Heeramandi Art Director Subrata Chakraborty talks best moment


Mumbai: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a name synonymous with grandeur and intricate detailing in Indian cinema, is known for creating mesmerizing cinematic worlds. Production designer and art director Subrata Chakraborty, who has collaborated with Bhansali on films such as “Padmaavat” (2018), “Gangubai Kathiawadi” (2022), and Netflix’s “Heeramandi,” recently shared insights into Bhansali’s unique approach to set design.

Chakraborty, whose impressive portfolio also includes “Chhapaak” (2020), “Shershaah” (2021), and “Dunki” (2023), described Bhansali’s passion and enthusiasm for his sets. In a recent interview he said “Sir (Bhansali) would accompany us too and we would have endless discussions about how the set would look like,” says Chakraborty. This collaborative process is key to capturing the essence of Bhansali’s vision. For “Heeramandi,” they aimed to recreate Bombay’s old charm, constructing two-storey buildings with large balconies, chowks, and mosques, all given a distressed look to mirror the historic Kamathipura area.

This meticulous set was built in Mumbai’s Film City, with hundreds of workers involved in bringing Bhansali’s vision to life. “You know what the best moment is on any of Bhansali’s floors,” Chakraborty asks. “It’s when he sees the set for the very first time.” According to Chakraborty, Bhansali’s reactions are a spectacle in themselves. “He is excited as a child. Endlessly praising something he loved”, he adds.

Chakraborty’s anecdotes highlight Bhansali’s childlike excitement and intense passion for perfection, traits that have contributed to his legendary status in the film industry. Currently, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is basking in the grand success of Heeramandi : The Diamond Bazaar and is gearing up for its sequel which was recently announced.


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