Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Sanjay Leela Bhansali.jpg
Bhansali in 2021
Born (1963-02-24) 24 February 1963 (age 59)
Occupation
AwardsFull list
HonoursPadma Shri (2015)
Signature
Autograph of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, an Indian film director and producer 2013-11-14 22-39.JPG

Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Gujarati: [ˈsəndʒeː ˈlilɑː ˈbʱəɳsɑliː]; born 24 February 1963) is an Indian filmmaker, director, screenwriter, and music composer who is known for his work in Hindi cinema. He is the recipient of several awards, including four National Film Awards, ten Filmfare Awards and a BAFTA nomination.[1] In 2015, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award.

Bhansali's directorial debut was the musical romance Khamoshi (1996), that earned him a Filmfare Award for Best Film (Critics). He then attained huge stardom and prominence in Hindi cinema with the highly successful love triangle Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and the period romance Devdas (2002); the latter was nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language at BAFTA.[1] The drama Black (2005) became one of the most critically acclaimed and awarded Hindi films, winning him multiple Best Director Awards and Best Film Awards along with additional Best Film (Critics) at Filmfare Awards. He also won multiple National Film Awards for Devdas and Black but failed to maintain more success with his subsequent projects Saawariya (2007) and Guzaarish (2010).

Bhansali retained his vision of direction by adaptating Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet into film with Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013), that opened to mixed reviews but strong box office collections. His home production, the sports film Mary Kom (2014), earned him a third National Film Award. He built his establishment and enhanced his vision more by directing the big-scale period dramas Bajirao Mastani (2015) and Padmaavat (2018), both of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.

For Bajirao Mastani, Bhansali was feliciated with National Film Award for Best Direction, as well as Filmfare Awards for Best Director and Best Film; and for Padmaavat, he won a National Film Award for Best Music Direction and Filmfare Award for Best Music Director. His next, the crime drama Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022), unlike his other films that focused on a lady mafia don, opened after huge delays since 2020 due to COVID-19 but still bought him big revenues and became a commercial success. Both Mary Kom and Gangubai Kathiawadi rank among the highest-grossing female centric Hindi films ever. He is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, and produces films under his banner Bhansali Productions.[2]

Early life

Sanjay Leela Bhansali was born on 24 February 1963 in Bhuleshwar, South Bombay into a Gujarati Jain family.[3][4] His mother, Leela, used to sew clothes to make ends meet.[5] He speaks Gujarati at home and loves Gujarati food, music, literature and architecture.[3][4]

Career

Early work (1989–2002)

Bhansali with Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone during the trailer launch of Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela in 2013
Bhansali with Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone during the trailer launch of Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela in 2013

Bhansali began his career as an assistant to Vidhu Vinod Chopra and was involved in the making of Parinda, 1942: A Love Story and Kareeb. However, they had a falling-out when Bhansali refused to direct Kareeb. In 1996, he made his directorial debut with Khamoshi: The Musical, the commercially unsuccessful but critically acclaimed narration of a daughter's struggle to communicate with her deaf-mute parents.[6] The film earned the Best Film (Critics) at Filmfare.

He rose to prominence in Indian cinema with a triangular love story, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), starring Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan, and Ajay Devgan, which established his individualistic stamp for visual splendour and creating auras of celebration and festivity. The film was premiered in the Indian Panorama section at the 1999 International Film Festival of India. It was a critical and commercial success, and won numerous awards including 4 National Awards and 9 Filmfare Awards.[7]

Devdas and career influctuations (2002–2012)

His next film Devdas (2002), starring Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit, was Bhansali's ode to the novel of the same name, which became the highest-grossing film of the year.[8] The film also earned widespread critical acclaim and won 10 awards at Filmfare, emerging as the most-awarded film in Filmfare, (tying with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)). At the 50th National Film Awards, it won 5 awards including Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. It received a nomination for the Best Foreign Film at the British Academy of Film & Television Awards (BAFTA).[9] It was India's submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film was also screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[10] It stood eighth in Time magazine's "The 10 Greatest Movies of the Millennium (Thus Far)".[11] His next film, Black, starring Rani Mukerji and Amitabh Bachchan, broke his own all-time record of Devdas by garnering 11 awards, the highest number of awards ever given to a single film at Filmfare. It stood fifth in Time (Europe)'s "10 Best Movies of the Year 2005" among films from across the world.[12] At the 53rd National Film Awards, he received his second National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas and Black earned him multiple Best Director and Best Film awards at Filmfare, the latter also received additional Critics Award for Best Film. In 2006, Bhansali participated as a judge on reality TV show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa alongside Farah Khan and Shilpa Shetty.[13]

Bhansali's next film Saawariya (2007) was met with sharp criticism and poor collections at the box office.[14] In 2008, Bhansali staged the opera Padmavati, an adaption of the 1923 ballet written by Albert Roussel.[15][16] The show premiered in Paris at the prestigious Théâtre du Châtelet and next at the Festival dei Due Mondi, where it received "fifteen minutes of standing ovation and seven curtain calls at the end of the first show."[17][18] Bhansali received highly positive reviews from international critics for his work.[19] In 2010, Bhansali released Guzaarish, starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai, in which he also made his debut in music direction.[20] The film received mixed reviews from critics, but could not perform well at the box office. Guzaarish earned him a Best Director nomination at Filmfare. In 2011, he became a judge on the Indian music talent show X Factor India Season 1.[13] The same year, he also produced the musical comedy My Friend Pinto, which received negative reviews and tanked at the box office. In 2012, Bhansali produced Rowdy Rathore, a remake of the Telugu film Vikramarkudu, starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha and directed by Prabhu Deva. The film received mixed reviews from critics and became a major commercial success, with Box Office India labelling it as a blockbuster.[21] The following year, he produced Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, which also received mixed reviews, but could not perform well at the box office.

Widespread success (2013–present)

The President, Pranab Mukherjee, presenting the Padma Shri Award to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, at a Civil Investiture Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on 30 March 2015.
The President, Pranab Mukherjee, presenting the Padma Shri Award to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, at a Civil Investiture Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on 30 March 2015.

In 2013, Bhansali directed Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. Some religious groups opposed the movie claiming that the former title Ramleela was misleading, because the movie had nothing to do with Ramlila, the traditional enactment of the life and story of Hindu deity, Lord Rama. The film's release had been stayed by Delhi High Court due to the controversy over its title, claiming that the movie hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. Later the film's title was changed to Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, and eventually released in India as scheduled. However, after a week of release, Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court banned the movie's release in Uttar Pradesh.[22] Despite the controversy and limited release, the film opened to critical acclaim and strong box office collections worldwide, ultimately earning ₹2.02 billion (US$31 million) and emerging as the fifth highest-grossing film of 2013. The film garnered several award nominations for Bhansali including Best Film and Best Director nominations at Filmfare. The same year, Bhansali debuted in television with the show Saraswatichandra, starring Gautam Rode and Jennifer Winget, which he later left after few episodes.

The following year, he produced the biographical sports film Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, becoming the first Hindi film to be screened on the opening night of the festival. The film became both a critical and commercial success and received various accolades including a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Film. At the 62nd National Film Awards, Bhansali received another National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment for the film. In 2015, he produced the action drama Gabbar Is Back starring Akshay Kumar, which also emerged as a commercial success and received positive reviews from critics.

Bhansali's next directorial venture was his dream project, the period romantic drama Bajirao Mastani (2015), based on the love story between Peshwa Baji Rao I and his second wife Mastani. Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone played the title roles, while Priyanka Chopra played Bajirao's first wife, Kashibai. The film was announced in 2003 and was constantly in the news regarding the cast, including actors such as Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukerji.[23] The descendants of Bajirao I and Mastani expressed their disapproval of this film, claiming excessive creative liberty by Bhansali causing wrongful portrayal of their ancestors.[24] A petition was filed in Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the film, but the High Court refused to interfere with its release.[25] It received high critical acclaim worldwide and was listed among the best films of 2015 by several sources.[26][27][28] Despite the controversy, the film emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.[29] The film received many accolades at various award ceremonies in India. At the 63rd National Film Awards, Bajirao Mastani won 7 awards and Bhansali won the National Award for Best Director, in addition to winning Best Film and Best Director at Filmfare.[30] The film was featured at the 2016 Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India. Bajirao Mastani was selected as India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the 74th Golden Globe Awards.[31] The following year, he produced the Marathi film Laal Ishq.

Bhansali directed the period drama film Padmaavat (2018), jointly produced by him and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, and also written by him. The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role as Rani Padmini, alongside Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in the title roles of Rawal Ratan Singh and Alauddin Khalji respectively. During the shooting of the film in January 2017 in Jaipur, the members of Shri Rajput Karni Sena protested at the sets at Jaigarh Fort, physically attacked Bhansali and his crew members, alleging that he misrepresented historical facts and depicted them erroneously in the film, and also tried to vandalise the sets.[32][33] On 6 March 2017, members of Shri Rajput Karni Sena vandalised the Chittor Fort again and broke the mirrors installed in the palace of Rani Padmini.[34] On 15 March 2017, a group of unidentified vandals again attacked and set fire to the sets of this movie in Kolhapur which led to the production set, costumes and jewelleries being burnt.[35] The film earned 30 million dollars in the first four days after its release.[citation needed] Padmaavat emerged as the highest-grossing film on the year, and received highly positive reviews from critics, and earned Bhansali the National Film Award for Best Music Direction and the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director, in addition to Best Film and Best Director nominations at Filmfare.

In 2021, Bhansali is coming up with Gangubai Kathiawadi, a biographical crime film based on a chapter of Hussain Zaidi's book Mafia Queens of Mumbai. The film about Gangubai Kothewali, stars Alia Bhatt as Gangubai, and was scheduled for release on 30 July 2021, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[36]

Filmography

Films

Denotes Upcoming films Denotes Upcoming films
Film
Year Title Director Writer Producer Editor Composer Assistant director Notes
1989 Parinda Yes
1994 1942: A Love Story Yes
1996 Khamoshi: The Musical Yes Yes Yes Filmfare Award for Best Film (Critics)
1999 Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam Yes Yes Yes Filmfare Award for Best Film
Filmfare Award for Best Director
2002 Devdas Yes Yes National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
Filmfare Award for Best Film
Filmfare Award for Best Director
2005 Black Yes Yes Yes National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
Filmfare Award for Best Film

Filmfare Award for Best Film (Critics)
Filmfare Award for Best Director

2007 Saawariya Yes Yes Yes
2010 Guzaarish Yes Yes Yes Yes Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Director
2011 My Friend Pinto Yes
2012 Rowdy Rathore Yes
Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi Yes Yes
2013 Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Film
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Director
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Music Director
2014 Mary Kom Yes National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Film
2015 Gabbar Is Back Yes
Bajirao Mastani Yes Yes Yes National Film Award for Best Direction

Filmfare Award for Best Film
Filmfare Award for Best Director
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Music Director

2016 Laal Ishq Yes
2018 Padmaavat Yes Yes Yes Yes National Film Award for Best Music Direction

Filmfare Award for Best Music Director

Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Film
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Director

2019 Malaal Yes Yes
2022 Gangubai Kathiawadi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Television

Stage

Web series

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Sanjay Leela Bhansali

References

  1. ^ a b "Film in 2003 | BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ Verma, Sukanya (6 November 2007). "OSO-Saawariya rivalry: May the best director win". Rediff.com. Retrieved 14 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b Priya Gupta (12 November 2013). "When I am not being watched, I too am a loud Gujarati: Sanjay Leela Bhansali". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Jains steal the show with 7 Padmas". The Times of India. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  5. ^ "The truth about Sanjay Leela Bhansali". Rediff. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Khamoshi (Silence: The Musical) Review". Channel 4. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  7. ^ "Box Office 1999". BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Archived from the original on 26 July 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Box Office 2002". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Devdas nominated for best foreign film at Bafta - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  10. ^ "DEVDAS - Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  11. ^ "The 10 Great Movies of the Millennium (Thus Far)". Time.com. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  12. ^ ""Black" selected amongst 10 of the best films of 2005 by Time magazine". 30 December 2005. Archived from the original on 27 May 2008.
  13. ^ a b "Sanjay Leela Bhansali gets into TV soaps". The Times Of India.
  14. ^ "Box Office 2007". BoxOfficeIndia. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  15. ^ Ians, Momabi (16 March 2011). "Bhansali not adapting Padmavati opera in movie". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming historical movie 'Padmavati' is all set for a trial by fire". Archived from the original on 30 January 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  17. ^ Roy, Amit (29 June 2008). "Indian opera goes to Italy". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Devdas' experience helped Bhansali with 'Padmavati". Reuters. 17 March 2008.
  20. ^ "Roshan Raahein". 6 May 2014. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Rowdy Rathore - Movie - Box Office India". boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Allahabad high court bans 'Goliyon ki raasleela Ram-Leela' in UP - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  23. ^ "Kareena's Plum Assignments". Bollywood Hungama. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  24. ^ "Bajirao and Mastani's descendants blast Sanjay Leela Bhansali, term him irresponsible for 'vulgar portrayal' of Bajirao, Kashibai and Mastani". The Indian Express. 5 December 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  25. ^ "Bajirao Mastani: Bombay HC okays release of film over petition seeking stay". The Indian Express. 19 December 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  26. ^ [1] First Post. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  27. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.in%2Famit-nangia-%2F2015-bollywood-cine-retro_b_8897806.html&usg=AFQjCNF_HojisMHje-0ctbI0GcSLwSToZw Archived 10 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  28. ^ http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Fentertainment%2Fhindi%2Fbollywood%2Fnews%2FMust-watch-Bollywood-movies-of-2015%2Farticleshow%2F50350065.cms&usg=AFQjCNHTsTUZkD5bFTsS_aJvvkeP2cuw3A The Times of India. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Box Office: Worldwide Collections of Bajirao Mastani". Bollywood Hungama. 19 December 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  30. ^ "63rd National Film Awards: List of winners". The Times of India. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  31. ^ "Bajirao Mastani (India)". www.goldenglobes.com. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  32. ^ Ramnath, Nandini. "Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming historical movie 'Padmavati' is all set for a trial by fire". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on 30 January 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  33. ^ "Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmavati' shooting stalled by Rajput group in Jaipur - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  34. ^ "Karni Sena vandalises Chittorgarh Fort, breaks mirrors in the palace of Rani Padmini". Hindustan Times. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  35. ^ "Padmavati row intensifies: Film set burnt in Kolhapur, to get 24 hour security". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  36. ^ "Alia Bhatt Unveils New Gangubai Kathiawadi Poster, Film Set to Clash with Prabhas' Radhe Shyam". News18. 24 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  37. ^ "Bhansali happy with 'baby'". The Times of India. 1 July 2008. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014.
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ Jha, Subhash K. (10 May 2022). ""Every episode of Heeramandi is like an independent feature film", says filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 17 May 2022.