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Netflix's Heeramandi criticized for Inaccurate Portrayal of History

Heeramandi maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali faces backlash for the misrepresentation of historical events and the glorification of the red light area.

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By Dhwani Joshi
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Heeramandi

‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s OTT debut, has been his most anticipated project. The 8 episodes series was released on 1 May on Netflix and has been the top show on Netflix ever since. The show has been the talk of the town ever since it was announced due to the star-studded cast that includes Manisha Koirala, Richa Chaddha, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hyderi and Sanjeeda Shaikh. 

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The show has received mixed reviews from the audiences. While there have been many praising the artistic vision of Bhansali, others have been criticising him for the historical inaccuracies. One viewer, with the username Hamd Nawaz went on X to share her views about the show. She says, "Just watched Heeramandi. Found everything but heermandi in it. I mean either you don’t set your story in 1940’s Lahore, or if you do- you don’t set it in Agra’s landscape, Delhi’s Urdu, Lakhnavi dresses and 1840’s vibe. My not-so-sorry Lahori self can’t really let it go.”

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She also talked about the geographical misrepresentations and the inaccurate costumes, "To begin with, where exactly is it set? Lake Como? Amalfi Coast? The most evident landmark still visible from every building in today's remnants of Heera Mandi is the Shahi Qilla- Grand Mosque's doom and minarets skyline. If you call it Lahore, show Lahore,". She even went on to comment about the monotonous acting of the lead actress Sharmin Segal.

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The user’s views were supported by ‘The Kashmir Files’ filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, he says, "I haven’t seen the show, but I have visited Heeramandi in Lahore a few times. Bollywood has this tendency to romanticize courtesans and brothels. It’s a sad commentary because brothels have never been places of opulence, glamour or beauty. These are monuments of human injustice, pain and suffering. Those unfamiliar with this should watch Shyam Benegal’s Mandi”.

Heeramandi had all the Bhansali characteristics; the costumes, the music, the tragedy and the aesthetics, but still failed to capture the audiences’ hearts like his other movies.

Also Read: Heeramandi Public Review: "Epic Disappointment" Netizens Erupts On Social Media

 

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