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.
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.
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.