Sanjay Leela Bhansali, whose films have one thing in common -- sweeping visual splendour -- is back with his latest Guzaarish.
Though the stories are ordinary enough -- a love triangle (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam), alcoholism (Devdas), a blind, deaf and mute girl (Black)..., the way they were shown was epic.
It all started with his directorial debut, the critically acclaimed Khamoshi: The Musical in 1996, about a daughter's struggle to communicate with her deaf-mute parents.
Three years later, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam hit the screens. And the master artist made his presence felt in the grand tale of love and sacrifice.
Unlike Khamoshi, the film starring Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn became a commercial hit and even won many awards.
Devdas (2002)Image: Devdas trailer
Flushed with the success of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Bhansali returned with a retelling of the well known novel Devdas.
Bhansali left no stone unturned to make the musical -- starring Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit -- a grand success. Everything from the elaborate sets, authentic costumes, stirring music and of course incredible performances helped made the film the highest grossing movie when it was released.
While Khamoshi and HDDCS had a lot in common visually, Devdas had a grand look, and was made on a much larger scale.
Black (2005)Image: Black trailer
If Devdas was opulent and colourful, Black was the exact opposite. The film was about a blind, deaf and mute girl (Rani Mukerji), and her relationship with her teacher (Amitabh Bachchan), who himself later develops Alzheimer's disease.
While Amitabh and Rani outdid themselves in their performances, the film was full of visual metaphors and symbols, some of which were rather too obscure and melodramatic.
Saawariya (2007)Image: Saawariya trailer
The launch vehicle of Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor was a bewildering melodrama tinged in blue.
While Bhansali's trademark opulence was still strong, it was not enough to save the film from bombing at the box office.
Ulike his previous films, Saawariya seemed to be set in a timeless era, in elaborately ornate sets.
Guzaarish (2010)Image: Guzaarish trailer
The question on everybody's minds is whether Bhansali can break free from his signature opulence with his latest offering Guzaarish, starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
Hrithik plays a magician and Ash his assistant, who later doubles up as his nurse when he becomes a wheelchair-bound paraplegic.
The film seems to be of a different era, like Bhansali's previous films. And the visuals, of course, are as outstanding.
Judging from the trailers, tell us if you think Guraazish looks like an extension of the visual grandeur in his earlier movies.