Sanjay Leela Bhansali paid a tribute to his father Navin Bhansali in ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi‘, which stars Alia Bhatt

Speaking to Times of India, Bhansali said, “I paid tribute to my father as well. In two ways. One was making films on the kind of scale that he wanted – like Mughal-e-Azam. And I also paid tribute to a film that he had made in 1958 (actually 1957) called Jahazi Lootera. That is there as a poster on the theatre all through Gangubai. And so this was a film (Gangubai Kathiawadi) that was even closer to me because I was paying tribute to his film that I have never been able to see”. 

Notably, ‘Jahazi Lootera’ was a fantasy action movie that hadn’t done too well at the box office at the time of its release. Navin Bhansali was a producer for the movie.

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The acclaimed director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, also added that he was somewhat relieved at being able to give a nod to his father’s work through this gesture. He said, “I have, sort of come out of it very happy ki chalo (ok) , somewhere I have paid my salute and respect to him that whatever he taught me, whatever his unfulfilled dreams were – I’m trying to fulfill over the years”, TOI reported. 

‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ is a biographical tale where Bhatt plays the titular character. We see her rise from a girl working in a brothel to a woman who grows political aspirations. Eventually, Gangubai becomes a champion for women’s voices. 

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Since the narrative structure of the film spans over decades, the director decided to use movie posters to show the time period. Among them was ‘Mugal-e-Azam’ as well. 

Alia Bhatt will next be seen in ‘Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani‘, a film helmed by Karan Johar, who gave Bhatt her first break in Bollywood. She appears alongside Ranveer Singh and Preity Zinta