He has left audiences spellbound and applauding with his visual grandeur and larger than life cinema and despite two back to back failures, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali says he’s far distanced from competition.
"I don’t want anybody to make a film the way I make it because I don’t want competition or inhibition and I don’t want anyone to enter there because it is my zone and my territory," says the self-confessed reclusive director.
But ask him if he does see anyone as his contestant in the industry and he says: "No. In my genre and my style — no. I don’t worry about other people and their work but in my space, I have no competition."
Having moved on since Saawariya and Guzaarish, the 49-year-old confesses the failure was devastating. "Failure hurts… because you have worked really hard. There is a lot of grit involved and when it doesn’t get appreciated or understood or criticised, it hurts. But then you also have to learn from your failures," he says with a smile.
Bhansali stays tight-lipped about his next directorial venture, however, as of now, he is enjoying his stint as a producer by testing waters in "younger films" with projects such as the recently released My Friend Pinto and upcoming movies such as Rowdy Rathore and Shirin-Farhad.
"So far, I’ve done very intense films. I’ve not been associated with upbeat, light, musical, young films. These films are more in real space," he says, adding, "I want to enjoy cinema now. I’ve worked so hard for 18 years. I haven’t gone on any holiday. I’ve experimented and gone from one difficult film to another. I’ve gone through successes and failures. Now I want to relax and produce these films before getting on to directing my own film."