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“I’m Sorry, But I  Am In Awe Of My Own Film,”  Jokes  Sanjay Leela Bhansali On Gangubai Kathiawadi

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Alia bhatt in Gangubai Kathiawadi

Sanjay Leela Bhansali feels  Gangubai Kathiawadi is  his best film to date. “It comes straight from my heart. I am so much more in control of  my craft now than  I was when I started off. I’ve improved as  a  human being and as a filmmaker. I think I’ve become  more compassionate.”

Gangubai is  also Bhansali’s  most  personal film. “It’s a tribute to my growing  years. I spent  the first 30 years of my living  in   just one lane  away from Kamathipura.

I gave my all to this  film.Every flavour, colour and texture that  I remembered  from my childhood has  gone into this  film. I remember in my childhood chawl the walls were colourless. And yet that colourless palate  is embedded in my mind. Every utensil  in our  kitchen  , every   visual from my childhood…like the clothes hanging  after washing from the second floor which would flap on  the  first floor, the  stench of the  gutters are  all alive in my imagination. I rate this  as  my most  personal film.”

Gangubai Kathiawadi is  a  dream that  Bhansali has  nurtured for eight years. “I wanted to make this film before Ram Leela. I’ve spoken to Gangubai’s  soul.I’ve had long conversations with her in my mind. I understood her  suffering,anger, joys and sorror. I knew why she needed  to get up and dance. I had to connect  to the soul of this  amazing woman. I  think I  did.”

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Now that  the  release  is just days away Bhansali is  nervous  and  anxious.  “It is so important  for the Indian audience to watch films in  cinemas. Movie theatres have opened up fully  after  two years. It is  such a  joyous moment not only for me  but for  the  Hindi   film industry to  be  able to   return to  movie theatres after audiences being stifled at  home. I think  it’s  a blessing, and  not even in disguise.”

The  epic  filmmaker   whose last release Padmaavat was  a spectacular success is hoping to see  the audience  return to  theatres for his film. “Now we are hoping that the  world will celebrate the life of this wonderful woman who reluctantly became the voice of  the women in Kamathipura . Gangubai was  a messiah  to the women of Kamathipura. She was ravaged by life. But she never stopped  fighting and caring for the girls in Kamathipura brothels. This is a woman  who   is an unsung hero. I want her name to be mentioned  in  the history of Indian cinema.