When I was in my teens a magician cast his spell on me through his movie ‘Khamoshi – The Musical’ since then till today I was not able to break away from the spell, although I was jolted very hard to come out of his magical spell with his last outing named ‘Saawariya’.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali movies have always been a celebration for most us, howsoever anyone would like to hate him or love him, and one can never ignore him. Khamoshi was very special to me as it was for the first time I could see my favourite stars together and also see my favourite Salman Khan act for a change and so did Manisha who gave her career best. Although she won a Filmfare award for her performance she missed out on her National Award due to uncertain circumstances. The movie did not do well at the box office but it is termed as a classic today. The songs are still hummed and they are one of the best albums from music composers Jatin-Lalit.
Then Sanjay took a ‘U’ turn and directed two full on masala entertainers with popular music and lavish sets and costumes. Both Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas were the biggest hits of those years and also bagged all the major awards at every awards function. Aishwarya Rai looked her best and also acted her best in both movies. Who can forget Paro and Nandini portrayed by Aishwarya and who can forget Madhuri’s mesmerizing portrayal of the courtesan Chandramukhi in Devdas? Sanjay not only gave a fresh lease to the careers of Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan but also gave us a talented music director in the form of Ismail Darbar.
After proving his mettle with HDDCS and Devdas he once again turned towards a genre he loves to make – BLACK. Black is considered to be a career milestone for him as well as Amitabh Bachchan who got his third National Award for the movie and also for Rani Mukherjee who won both the critics and popular Filmfare award alongwith all the other hordes of awards. Who can forget the brilliant performances of AB, Rani, Shernaaz Patel and Ayesha Kapoor who played the younger version of Rani in the movie? The movie was a critical and commercial success. There were no songs in the movie but the content was so strong it struck a chord in every viewer’s heart. Black again took all the major awards alongwith the best actor and actress for the year 2005 and established brand SLB.
When someone is on a higher trail and in a respectable position like SLB, then he is closely watched by the industrywallahs to make one mistake so that they can pull him down and that’s what happened with Saawariya. Saawariya was the most sought after project when it was announced. It starred Rishi Kapoor and Anil Kapoor’s children, a big launch pad for them as well as for the music director Monty and singer Shail Hada. Sony pictures backed the project all positives but when the movie released it was torn apart by the critics and it was a huge box office failure. SLB was made the butt of every joke and soon he was written off by the same people who hailed him and worshiped him as GOD.
To regain everything he lost, he spun his magic again in the form of Guzaarish, one of the best movies to hit the silver screen in a long time and also the best by SLB. It is a masterpiece made by SLB and for the first time in the last 10 years Aishwarya Rai was not Aishwarya Rai but Sophia the nurse who takes care of Ethan played by Hrithik, the magician suffering from paraplegia for the past 14 years. The performances are praiseworthy and also award worthy. The cinematography, the background music, the songs, the dialogues everything related to Guzaarish is just out of the world. The magician in SLB who had taken a sabbatical resurfaced to cast his spell once again.
A grand salute to you Sanjay and once again I am under your spell and waiting to see more objects popping out of your magician’s hat (his brain).