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) meets Sameer (Salman Khan)? Instead of the typical boy-collides-with-girl sequence, the filmmaker chose to bring in chandeliers to portray the first meeting. And what a scene it was. Or say, when Devdas (Shah Rukh Khan) returns from England to meet his childhood sweetheart Paro (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). Paro makes her way to have a glimpse of her love by running towards the balcony while pushing open several doors in the way.
When it comes to portraying romance in the film, very few filmmakers show love in a magnificent manner as SLB. I am reminded of a scene in Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela when the two lead protagonists meet for the first time. The film was a sure shot super hit of 2013 and catapulted both Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone to new heights of stardom. Just have a look at this brilliant scene and fall in love with the film again.
Another classic feature of Bhansali’s films is that he works hard on capturing the ambience in which the plot is set. For instance, in Bajirao Mastani, which is set in 18th century Maratha kingdom, he ensures that everything is perfect. Right from the sets to Ranveer Singh’s Marathi accent, it is just impeccable.
If Bhansali can portray love and prosperity with elan, he shows sorrow and heartbreaks in a similar fashion. The deaths are portrayed in such a manner that it will give you enough time to look for tissues in case you relate to the protagonists’ sufferings. For instance, the last scene in Devdas wherein the male protagonist (Devdas, of course) yearns for Paro while dying refuses to be wiped out from our minds.
Similarly, there are films like Black and Guzaarish which highlighted sufferings of the protagonists. The last scene in Guzaarish wherein Hrithik Roshan played a paralysed magician was just heartrending and would instil a sense of sadness. Such is Bhansali’s magic on the 70 mm screen that you are taken to another zone. With his magnum opus Padmavati currently on floors, we hope that the upcoming flick will be as grand as he has delivered so far.
On his birthday, we hope that he continues to enthral us with his magical and larger-than-life movies in years to come.