After delivering a hit project in 2022 in the form of the Alia Bhatt starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi, prominent filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is now all set to make his web debut with Heeramandi. The director broke the internet with the first glimpse of the star cast of the show on Saturday, February 17. On the other hand, during the launch, he shed some light on women-centric projects and how filmmakers like Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, and others gave some “beautiful female stories.”
Sanjay Leela Bhansali gives a shout-out to Yash Chopra, Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt and others; says, “They all told beautiful female stories”
Speaking of the women of Heeramandi, the 59-year-old director asserted, “These women were courtesans. Behind their veil, they were real women, they felt so much pain. There is so much that they went through, yet they would come in the evening and they would sing and dance. Look at their lives, they were courtesans, they did not have a place in society. Society goes to them, they please those men, they entertain those men and then they go back to their dark world. Once their prime time is over, the courtesan is dead. She’s forgotten.”
He further explained, “I feel all directors that I have loved, Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, Mehboob Khan, Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, and V Shantaram; they all told beautiful female stories. They understood that a woman is the creator of man, therefore she needs to be given a place in literature, in cinema, in art in every which way. They always told stories of women, they were not necessarily telling stories of men.”
In addition, he said, “So, if there is a Bajirao, there is also Mastani for me. If there was no Mastani then I wouldn’t make Bajirao. If there is no Padmavati who holds a fort and fights and goes into the fire, I wouldn’t make that film. In Heeramandi there are eight women who are inspiring me to tell stories about how you fight suffering, how to stand up for dignity, and what dignity means to a courtesan. Dignity is very important to a sex worker, that was the theme of Gangubai (Kathiawadi).”
Headlined by Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal, and Sanjeeda Sheikh, Heermandi will be streamed on Netflix.
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