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Czymże jest życie bez marzeń? — filmowa twórczość Sanjaya Leeli Bhansaliego

  1. Grażyna Stachówna




The artistic works of Sanjay Leela Bhansali seem typical for the Bollywood cinema, because they are consistently interwoven with its tradition — the director observes the censorship rules, keeps to the binding standards of film visualization, skillfully uses various film genres, casts famous movie stars, wins awards at Indian festivals and fame abroad. However, when watching in chronological order his five movies shot so far — Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Straight from the Heart, 1999), Devdas (2002), Black (2005), Saawariya (Eternal Soulmate, 2007) — one gets an impression that it is not some Bollywood workhorse’s output, but a real movie author’s oeuvre. Since his debut in 1996 Bhansali has been aware of his creative abilities, he has wanted to develop and manifest his individual artistic style, but at the same time he has seemed bound by the Bollywood film industry rules which he has tried to circumvent or bend in an intelligent way. There is even more to that, as there is a growing suspicion that Bhansali, polishing up his own style, intentionally emphasizes and escalates in his works the features of the Bollywood style, displaying his distance and irony. Naïve viewers perceive Bhansali’s films as exceptionally striking masala movies in which they find everything they expect and like. However, for the connoisseurs they become the evidence that no system of production can fully tame and control a talented artist, because — as Goethe claimed — “A true master proves himself when his means are limited.”


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Studia Filmoznawcze

32, 2011

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