It’s been 14 years since Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel, Devdas, became an on-screen reality. The movie bagged the most number of awards that year for its splendour and the memorable performances.
While many scholars have criticised Bhansali for manipulating the author’s work, the movie still remains etched in our hearts. Here are 20 lesser-known facts and mistakes in the Devdas movie that will definitely compel you to watch it again.
1) Salman Khan was the original choice for Devdas
The role of Devdas was first offered to Salman Khan and he rejected it. Later, Shahrukh Khan took up the role and delivered the most spectacular performance of his career. He also won a Filmfare Award for his performance in this 2002 film production.
2) Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s ears bled while shooting for a dance
During the shoot of the ‘Dola re Dola’ song, Aishwarya’s ears began to bleed because her earrings were too heavy. However, she didn’t stop the shoot and didn’t mention it to anyone until after it was complete.
3) Sumitra’s dance sequence was inspired by Bhansali’s dream
In one of the scenes, Sumitra (Paro’s mother) is made to dance at a social gathering. This scene was inspired by a recurring nightmare of Sanjay Leela Bhansali where his mother was humiliated.
4) Madhuri Dixit Nene wore some of the heaviest outfits in the movie
In the song ‘Kahe Chedh Chedh Mohe’, Madhuri’s lehenga weighed 30 kg. For the song ‘Maar Dala’, designer Neeta Lulla designed a heavy green anarkali, which weighed around 15 kg.
5) Pandit Birju Maharaj choreographed one of the songs in the movie
The Kathak maestro, Pandit Birju Maharaj, choreographed the song ‘Kahe Chedh Chedh Mohe’ especially for Madhuri Dixit Nene.
6) It took two and a half years to successfully compose the music for the movie
Ismail Darbar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali took two and a half years to compose the music. Though recording took only 10 days, each song was complicated in structure and therefore, had to be mixed eight to nine times.
7) The set of Chandramukhi’s kotha (quarters) was built around a lake
The lake had to be regularly filled in with gallons of water as it kept drying up. Also, the bridge built across the lake had a tendency to sink at the wrong time.
8) Kareena Kapoor auditioned for the role of Paro
After declining two of Bhansali’s movies, Kareena Kapoor appeared for the screen test for the role of Paro.
9) The role of Chunnilal was offered to many other actors before Jackie Shroff
The role of Chunnilal, the friend of Devdas, was offered to Govinda, Saif Ali Khan and Manoj Bajpayee before Jackie Shroff was finally signed.
10) Shahrukh Khan drank a few pegs on the set
To make the character of Devdas look realistic, Shahrukh Khan used to drink a few pegs before the shooting.
11) A huge team was put in place for the shoot
Over 700 light men and 42 generators were used during the shoot! The efforts evidently bore fruit.
12) A magical journey
Devdas takes a ‘buggy’ from Pandua (West Bengal) to go to Manikpur (UP), which is approximately a 14-hour journey by train but he covers it overnight in a buggy.
13) The mysterious disappearance of the ring
In one of the scenes where Devdas is drinking wine, he wears two rings on his fingers. However, right in the next scene he wears only one ring.
14) The peculiar case of changed clothes
When Devdas comes back to India, he goes to Paro’s house directly wearing a particular suit. After meeting her, he goes to his house but the suit is completely different in the next scene. Where exactly did he change his clothes?
15) The ‘scar-y’ mistake
Paro’s scar keeps appearing and disappearing in many scenes. The scar is supposed to make her look ugly. However, in some scenes the scar completely goes missing.
16) Invisible Devdas!
In one of the scenes, his brother and sister-in-law plan to steal money from the locker. They discuss it very loudly and in the next frame we see Devdas sitting behind them listening to their plan. We wonder if he got hold of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak!
17) A never ending journey
The railway announcement in one scene says that all the passengers of Mirzapur and Manikpur can get down at the station. Devdas has apparently travelled for two days on this train and yet when he gets down, we see the station board displays Pandua, which is in West Bengal. It’s unsettling to know that after travelling for 2 days he is still stuck in West Bengal.
18) The dancing damsels
The time in which Devdas is set, Bengali families followed a strict and orthodox system of beliefs. However, in Bhansali’s Devdas, everyone lives in a la-la land where the lady of the house actually dances with a courtesan inside the house.
19) Paro’s poor mansion
The main reason why Devdas’s family rejected his alliance with Paro was because she belonged to a poor family. In Bhansali’s Devdas, Paro’s house is no less than a mansion.
20) Bhansali’s biggest blockbuster
Bhansali’s Devdas was one of the two biggest blockbusters of 2002 in Bollywood. The other one was Raaz. Devdas was also included in Time Magazine’s top 10 movies of the millennium worldwide.