Sanjay Leela Bhansali vs SRK

This Diwali, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya clashed against King Khan’s Om Shanti Om. The verdict was clear, while Om Shanti Om opened to raving reviews, Saawariya was thrashed by the critics. While the hype around both the films has just subsided, Bhansali aint a happy man. Here is Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the negative reports by the trade, questioning the dignity of Khan and more!

You are being called Sanjay ‘Neela’ Bhansali.
Thanks for telling me. I hope people remember it.

You are welcome. But why so much blue?
Are there any rules that films cannot be monochromatic? Why should I follow a formula? Who says that every film should have a daylight scene in it? For me, blue is Krishna the colour of romance. People should appreciate Saawariya for being different. Who says we all have to make the same kind of cinema?

Did you wonder ‘what if this doesn’t work’ at all?
No, I don’t think like that. I have a vision and I make films according to that. Of course, you want people to see it, appreciate it and to recover the cost, but that cannot be the driving factor. When an artist creates a work of art, he doesn’t keep in mind how people will react to it. I don’t make flicks, I make cinema.

Industrywallas are calling Saawariya a 40-crore No Smoking. Comment.
Rubbish. Every film has it’s own budget. I have a certain way of making a film, and I can’t make a small film. The money that I’ve spent on my film shows. It’s a visual treat. I’ve put up beautiful sets. There are lavish songs, good choreography, cinematography… the effort behind each scene shows. I didn’t spend the money on costumes for 40 stars. I didn’t go to Manhattan or whichever foreign location other filmmakers are heading to these days to shoot.

Despite Saawariya’s good opening, trade experts Taran Adarsh and Komal Nahata predict huge losses for Sony. Comment.
As far as I’m concerned, people love Saawariya. Only a handful of critics are trying to influence the audience against the film. If they are predicting losses, they are wrong. Komal and Taran, belong to the cinema of the eighties, they are antiquated and I never expected them to understand Saawariya. Great cinema should be kept away from such reviewers. According to me, every one who has worked in my film has raised the bar for the movie experience in this country. Gags and jokes at senior actors do not make a film great. Cinema is not about laughing at legends.

Are you talking about OSO?
No. Most films these days are like that. The whole slant seems to be towards making audiences laugh. There seems to be no space for serious cinema. If we don’t do something new, our cinema will become a stagnant pool of gags and jokes masquerading as a masala entertainer. Telling jokes is not my definition of filmmaking.

Have you seen OSO?
No, I don’t see other people’s films.

SRK says that too.
Shah Rukh Khan is the king of Bollywood. He can say whatever he likes. But why is he going around saying, ‘I will destroy them?’ Where is the dignity of the reigning superstar? Why compare yourself to a film with two newcomers? Who are you to destroy them? Have you created them? Do we eat off your plate? Have we made the film with your money? What gives you the right to say you will destroy 150 people who have invested so much in the film? Let people judge. It’s a film with good values, and principles, people should appreciate that.

Are you disappointed with Shah Rukh’s comments.
You feel disappointed. We decided that we’ll maintain a certain dignity and not pull each other’s films down. But then he started making comments like he will destroy us. That’s not the Shah Rukh I know. I think he was being instigated to say those things.

But you’ve been dissing OSO as well!
No, I haven’t said anything against their film. I feel that acting is not about six-packs but I’ve never said it until now. Why ‘destroy’ us? It’s time for new cinema, cricketers, politicians. Let the newcomers like Ranbir come in. Shah Rukh Khan will remain a king. Just because People love (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, it doesn’t mean they will forget Sachin (Tendulkar).

You still think it was a good strategy to position your film along with OSO?
I’ve got a big opening. No other filmmaker would’ve got that against a Shah Rukh Khan film, and it’s a big deal. We got the biggest opening for an Indian film with newcomers in the lead. Anyway, why compare two completely different films? My films is about art, and OSO is about commerce. People are walking out of OSO too, so why are we only talking about people not liking Saawariya? There is an agenda to this.

You think it’s personal?
Maybe nothing personal against me but they want to push the other film, so they are pulling Saawariya down. They are people who are against the film, against the set-up, and there are lot of people who don’t want to let Sony in.

Audiences have accepted Ranbir, the same cannot be said about Sonam. Comment.
Yes, somewhere I think we expected Ranbir would to be accepted by the audiences as he had the author-backed role. Sonam’s character is grey. Sakina is manipulative, hysterical, scared, lonely… it’s not a character you can fall in love with, unlike Ranbir’s character. But full marks to her for doing a great job.

The best compliment you’ve received for Saawariya?
Ramesh Sippy, Rakesh Roshan, Ashutosh Gowariker, Hrithik, Rekhaji…there have been so many encouraging words… but I think Salimsaab paid me the best compliment. He told me, ‘Sanjay, it’s time for you to make an international film, they will appreciate and value your work.’



  • SLB could have just produce home movies and release it for Diwali present to all India with ticket fare costing not more than 10 rupee for the multiplex/single screen owner to cover operating cost and some small profit ….

  • SRK has changed with mega success he has achieved that now he has begun thinking he become GOD but remember this PRIDE COMES BEFORE A FALL.He was very gracious and humble before but nowadays one can see he has turned into a pighead or in other words bigheaded oaf, full of himself bragging that nobody can touch him!!! Has he not seen what happened to Rajesh Khanna before him? even he thought he was invincible when he was the reigning Superstar and we now see SRK slowly turning into Rajesh Khanna.Look at Amitabh he was and is a very professionally humble and dignified person that no wonder he is loved even in his old age. SRK wake up dont let people now begin praying for your downfall so they have the last laugh and say I TOLD YOU SO!!!! :angry:

  • i love shahrukh khan very much,i just want to tell this.i am the biggggggggggggesttttttttt fan of SRK.his nick name is SRK & my nick name is ARK.LOVE U SHAHRUKH

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