Sanjay Leela Bhansali reacts to the similarities between Khamoshi and CODA | Bollywood

Are you aware of the uncanny resemblance between Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first cinematic venture, Khamoshi: The Musical, and the 2021 Oscar-winner CODA? Despite the star presence of Salman Khan and Manisha Koirala, Khamoshi didn’t make waves at the box office back in 1996. Fast forward to 2021, CODA not only captivated audiences but also scooped up three Academy Awards, including the coveted Best Picture. The question arises: Was Khamoshi an idea before its time? Bhansali weighs in on the topic in a conversation with Galatta Plus. (Also read: Sanjay Leela Bhansali stands by his portrayal of history in Heeramandi: “My cinema is not subtle”)

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali shares his thoughts on CODA’s success at the Oscars.

Sanjay’s Insight

In his interview, Sanjay reflected, “There are times when the pieces don’t align, your effort fails to resonate. Khamoshi wasn’t embraced widely. Yet, a quarter-century on, CODA emerges in the US, its narrative mirroring Khamoshi, earning them an Oscar! Sometimes it stops there. However, you must remain driven. If your work didn’t appeal, there’s room for introspection. Never assume your work was ‘too advanced’ for its time—that’s giving yourself unearned praise. Acknowledge the film’s flaws, and use that knowledge to evolve as a director.”

Digging Deeper

CODA, helmed by Sian Heder, is a narrative about the musical aspirations of a daughter born to deaf parents, serving as an interpretation of the 2014 French-Belgian motion picture La Famille Bélier. CODA clinched Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor at the 94th Academy Awards.

Bhansali’s Current Endeavor, Heeramandi

Bhansali is currently receiving accolades for Heeramandi. The series is set in the pre-partition era in the famed red-light district, Heera Mandi of Lahore (currently part of Pakistan). This epic project of Bhansali seeks to portray the intricate lives of courtesans and their association with the Nawabs of that era.

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