Prosperous production house Viacom 18 is going all out to ensure Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s historical spectacle Padmavati in a bid to make it the most lavish Bollywood film of all times, much bigger in scale and impact than Rajamouli’s Baahubali.
Sources in the know say it’s not just the budget of Padmavati which would be higher than any Indian film so far —it’s the scale of the endeavour too. Says the source, “Every important song and battle scene in the film is going to be filmed on an international scale. In fact Padmavati will be the first Bhansali film to have a separate international cut, different in length and character from the desi version which will be longer. Of course his Devdas and Black got a global audience, but they were not cut separately for an international audience.”
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
The fact that Bhansali staged the story of Padmavati in Paris’ posh and prestigious Theatre Chalet in 2008, made him plan a separate international version. Since SLB’s forte is song and dance sequences, the film will have eight or nine numbers composed by the filmmaker himself. In fact he just shot a lavish one at Mehboob Studious with Deepika Padukone which cost approximately 1.75 crores.
“There were scores of trained folk dancers from Rajasthan to accompany Deepika. The set and the volume of the song is incomparable with anything attempted so far,” adds a source.
Says Sanjay Leela Bhansali, “For me, the starting point for all my creativity is music. I do what comes spontaneously to my heart.The director of the Theatre duChatelet, Jean-Luc Chopin, told me there’s a lot of opera in Devdas, Black and Saawariya. I can understand the whole operatic tradition of singing emotions. In that sense, the great V.Shantaram has always been a huge influence right from Hum… Dil De Chuke Sanam. Even Black was in the same tradition as Shantaramji’s cinema. I love his colours, vibrancy and theatrics. My cinema is also unabashedly dramatic.”