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“Gangubai Kathiawadi Had Gangubai’s & My  Mother’s  Blessing,” Says  Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali



Alia bhatt in Gangubai Kathiawadi

Gangubai Kathiawadi Had Gangubai’s & My  Mother’s  Blessing,”

“I have never experienced  so much love for any of my films,” says Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director of such epoch-making  blockbusters as  Devdas and Bajirao Mastani.

“Someone sent me  a  video from Gaiety cinema(Mumbai’s iconic  single theatre) , audiences were  repeating the dialogues, dancing to the  songs. It is as if they’ve connected to Gangubai Kathiawadi in  the way that I  wanted to,” says Bhansali  who was advised to not make a bio-pic on such a controversial  figure.

“But it  was  a dream. No,it was more than a dream. It was  an obsession. I walked around with  her story in my  head for years.I wanted to make Gangubai Kathiawadi for many years. But every time I  was  advised by my team  to make something  else. This time  after Padmaavat I decided  it had  to be Gangubai,” says  the delighted director.

“I knew Gangubai Kathiawadi would be loved. But I never  expected this kind of  unanimous acceptance for  her amazing life  .” says the  director happily.

The praise from within his own  fraternity is deafening.

“It’s  my mother’s  prayers which have been answered. For three years she prayed for her son’s Gangubai Kathiawadi dream to come true,” the  director gets emotional.

SLB is all praise  for his leading lady, “When Inshallah (the  film that  SLB was  to direct  with  Alia and  Salman Khan) was called  off I owed  it to Alia to make another film with her  . Many thought  I was making  a mistake in casting  Alia in Gangubai Kathiawadi,  that she was too petite  for the role. But I  saw my Gangubai in Alia.And she  gave her all, and then some more to the role.”

SLB rates Alia’s performance as Gangubai as among the best.  “It is  certainly among  the  finest performances  I’ve  gotten  out of   of my actors. Gangubai  required  Alia to  change her  body language, voice, even the look in her eyes. I threw  the challenge at her and she  was  more than up to it.”

The director feels Gangubai Kathiawadi is not his  achievement  alone. “It’s the team.Alia   of course, then  the  rest of the cast, each one so brilliant , the art direction by  Pallab Chanda and Vinayak Joshi,the production design by  Subrata  Chakraborty   and Amit Ray, the costumes by  Sheetal Sharma,the  choreography  by Kruti Mahesh, the background score by Ankit & Sanchit  Balhara, the cinematography  by Sudeep Chatterjee…each one of these is  the hero of  Gangubai Kathiawadi,” says  Bhansali gratefully.

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