16 years of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Epic Devdas: What All Went While Making It?
Devdas, a classic tale written by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was adapted into films multiple times and in the year 2002 Sanjay Leela Bhansali adapted it by featuring Shah Rukh Khan as Devdas, Aishwarya Rai as Paro and Madhuri Dixit as Chandramukhi.
Devdas is even remembered now for its intense moments and the pain and suffering which Shah Rukh Khan undergoes when he descends towards alcoholism.
Here are some of the facts of India’s only film which is now a classic for generations to come:
1. Paro’s role was first screen tested on Kareena Kapoor which she didn’t pass the test and the role went to Aishwarya Rai who nailed it to perfection. Now, will you imagine Kareena Kapoor acting like Paro? Sounds totally awful.
2. Before the film released in India, the film was first screened in Cannes in the month of May which was prestigious for Bhansali as this was the first Indian film to be screened there.
3. The scene where Paro’s mother gets humiliated in the mehfil is actually the director’s nightmare where his mother was humiliated in the same manner.
4. The role of Chunni Babu which was played by Jackie Shroff was actually offered to Govinda and Shekhar Suman. Shekhar Suman regrets even now rejecting Chunni Babu’s role which could’ve given him an kickstart in his career in Bollywood. Manoj Bajpai was also asked to play the role but he rejected it thinking that it will hurt his credibility.
5. Neeta Lulla was roped as the costume designer for the film who had a flair of designing the Indian ethnic wear by using the traditional influences in them. The costumes became really popular especially Madhuri Dixit’s outfit in Maar Dala and Kaahe Chhed Mohe which were very heavy for the actress.
6. We all know that Shah Rukh Khan had a history of smoking frequently but to get into the character of Devdas, Shah Rukh Khan literally drank alcohol on the sets so that he might look natural while acting rather than overacting his lines.
7. Shreya Ghoshal, who made her debut in playback singing via this film was only 16 years when she did playback for Aishwarya Rai. Bhansali roped her in when he saw her on TV singing Lata Mangeshkar’s song in Sa Re Ga Ma back in 1996.
8. Dola Re, which was the most iconic song of the film which most girls have danced all their life in school actually took a week in writing as Bhansali wanted to make both lead actresses dance together. During the shoot of the song, Aishwarya’s years started to bleed because of the heavy earrings but she never revealed it after the end of the shoot.
9. To show the early 1900s setting, Bhansali shot it in Dharavi, Mumbai and the Chandramukhi’s Kotha was actually constructed on a lake which was pretty risky as the lake was in the stage of drying up frequently.
10. During the bottle-breaking sequence, Shah Rukh Khan literally injured himself while filming the sequence, there were some broken pieces of glass which was pierced in SRK’s hand while shooting the sequence.
Despite many modern adaptations and pop culture references of it, Bhansali's Devdas is still considered as a masterpiece by many film critics.
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