Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known to be a filmmaker with taste for opulence and grandeur, he’s known for his love for magnum opus films, which is set on a huge grand canvas. His movies are full of lavishly detailed sets, expensive designer costumes, that include all the intricacies like jewelry, get up, hairdo etc. that is not only limited to the main actors but even the junior artists.
His film Padmavat that released recently and is getting rave reviews is said to be one of his most expensive and biggest Budget film to date.A source from the trade revealed that Padmavat was made on a budget of approximately Rs 190 crore! When the film was being made and the news of the budget was making a buzz, people thought that Sanjay was taking a huge risk by making a film that had such a mammoth budget and it was much higher than the budget of his last release Bajirao Mastani.
While most who know about the process of filmmaking would understand where and how such huge amounts of money are spent, for a common audience it can be quite intriguing when they hear about the kind of money that went into the making of Padmaavat. We bring you a brief idea about where and how the money was spent.
Actors and Technicians
Rs 190 crore! So what did Sanjay Bhansali spend so much money on? To begin with, all the lead actors except Ranveer Singh, who was on a profit-sharing model, were paid a huge amount of money. The budget also includes the other character artists, the junior artists and the crowd that was present in the different palace and war scenes, the dancers, and the animals that were used. Besides that all technicians and the people who are working behind the camera, since Padmaavat was a huge film, it required a huge crew to manage it too!
The pre-production or the preparations that happen before the film is shot is what is often ignored in the discussion about film budgets. There is a lot of research that goes into the making of a film and especially if the film is a periodic costume drama and even more if it’s a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film! Sanjay leaves no stone unturned when it comes to each and every minute detailing while making a film, it could be something as small as a matchbox, but he makes sure it looks authentic and from the era that the film is about. The crew including the direction team, camera team, the costume team and the art direction team had to visit Chittoor and Rajasthan for the research on the film before the shoot.
Pre-production also includes the recording of the music, the recording costs, cost of singers, musicians, studios etc.
The sets of the film are grand, lavish and detailed, another major chunk of the budget went into the construction of the beautiful huge sets that were created in Film City and made to look like Chittoor. Another factor was that the film deals with two different worlds one of Khilji which was royal yet rugged and dark and one of Chittor which was grand and graceful. As is evident from the film, both the sets were equally grand.
From Queen Padmavati (played by Deepika Padukone) and Maharawal Ratan Singh (played by Shahid Kapoor) to Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) and his wife Mehrunissa (Aditi Rao Hydari), the costumes of the lead actors of Padmaavat not only said everything about their characters but also spoke volumes about the amount of money that went into creating those intricate detailed costumes!
The textiles for the costumes were not just bought off the shelves of any store but were custom made and handcrafted by traditional dyeing methods near Jaipur to maintain the authenticity. The designers went through some intense research about the period and the province that the film deals with. Right from the beautiful lehenga choli and jewelleries worn by Deepika to the angrakhas, dhotis, lungis, turbans and patkas worn by Shahid or Khilji’s nomadic look and Aditi’s gorgeous costumes took almost two years of research and visits to the traditional embroideries of that locality.
While how the film is shot is important, the post-production of a film is equally important. Right from the editing to the background score, sound effects, VFX, there has been a lot of effort that has gone into the film.
If you’ve watched Padmaavat and you’ve enjoyed watching the long drawn-out climax where Rani Padmini’s female entourage fight off Khilji by hurling hot coals at him, or if you have sat at the edge of your seat and enjoyed the fierce battle sequences. Better still the controversial Ghoomar song where the Karni Sena had problems about Deepika showing her midriff and the makers covered the midriff in the new version of the song, without having to reshoot the song! All of it was done with not only the time but also the money invested in the VFX of the film.
It is said that an average publicity budget of a mainstream Bollywood film can fund about 4 or 5 regional films! Though Padmaavat got ample free publicity, thanks to the Karni Sena! A part of the budget went into the publicity of the film.
Part of the budget of a film is always kept aside for any kind of unforeseen expenses that may arise and Padmaavat as we all know had not one, but many such unforeseen moments! There were a number of unforeseen incidents during the making of the film, from the shoot getting stalled by the Karni Sena, to one of their film sets being torched along with expensive costumes and props. The title change from Padmaavati to Padmaavat. The delay in the release of the film because of the controversies. All added to the cost of the film going up.
While Sanjay Bhansali might have taken a huge risk with Padmaavat as the stakes were very high, luckily for him the film has been a huge success and has also been critically appreciated. You could say he is smiling his way to the bank!!
Read Also: Have You Heard About The New Controversies Post Padmaavat Release?
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