SKJ Bollywood News

18 Years Of Devdas, “What A Journey!” Says Sanjay Bhansali

On  12 July 2002 Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s dream project Devdas was  released. Sceptics  were  quick to compare  it unfavourably with Bimal Roy’s sparse adaptation   of  the  classic novel  by Saratchandra Chatterjee.

Bhansali  was sure Saratchandra’s novel could never grow irrelevant.

  Exults Bhansali,   “How can love ever grow irrelevant?  Devdas is the ultimate love story.  But Devdas’s unflinching  love for Paro  whereby even  the seductive  Chandramukhi couldn’t distract him, is timeless. He’s like Vishwamitra who doesn’t lose his concentration no matter what  the  temptation. Chandramukhi tries so hard to wean him away. But his love was so pure . To him love to him was about the purity that Paro represented.  In his dying moments all he wants to see is the woman he loves . Devdas gave dignity to the concept of love. I’ve never heard of such love anywhere else.”

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali knew what he  was doing, “This was my Devdas.A  story that could be told in so many different ways. This was my way. A  lot of people thought my film was doomed. I remember someone whose opinion I valued asking, ‘How can a  about doomed alcoholic  hero be a  success?’ But I  was  sure  that  there is  always a generation waiting  to embrace the story  of Devdas’  unfulfilled  love.”

 Back in 2002  Bhansali’s Devdas  cost  around a 100 crore rupees  to be made.  “The  trade was  pretty  certain that  my film had an uncertain future. Luckily Devdas captured  the  audiences’ imagination.”

Shah Rukh  Khan still considers Devdas among the  most special  films  of his  career. Bhansali and SRK are constantly in touch. They  hope to work  some time in  the  future. Aishwarya  of course  is a  close friend   of  the filmmaker.  Before Devdas, they  collaborated  on Hum…Dil de Chuke Sanam. After Devdas  Aishwarya played the  lead  on   Sanjay Bhansali’s  Guzaarish.

Recalls Bhansali,  “You can’t imagine the level of commitment Shah Rukh, Madhuri, Aishwarya and the rest of the cast showed . Each time  there was  a problem they  were  enthused into working even harder. I couldn’t have expected more from the. Yes, we did   have problems on the sets. But that’s a  test of our strength. These hurdles make us want to  do better and better.”

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Bhansali is  certain he can  never make  a  better  love story, “When you make a film with so much courage  and anger  simmering inside, you can’t think of going wrong. I love this film as much as Devdas loved his Paro.  I’ve put more sincerity and passion into Devdasthan my other two films put together . I gave  everything I had to give to Devdas. Because I knew I’d never make a better love story because there’s none. “

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