When Sanjay Leela Bhansali spoke about Devdas getting standing ovation at Cannes | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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When Sanjay Leela Bhansali spoke about Devdas getting standing ovation for ‘several minutes’ at Cannes Film Festival

Feb 24, 2024 10:20 AM IST

On Sanjay Leela Bhansali's birthday, here's a lookback at when the filmmaker opened up about the reaction to his 2002 movie Devdas at Cannes Film Festival.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali turned 61 on Saturday. The filmmaker's Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai-starrer Devdas, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002, remains one of his most talked-about movies to this day. In an interview with Rediff in May 2002, Sanjay was asked if he ‘was surprised by the reception that Devdas got at Cannes’. Also read | When Angelina Jolie was left in splits over Shah Rukh Khan's joke on Sanjay Leela Bhansali: 'This is not Aishwarya Rai'

Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Leela Bhansali walked the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival 2002. (File Photo/AFP)
Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Leela Bhansali walked the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival 2002. (File Photo/AFP)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Devdas being appreciated

Sanjay Leela Bhansali said, "Yes, because it was a very big moment, a very happy moment. Right from the time the film was selected for a Cannes screening, I knew it would work. But it was the first screening of the film, and that too at a big film festival. So I was anxious about how it would be received. Would people be uncomfortable with the film? Would they find it too long?"

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The director recalled the film getting 'a standing ovation that lasted several minutes'. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who was joined by Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai at Devdas' premiere at Grand Theatre Lumiere at Cannes, said, “Many doubts nagged me. Then I decided to flow with the time and see how the movie was received. It felt nice when we got a standing ovation that lasted several minutes.”

Actors Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali at Cannes Film Festival in 2002. (File Photo/Reuters)
Actors Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali at Cannes Film Festival in 2002. (File Photo/Reuters)

About Devdas

The 2002 period romantic drama, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and produced by Bharat Shah, featured Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit in lead roles. Jackie Shroff, Kirron Kher, Smita Jaykar and Vijayendra Ghatge were seen in supporting roles.

Based on the 1917 novel of the same name by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the film narrates the story of Devdas Mukherjee (Shah Rukh Khan), a wealthy law graduate who returns from London to marry his childhood friend, Parvati 'Paro' (Aishwarya Rai). However, the rejection of their marriage by his own family sparks Devdas' descent into alcoholism, ultimately leading to his emotional deterioration and his seeking refuge with the golden-hearted courtesan Chandramukhi (Madhuri Dixit).

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