5 Reasons Why Devdas Made Headlines When It Released 16 Years Back Today

Remembered as one of the finest works of the ace director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Devdas is remembered 16 years after its release with the same amount of love and awe. The pensive love story, stellar performance by the cast, Sanjay Leela’s Bhansali’s idea of visual treat and music that soothed your soul and filled you with festive fervor, made sure that Devdas not only became India’s official entry to Oscars and a nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film at BAFTA in 2002, but also recently landed a spot on TIME’s Top 10 Movies Of The Millenium, not to mention the fact that it swept all the Filmfare Awards that year that included Shahrukh Khan as the Best Actor, Aishwarya Rai as the Best Actress, Madhuri Dixit as the Best Supporting Actress, Sanjay Leela Bhansali as the Best Director and Best Film.

While today we remember the cinematic extravaganza for representing the quality of Indian Cinema that it stands for, back in 2002 when it released, these are the reasons for which it grabbed the headlines.

Most Expensive Film Of Its Time

5 Reasons Why Devdas Made Headlines When It Released 16 Years Back Today

With a lavish budget of 50 crores, Devdas was not only the most expensive film of its time but the margin b y which it was expensive than all movies of its time was nothing short of baffling. Just to put things in perspective, the budget of the other three biggest hits of 2002 was Saathiya 7.5 crores, Hum Tumhare Hai Sanam 12 crores and  Raaz 5.25 crores. From elaborate costumes to the never seen before extravagant sets, Devdas brought an opulence on screen that was a first for Bollywood. Again, just to put things in perspective, 122,000,008 pieces of stained glass was used to create Paro’s room in a haveli!

Madhuri Dixit And Her Ghagra

5 Reasons Why Devdas Made Headlines When It Released 16 Years Back Today

Back when the film released, this was one of the biggest pieces of trivia that grabbed headlines in almost all tabloids. The gorgeous lehenga that Madhuri Dixit wore in the song ‘Kaahey Chhed Chhed Mohey’ was designed by the esteemed designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla and weighed around 30 kgs! She also had to perform a really complex Kathak dance routine choreographed by the legendary Pt. Birju Maharaj wearing that weight. As if that was not enough, Madhuri was pregnant while shooting this number. We cannot even imagine how this song was executed with such beauty, grace, opulence and precision with all these factors in place.

Bengali Community’s Sharp Criticism

5 Reasons Why Devdas Made Headlines When It Released 16 Years Back Today

Devdas, which has been made into films multiple times before Sanjay Leela Bhansali adapted it his way in 2002, is based on Bengali novel written by the legendary writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. However, when Bhansali decided to tell this story of tragic romance, he wanted to adapt to his own style of storytelling and thus tweaked the original story in places. The puritanical Bengali community did not like the distortion of their classic and severely criticized the film and the filmmaker. Apart from many discrepancies they especially did not like Paro and Chandramukhi dancing together in a song given Paro and Chandramukhi never meeting each other in the original classic is considered one of the most significant aspects of the story. Interestingly enough, the scene in which Paro and Chandramukhi meet each other for the first time in the film went on to win the Filmfare scene of the year award!

Aishwarya Rai’s First Cannes Appearance

5 Reasons Why Devdas Made Headlines When It Released 16 Years Back Today

For the last few years, Cannes Film Festival has become an obsession with every Bollywood fan. With multiple Bollywood celebrities gracing the prestigious red carpet, Cannes looks have become a ‘thing’ for everyone. One of the veterans in fans from Bollywood Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is one person who can be called the flag bearer and pioneer of Bollywood’s increased exposure to Cannes. But years back it was with Devdas that Aishwarya’s journey with Cannes started. The rest, as they say, is history.

Second Highest Number Of Filmfare Awards Won By Any Bollywood Film

5 Reasons Why Devdas Made Headlines When It Released 16 Years Back Today

Coming only second to Black that won 11 awards at the Filmfare Awards 2006, Devdas shares the second spot on the list with Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge with 10 awards each. The film won the awards for Best Actor(Shahrukh Khan), Best Actress(Aishwarya Rai), Best Supporting Actor(Madhuri Dixit), Best Film, Best Direction(Sanjay Leela Bhansali), New Music Talent (Shreya Ghoshal), Best Playback Singer Female (Shreya Ghoshal and Kavita Krishnamurthy for Dola Re Dola), Best Cinematographer (Binod Pradhan), Best Art Direction (Nitin Chandrakant Desai), Best Choreography (Saroj Khan), Scene of the Year (Confrontation between Paro and Chandramukhi). Apart from 10 Filmfare Awards, it also won  5 National Awards, 16 IIFA Awards, 5 Star Screen Awards, 6 Zee Cine Awards, 1 Stardust Awards and 1 MTV Asia Awards. 

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