Sanjay Leela Bhansali reflects on Shah Rukh Khan's performance in Devdas: ‘Today’s actors may not be able to deliver…’ | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Sanjay Leela Bhansali reflects on Shah Rukh Khan's performance in Devdas: ‘Today’s actors may not be able to deliver…’

By | Edited by Santanu Das
May 19, 2024 06:42 PM IST

Sanjay Leela Bhansali said that the ‘sur’ of performances given by Shah Rukh Khan and the cast in his film Devdas is a vastly different acting technique.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas is considered among his finest works till date. It featured Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit in lead roles. In a new interview with Bollywood Hungama, Bhansali opened up about the operatic performances given by the cast in that film and how such an acting technique might be a challenge with today’s artistes. (Also read: Sanjay Leela Bhansali reacts to the similarities between Khamoshi and CODA)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed Shah Rukh Khan in Devdas.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed Shah Rukh Khan in Devdas.

What Sanjay said

During the interview, when the director was asked about his thoughts on the acting process evolving over the years, he said, “I think the cinema has changed, techniques have changed. Now a director looks at cinema differently. The scriptwriters are writing differently and sketching varied and unusual roles. It is a great time for Indian cinema. Today, great films are being made, and wonderful work is being done.”

‘It was difficult to perform…’

He further continued, “The sur (tone) and the note at which Devdas was being performed, it was high pitch and operatic… it was difficult to perform. In those days, directors demanded actors to be that way but today, they ask actors to underplay and be subtle which is also nice. What Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhuri Dixit, and Kirron Kher did in Devdas, are notes and sur that today’s actors may not be able to deliver because they were a little unreal and demanded a deeper understanding of the acting techniques which Shah Rukh handled with brilliance."

Devdas was based on the 1917 novel of the same name by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. It received widespread acclaim and went on to become a commercial success upon release.

Meanwhile, Bhansali is receiving praise for his most recent work, Heeramandi. Based on the red-light district called Heera Mandi in Lahore (now in present-day Pakistan) during the pre-partition era, Sanjay's magnum opus chronicles the lives of courtesans in Heera Mandi and their relationships with Nawabs at that time. The series released in Netflix on May 1.

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