Vivek Agnihotri lauds Pak doctor who criticised Bhansali's Heeramandi: Bollywood has tendency to romanticise courtesans | Web Series - Hindustan Times

Vivek Agnihotri lauds Pak doctor who criticised Bhansali's Heeramandi: Bollywood has tendency to romanticise courtesans

May 05, 2024 09:58 AM IST

Vivek Agnihotri said that brothels are “monuments of human injustice, pain and suffering”. He also said asked “those unfamiliar” to watch Shyam Benegal’s Mandi.

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri has praised a Pakistani doctor who criticised Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Vivek said Bollywood has the "tendency to romanticise courtesans and brothels". He also questioned the freedom of creativity. (Also Read | Heeramandi: Netizens point out these historical inaccuracies in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's series)

Vivek Agnihotri spoke about Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi.
Vivek Agnihotri spoke about Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi.

Vivek lauds person who criticised Heeramandi

Sharing Hamd Nawaz's tweets, Vivek wrote, "A brilliant critique by @_SophieSchol. I haven’t seen the show, but I have visited Heeramandi in Lahore a few times. Bollywood has this tendency to romanticize courtesans and brothels. It’s a sad commentary because brothels have never been places of opulence, glamour or beauty. These are monuments of human injustice, pain and suffering. Those unfamiliar with this should watch Shyam Benegal’s Mandi."

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Vivek questions freedom of creativity

"Also, a question we must ask: Does creativity give us the freedom to glamorize human suffering? Is it okay to make a film where slum life is depicted as a life of abundance? Is it okay to portray slum dwellers wearing clothes as if they are attending an Ambani wedding? Pl discuss," he added.

Internet reacts to Vivek's tweet

Reacting to the post, a person said, "Anything in the extreme becomes unpalatable. He is unable to strike a balance between creative freedom and reality." "Bollywood doesn't just have a habit. They are obsessed with romanticising brothels, courtesans, etc., particularly some of the later movies. But i do think this is a SLB problem, his movies thrive on showing opulence. Umrao Jaan, Bazaar were more balanced," read a tweet.

"I saw parts with fast forwards, hoping to see some redeeming parts from a brilliant filmmaker, beyond huge sets, grand photography & music, but couldn't find anything. The turning of tawaifs en masse to patriotic revolutionaries verged on comical," tweeted a person.

What Pakistani doctor said about Heeramandi

Recently, Hamd had shared a string of tweets talking about the inaccuracies she came across after watching Heeramandi. One of her tweets read, "Just watched Heeramandi. Found everything but heermandi in it. I mean either you don’t set your story in 1940’s Lahore, or if you do- you don’t set it in Agra’s landscape, Delhi’s Urdu, Lakhnavi dresses and 1840’s vibe. My not-so-sorry Lahori self can’t really let it go."

She also wrote, "To begin with, where exactly is it set? Lake Como? Amalfi Coast? The most evident landmark still visible from every building in today’s remnants of Heera Mandi is the Shahi Qilla-Grand Mosque’s doom and minarets skyline. If you call it Lahore, show Lahore."

Hamd also talked about the portrayal of the social and financial strata, language, songs and outfits shown in the web series.

About Heeramandi

Heeramandi marked the OTT debut of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Through the stories of courtesans and their patrons, the series delves deep into the cultural reality of Heeramandi. It stars Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Sharmin Segal, Taha Shah Badussha, Shekhar Suman, and Adhyayan Suman. Heeramandi released on May 1 on Netflix India.

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