Today, Sanjay Leela Bhansali completes 25 years in the Indian film industry. With nine
magnum opuses like Black, Saawariya, Padmaavat, Ram Leela, Bajirao Mastani, Hum
Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas to his name, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has carved a special
niche as a filmmaker. His eye for detail, thematic style of direction and powerful storylines
have left an indelible mark on Bollywood. As he completes quarter of a century in Bollywood,
he is currently working on his tenth film Gangubai Kathiawadi.
Celebrating his 25 years of great cinema, Bhansali Productions posted a showreel of
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s legacy on social media. The reel has taken the internet by storm
and includes all the iconic spectacles, dialogues and artistes across every one of the nine
movies that he has created so far.
Speaking about his journey thus far, Sanjay Leela Bhansali said, “It has not always been an
easy journey but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself regardless – I’ve won some and learnt some.
But these 25 years would not be complete without the incredible effort of every single person
I’ve worked with so far. The movie that an audience watches on their screens is a creative
culmination of so many different forms of art – from the soundtrack, colours, screenplay,
architecture, dialogues to every thread on every costume. It’s the fantabulous team of
technicians, artistes, writers, producers and assistant directors that have been the real pillar
behind every movie made. That’s why I like the call my films ‘handmade movies’. The years
ahead are blank pages waiting to be written and I am itching to write them.”
In his 25 years, he has put India on the global map of cinema with movies like Devdas
premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. The movie was also nominated for British
Academy of Film and Television Awards for Best Film Not in the English Language.
His Big B and Rani Mukherji starrer, Black, inspired by the life of Helen Keller, stood fifth in
Time’s “10 Best Movies of the Year 2005” (Europe) amongst films from across the world.
Not only that, but he has changed the face of Indian cinema by stirring a movement that
focuses on artistic sets, clean direction and thematic backdrops. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s
signature style of highly choreographed sequences and larger-than-life mega-musicals are
somehow still rooted in realism.
A music connoisseur, Sanjay Leela Bhansali turned music director over the years. His
movies have given us some memorable melodies such as Ram Chahe Leela, Tattad
Tattad, Lahu Munh Lag Gaya, Ghoomar, Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje, Aankhon Ki
Gustakhiyan, Chand Chupa Baadal Mein, Nimbooda, Mastani, Saawariya, Jab Se Tere
Naina. He has also produced movies like Gabbar Is Back, Laal Ishq, Mary Kom, Rowdy
Rathore, My Friend Pinto and Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. As a writer, he has 13
credits to his name and has penned some of his work including Padmaavat, Bajirao
Mastani, Ram Leela, Black, Devdas and Guzaarish, amongst others.
In 2015, Sanjay Leela Bhansali was honoured with the Padma Shri. He has a legacy of 38
awards to his name including National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, Mirchi Music
Awards, Screen Awards, IIFA Awards, Zee Cine Awards and Zee Gold Awards.
What’s your favourite Sanjay Leela Bhansali film?
Watch the official showreel here: