Of course, Salman (Salman Khan) is a very special friend,” says Sanjay Leela Bhansali, when asked about the actor being upset with him for using his idea (reportedly inspired by Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige) to make Guzaarish. Having worked with his actor-friend in his first two movies, Khamoshi – The Musical and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, the filmmaker asserts, “I love Salman. I’ll surely work with him again.”
Bhansali is excited about his forthcoming film, starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, which also marks his debut as composer. “I’ve been fascinated with music since childhood,” he asserts, adding, “I want music when I wake up, when I bathe, when I’m eating, when I’m shooting, when I’m working, when I’m relaxing… I love music playing everywhere.”
He recalls the time when he’d give inputs for music and would be told to let the music directors do their work. Most composers, who have worked with Bhansali, however, have conceded that the filmmaker had a significant part to play in helping them come up with their compositions. So, is he going to take this new job more seriously now? “I think one should do what one is capable of,” the filmmaker says.
Tell him that Aishwarya calls him a bundle of talent and feels that after his debut as composer, he might have another trick up his sleeve, and Bhansali says, “Ash enjoys working with me. I feel special and blessed to have an actor who can interpret what I want. The receptivity of thought connects us. She’s a sharp, thinking actress and doesn’t come to the sets asking what she’s supposed to do. Besides, she’s evolved a lot as a person too.”
Point out to him that his main characters have limitations — Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas in Khamoshi, Rani Mukherji in Black and now Hrithik Roshan in Guzaarish — and the director attributes his inspiration to certain circumstances: “Sometimes you’re blamed for things gone wrong. Maybe it’s God’s way to see that you retain your goodness and love for life despite all that you’re going through. In Black, Michelle wanted to graduate even though she was 40. Guzaarish taught me so much about becoming a better human being.”
While many others would make happily-ever-after movies, Bhansali chooses to not shy away from intense and dark subjects. “Whether it is Khamoshi or Devdas, or any subject I’ve taken up, I’ve always walked the difficult path, because the more the challenges, the stronger I become,” he reiterates, adding that tough times post Saawariya inspired him to make Guzaarish.