Padmavati, and the signature luxurious aesthetic of Sanjay Leela Bhansali

In my thoughts, Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanamlaunched across the identical time. Maybe it had one thing to do with love blooming in noisy, joint households. In actuality, Bhansali, the Bhuleshwar-born Gujarati boy, was nonetheless an assistant director — on Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 1942: A Love Story — when younger Barjatya’s sophomore movie was being shot.

It was bodily painful to observe Barjatya’s magnum opus — from Madhuri’s ghastly crimson polyester frock and green-white lehenga to Tuffy the canine sporting low cost plastic sun shades (with label intact, trigger actually, who cares once we’re on our 100th antakshari ‘operate’) frolicking in a bungalow that appeared like an enlarged plastic doll residence perennially full of folks and plastic balls bouncing close to the indoor swimming pool. After all it was the ’90s and Salman Khan appeared good, even in an ill-fitting ochre  go well with with dhinchak embroidery by the panel, some type of ukulele in hand, and a grinning Renuka Shahane by his facet, resplendent within the brightest shades of the rainbow. However the visuals in Indian cinema’s largest hit had been so robust (or traumatic) that they stayed… till Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam got here alongside. There was one explicit body that I keep in mind very clearly, a prime shot in the course of the ‘Nimbuda’tune, when the feminine background dancers’s georgette dupattas in lemon, lilac, kesariya and cornflour blue whirled in tandem across the room. In a single pastel sweep, Bhansali had worn out the aesthetic trauma of the ’90s.  After all, Hum Dil…had its justifiable share of high-pitched theatrics. However how pretty was the color palette! Salmon pinks, lime greens, tangerines, marigold, bandhani, plain cotton saris with a mood-coordinated color scheme and the works. Bhansali, the artist, the aesthete and the perfectionist — all rolled into one beady-eyed, more-passionate-than-thou, uber intense package deal — had arrived. Self choreographed, in fact.

Nineteen years later, Padmavati’s first look is out. Tweeple are ga-ga over Deepika’s unibrow and salivating on the promise of one other visible extravaganza on display screen, masterminded by 54-year outdated Bhansali. To not be insensitive, however I don’t care if Rani Padmini and her women jumped right into a pyre en masse or went horse-riding throughout Chittor. I simply need to know what they’re sporting and for God’s sake, wherein meticulously crafted Sanjay Leela-land they’re dwelling, loving, struggling, flinging weapons and, in fact, dancing feverishly.

 Larger, brighter, louder

Upping the ante in each new movie is Bhansali’s shtick. After Hum Dil De Chuke’s success, he’d pulled out all of the stops for Devdas. Between 260 taking pictures shifts over two-and-a-half years, the dying of two crew members in accidents and 16 months of jail for producer Bharat Shah, Bhansali managed to zip to Kolkata with costume designer Neeta Lulla to handpick 600 saris for Paro. The straightforward Bengali lady lived in a haveli in a room fitted with 1.22 lakh items of stained glass. Chandramukhi’s costumes price Rs 15 lakh every usually weighing over 30 kgs which la pauvre Dixit needed to put on and dance in on the kotha that price Rs 12 crore to assemble.

Clearly no person flocked to the screens to see Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s tragic Devdas. That had been managed exquisitely by Bimal Roy. However even on this alarmingly dialed-up pitch — girls simpered “shotti, shotti” and SRK hammed by all of it — Bhansali’s Devdas was a visible extravaganza. The climax, with Paro sprinting in white and crimson sari, an XXXL pallu trailing by her husband’s haveli and sweeping down the steps (ah, stairs!) was sufficient to present each viewer goose bumps, even in the event you didn’t purchase into the love and the eagerness. It will take an exceptionally hard-hearted, unaesthetic and vulgar individual to stay unmoved by Bhansali’s dedication to his craft.

Jewels within the crown

In a stray scene (Is something stray in a painstakingly crafted Bhansali opus, although?) in Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, Supriya Pathak’s Dhankor baa is within the midst of her night shringar with ladies blowing dhoop (or no matter) underneath her hair when she will get a name. Whereas she’s talking, my eyes had been fixated on her jewelry trunk, overflowing with essentially the most bomb silver jewelry ever. Not the random jhumkas and baalis of the common Indian lady on display screen, these heavy-duty vatla, nagali, thoriya and bungri echoed the Saneda clan energy and baa’s private swag. I wouldn’t be stunned to study that Bhansali camped with designer Anju Modi within the scorching Rann of Kutch to personally seek out each gorgeous piece and lug it again with a treasure of patchwork ghagrascholis and kediyu to decorate your entire forged of his high-octane movie set in one other fantasy Sanjay Leela-land someplace on the border of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Ensemble offensive

Of late (higher late than by no means) Sooraj Barjatya’s garish world has mellowed. In Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Sonam was a imaginative and prescient in elegant chiffons, Hepburn sun shades, luxurious diamonds and kundan whereas Salman’s Prem lastly ditched these dreadful polyester fits for regal bandhgalas and ruby-emerald malas. However merely getting the costumes and units proper, and nabbing grand locales isn’t sufficient to tug a Bhansali, qui? Like a temperamental choirmaster, Bhansali directs his ensemble — forged, units, music, costumes, story and emotional heft — to run relentlessly parallel, usually take transient detours however finally attain a crescendo collectively. Within the face of this visible, audio and emotional offensive, what viewers dare look away!

The stupendously mounted Bajirao Mastani took a number of liberties with Peshwa historical past and tradition, however why niggle and nag over royalty dancing like widespread courtesans when their aubergine polka dot nauvaris (draped so fallacious) had been so yum. It’s finest to maintain damage anthropological or every other sentiments apart in an SLB present. Authenticity is for unimaginative bores… and individuals who can’t admire the mild sway of a glistening 20 mm peral bibbali lodged on Bajirao’s ear as he takes his maiden shot at taalis echoing within the theatre.

With Padmavati, it’ll be fascinating to see how the auteur ups the stakes. By no means thoughts if Allaudin Khilji was bisexual or metrosexual or Bhansali has veered crazily away from Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s 15th century poem, Padmavat. Don’t be a celebration pooper and put together for the grandest spectacle of 2017.

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