The motifs, costumes, lighting, etc., are equally important as characters in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies, where they all coalesce into one beautiful canvas frozen in time, and when you dissect his works, we can find many such depictions. The creative genius of Bhansali, an intransigent movie maker who prides himself on the niceties of his works, remains incomparable in Bollywood, all for his artistic eloquence.
When Devdas — Bhansali’s magnum opus, was released in 2002, it split the movie enthusiasts into two; many wrote paeans on Bhansali’s aesthetic sense, while the rest found fault with his extravagant adaptation of a rather poignant story of love and pathos. Critics argued that the opulence in the movie was rather distractive and quelled the true spirit of its characters.
Bhansali deliberately eschewed dull fidelity for a subjective rendition of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s famous novel, and that daring decision was proven right when the movie became a huge hit in India and abroad alike, bagging several accolades. Devdas became successful for the very reason that it was indeed a far cry from reality.
Rules have no room in art. It can either be a realistic take on life or could be a montage of exaggerated tableaux that panders to the connoisseurs of classic beauty. In Bhansali’s movies, the line blurs between these two modes of expression, or we can even say that he would never forgo the second.
The result? A whiff of enchantment that puts the audience into to a reverie.
Saawariya was one such work of art. Although the debut movie of Ranbir and Sonam Kapoor failed at the box office, the movie seemed like it breathed life into a painting with its overindulgence of myriad shades of blue. Ranbir’s guitar, the gossamery Mona Lisa curtain at Lilian’s house, the clock tower, the bridge, the bar…everything about that fictitious place reminded us of story book.
Whether you are a fan of Bhansali’s style or not, it goes without saying that he is a maestro when it comes to aesthetics.
Image courtesy: Movie Talkies