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See These Stunning Frames Before You Watch Heeramandi

April 30, 2024 12:56 IST
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From his directorial debut, Khamoshi: The Musical to his new OTT offering, Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's visual vocabulary has grown so wildly larger-than-life, no screen seems large enough to accommodate its opulent capacity.

Be it the vibrant hues of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Goliyon Ki Raas Leela: Ram Leela or the muted tones of Black and Guzaarish, his eye for visual poetry is undeniable, irresistible. One finds a glorious expression of this talent most ardently in his period dramas, Devdas, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat.

It's not as much about revisiting history as it is about reliving it in the film-maker's vision and aesthetics every time his love for old world charm and architectural grandeur becomes one with the narrative.

Distraction or dazzling, you decide.

As Heeramandi, set in 1920s Lahore, drops on Netflix on May 1, Sukanya Verma marvels at Bhansali's magnificent slices of history in 25 resplendent frames.


Director of Photography: Binod Pradhan

Bhansali's extravagant treatment of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novella about unrequited romance between childhood sweethearts -- compelling one to marry a wealthy, aged fella and another to hit the bottle and cry on a golden-hearted courtesan's shoulder -- may have earned the ire of the purists but its production design is stuff of gilded dreams.

Mirrors of all sizes and shapes adorning Chandramukhi's Pakeezah-inspired kotha, stained glass windows and private pond in Paro's marital home, Dev's ivory palace, the stunning artwork in the hallways or curtains as striking as blood, man-made sets of dreamy waterfalls and shiny streams, a downpour of luminous chandeliers, even a mere glimpse is treat for the eyes.

Here's proof:


Bajirao Mastani
Director of Photography: Sudeep Chaterjee

Bhansali's painterly magic peaks in Bajirao Mastani, where his Mughal-E-Azam imbued heart captures the love triangle between a peshwa, the woman he loves and is married to against the backdrop of 18th century Maratha empire.

Swinging seamlessly between Mughal, Rajput and Maratha culture and style, there's much to appreciate about Bajirao Mastani's elegant scenery and dramatic landscapes. Every frame is nothing short of priceless art.

See for yourself:










Director of Photography: Sudeep Chaterjee

Although mired in controversy over right-wing outrage on the basis of pure presumption before release and allegations of glorifying jauhar after it came out, Padmaavat's visual sumptuousness unlocks new levels of splendour.

Drama, detail, workmanship brims in all its raging, regal frames that scream scale like only Bhansali can.

Witness this:







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