Heeramandi: Bhansali gives opulent spin to Lahore’s courtesans | The Express Tribune


Trust Indian filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali to wow his audience with majestic and lavish sets, and larger-than-life portrayals in his projects. His latest one, the big screen director’s OTT debut, sees him take us back in time – 1940s, to be specific – and offer a glimpse into the world of Lahore’s courtesans.

The first teaser of Bhansali’s much-awaited Netflix offering, Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, is finally out and it is an opulent spectacle of Lahore’s Red Light District.

The series stars Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal, and Sanjeeda Sheikh in the lead roles. The official streaming date of the show is still awaited. However, the series is expected to drop on Netflix in 2024.

The minute-long clip sees the Bajirao Mastani return to his cinematic flair with much poise and magnificence. Sharing the first look on Instagram, Netflix India wrote in the caption, “Here’s your first look at legendary Indian creator Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first series ever – Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar!

Heeramandi explores stories of courtesans and the hidden cultural reality of the Heeramandi, a buzzing red-light district prior to the Partition of the subcontinent. The project is about love, betrayal, succession, and politics in the kothas, and also promises Bhansali’s trademark larger-than-life sets, multi-faceted characters and soulful compositions.

The makers in a recent statement described the show as ‘a mix of love, betrayal, succession, and politics in the kothas (house of courtesans)’. They said, “Heeramandi promises Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s signature style of larger-than-life stories, intricate and soulful characters, and rippling dynamics of a world rife with conflict during a defining time period for India. Like all of the auteur’s creations, Heeramandi will have unique compositions and music that linger with the audience, just like his stories.”

In a statement last year, Bhansali told ANI, “Heeramandi is an important milestone in my journey as a filmmaker. This is an epic, first-of-its-kind series based on the courtesans of Lahore. It is an ambitious, grand and all-encompassing series; therefore I am nervous yet excited about making it. I am looking forward to my partnership with Netflix and bringing Heeramandi to audiences all over the world.”

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