Kruti Mahesh first worked with filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the film Padmaavat in 2018, which marked her debut as an independent choreographer. To top it off, she received the National Award for Best Choreography for the film’s song Ghoomar.
Now, her choreography for yet another Bhansali film, Gangubai Kathiawadi, is also receiving praise. She claims that collaborating and working with the filmmaker is never the same.
“Every day is different with him, that’s the best part of working with Sanjay sir. He constantly thinks, you have to just keep up with his thoughts. He wants the execution, and that in itself is the rewarding part of my job,” she says.
Many actors who have worked with Bhansali in the past have said that he is a taskmaster, often temperamental. Ask Mahesh whether she got to see that side to him too, and she says, “That’s how I have been talking about him since I started talking about him. Once you start being passionate about your craft, you do get into it, that’s the only way you get to see the magnum opus he creates. Otherwise it’s going to be like any other film.”
Naturally, the pandemic disrupted the filming schedule, and Mahesh states that the last song was shot on the last day of filming.
“We were supposed to shoot Dholida on January 9, 2020, but because of Covid restrictions dancers were not allowed. We had to keep postponing the song. Jab Saiyaan required only Alia (Bhatt) and Shantanu (Maheshwari), so we shot that. It was obviously a very different experience. For the first time, Sanjay sir gave me the film’s script. Otherwise, it’s usually pre and post the song, and I would be told the emotions needed. He let me read the script, it was a big deal,” concludes Mahesh, who is currently abroad for another project.