Director-producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been planning on making Heera Mandi for a long time now. In the past names of many actresses, including Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha and Huma Qureshi, have come to the fore to feature in the film. While earlier Huma was finalised to play the role of one of the sex workers in the magnum opus, now Bollywood insiders have revealed that Sonakshi too has been locked in for the role of one of the protagonists.
A source close to the development told an entertainment portal, Bollywood Hungama, that the actress’ father and veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha has been keen that she works with Bhansali in one of his projects. Earlier, she had worked in a Bhansali production Rowdy Rathod.
The source further added that the filmmaker wishes the music and dance in the cinema to be “unique” which is why he is closely working on it. Though the movie is being made in Pakeezah style, he wishes to introduce the dance sequence which has never been seen in the past in any cinema made on ‘kotha culture’. This is the reason Sonakshi will be taking Kathak lessons to perform the Mujras in Heera Mandi. However, this has not been officially confirmed yet.
Heera Mandi, also known as Shahi Mohallah, is a red-light area in Pakistan’s Lahore. The upcoming film will focus on the culture and the lives of the sex workers based in that area. Though the theme is much similar to Alia Bhatt’s upcoming movie Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bhansali’s project will have a different storyline.
Vibhu Puri, who has earlier worked with Bhansali, will direct Heera Mandi. In December 2021, he had joined hands with the OTT giant Netflix for the project.
Meanwhile, Sonakshi also has Reema Kagti’s Fallen in the pipeline. She will also appear in Bhuj: The Pride Of India in which she will play the role of Sunderben Jetha Madharparya.