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'Let movie theatres reopen in Maharashtra': Sanjay Leela Bhansali on 'Gangubai Kathiawadi' release

07:00 PM Aug 26, 2021 | Subhash K Jha

Alia Bhatt-starrer gangster drama, Gangubai Kathiawadi, has been making headlines ever since it went on the floors in 2019. The shoot of the movie was almost complete when the nation-wide lockdown was announced last year owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Even though the filming was finished after the lockdown restrictions were eased, it couldn’t release for several reasons. While there were reports of the movie taking the OTT the route, but that never happened.

And, now, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is willing to wait till theatres in Maharashtra reopen. He has no plans of releasing the movie on any other platform than the big screen.

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“Who knows about the future? I’ve designed this film for the big screen, just as my series, Heeramandi, is being designed for the OTT. I believe the two platforms belong to different formats and must be treated as such. There is enough room for both the OTT and cinema products to co-exist,” Bhansali says.

Bhansali, known to design big-screen epics, has his fingers crossed about the reopening of movie theatres. “Let movie theatres reopen in Maharashtra. Both the platforms can function without impinging on one another’s territory,” says Bhansali.

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Gangubai Kathiawadi is Bhansali and Alia’s first project together. He describes the young actress as a revelation. “She has gone beyond all my expectations. As Gangubai, she will stun the audience,” the filmmaker shares.

Calling the movie as one of his best, Bhansali says, “I know it is what all directors do. They describe their latest as their best. But I believe Gangubai Kathiawadi to be my finest. I grew up two streets away from where the film is set. I know these people. I know these places.”

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