Mughal-E-Azam to Tumbadd: Six Most Visually Extravagant Movies from Bollywood (Part I)

Here is a list of the most visually extravagant movies from Bollywood.

Movies are a medium that takes you onto a magical world where your journey along with the characters of the movie. From time immemorial, audiences love watching big budget visual extravagant movies which are larger than life. In Hollywood, magnum opus movies like Ben Hur and Star Wars are still remembered for their larger-than-life and extravagant way of telling stories. In Bollywood, there are visually extravagant movies that enthralled the audiences with their grandeur.

Mughal-E-Azam (1960)

When talking about opulence and grandeur movies in Bollywood, the first name that comes to our mind is K. Asif’s Magnus Opus Mughal-E-Azam.

Mughal-E-Azam was the dream project of director K. Asif which he nurtured for years and finally, he managed to pull off this mammoth task of making the costliest movie of that era which featured Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, and Madhubala. K. Asif left no stone unturned to make a visually extravagant movie that the Indian audience never witnessed before. Set during the Mughal Era, the movie is a fictional take on the love try between Prince Salim (Dilip Kumar) and a courtesan Anarkali (Madhubala) which was opposed by Salim’s father Emperor Akbar played by Prithiviraj Kapoor.

Allegedly, only the song sequences in the film were costlier than entire movies made during those times. The iconic song ‘Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ was shot in a replica of the Sheesh Mahal in the Lahore Fort for 1.5 million rupees. The movie was a blockbuster when released and held the title of the highest-earning movie for 15 years till Sholay broke the record in 1975.

Devdas (2002)

Devdas was directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali who is known for making visually grand movies. Made with a budget of 50 crores, the highest of that era, it featured Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, and Madhuri Dixit.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies are always larger than life with grand sets and visuals. He made Devdas in 2002 with a budget of 50 crores which made it the costliest Bollywood movie at that time. Shahrukh Khan played the titular role of Devdas in the movie while Aishwarya Rai played Paro and Madhuri Dixit played Chandramukhi.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a perfectionist who invested 9 months of work into just designing the sets and the visuals for the film. Since the movie was set in Kolkata in the 1930s, Bhansali made all the efforts to make the film authentic and grand. Devdas was the highest-grossing film that year in India and abroad and won many awards

Jodha-Akbar (2008)

After making great movies like the Oscar-nominated Lagaan and Swades, Ashutosh Gowariker made his costliest movie Jodha-Akbar starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai.

Jodha Akbar directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar starring Hrithik Roshan as Akbar and Aishwarya Rai as Jodhabai was a visual treat in every sense which took us back to the Mughal era which was famous for its grandeur. Famous art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai created sets in Karjat, where most of the shooting took place, which recreated the opulence of the Mughal Emperors. Costumes were designed by Neeta Lulla who researched a lot to know what kind of dress and jewellery was worn by Emperors and princesses of that era.

Famous Jewellery brand Tanishq created all the jewellery worn by Aishwarya Rai in the movie which was made with real gold to make it look real. Their extravagant forts with large and accurately decorated chambers along with entire gardens with fountains were made. The movie did good business upon its release and it was loved by both the critics and the audiences.

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