20 Lesser-Known Facts about the Cult Classic Movie Devdas

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.

Salman-Khan-and-Shahrukh-Khan

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.

aishwarya ears

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.

madhuri lehenga

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.

Madhuri_30kg_lehenga_dance

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.

chandramukhi kotha

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.

Kareena Kapoor Bride Hot Photoshoot 3

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.

chunnilal

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.

shahruk drinking

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.

DEVDAS, foreground: Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, 2002, ©Eros International

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.

devdas 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.

devdas 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?

devdas suit

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.

aishwarya scar

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!

invisible devdas

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.

never ending journey

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.

dancing damsels

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.

paro house

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.

blockbuster

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