Sanjay Leela Bhansali remembered Raj Kapoor while making Devdas, said ‘he focused more on sensuality than eroticism’

By Riya Sharma 3 Min Read

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has become the most talked-about director in town after the recently released Netflix series ‘Heeramandi’. Having made period pieces since ‘Devdas’, the veteran filmmaker is known for his larger-than-life sets, characters, stories and the emotions he portrays on screen. Recently, an old clip of Bhansali’s conversation with actor and host Simi Grewal went viral.

Devdas is a Raj Kapoor style film?

In the clip, we see Simi Grewal praising Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer ‘Devdas’. During the conversation, Bhansali said that he felt his film ‘Devdas’ looked similar to Raj Kapoor’s film.

“Devdas is similar to Raj Kapoor sahab’s style. Every minute of this film I kept thinking about how Raj Kapoor would have made this film. How would he present a scene? What kind of colours would there be, what kind of sets would he make, how would he shoot the songs. I even told Mrs Raj Kapoor, whom I met at Cannes, that when I made this film, every minute I kept thinking about Raj Kapoor.”

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When Grewal interrupted and said that he has seen all Raj Kapoor’s films and ‘Devdas’ is Bhansali’s special film, he said, “You have to go by inspiration…” Simi Grewal then assured Bhansali why ‘Devdas’ is different from Raj Kapoor’s film. She said, “There is no erotic element in your film. It is very romantic,” to which Bhansali replied, “Yes, I have focused more on sensuality than eroticism.”

Bhansali also spoke about the portrayal of women in his film and said, “The way I saw the women in this film, they reminded me of the image of Durga.

Bhansali said this about his relationship with Aishwarya Rai

The ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ director also spoke about his relationship with Aishwarya Rai. Describing Aishwarya as a very ‘intelligent woman’ and ‘determined’, Bhansali revealed that he and the filmmaker were on the same page after facing several flops in their careers.

About Devdas

‘Devdas’ is a period romantic drama directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit in the lead roles, with Jackie Shroff, Kirron Kher, Smita Jaykar and Vijayendra Ghatge in supporting roles. Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1917 novel of the same name, ‘Devdas’ was a huge blockbuster. The film was screened in the Out of Competition section at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2002.

Being the most expensive film made at the time, the film received mixed reviews at Cannes but did well at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film of the year.

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Riya Sharma is an Assistant Editor and film critic at Bolly Masala. With over years of experience in the field of journalism, she not only keeps a keen eye on the world of cinema and box office numbers but also writes about travel, food, books, women's issues, and social matters. She is a former student of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Riya enjoys traveling, watching movies, reading, and writing.
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