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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar trailer promises an epic saga of passion, power and betrayal

Starring Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal and Sanjeeda Shaikh, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama web series will hit Netflix on May 1

Urmi Chakraborty Calcutta Published 10.04.24, 09:11 AM
A still from Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar trailer.

A still from Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar trailer. Netflix India

Courtesans holding sway in Lahore’s oldest red light district get caught in a crossfire between love and power during India’s freedom struggle in the trailer of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming Netflix period drama Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar.

Dropped by the makers on Tuesday, the three-minute-11-second-long trailer is set to a haunting score reminiscent of Bhansali’s previous works. It introduces us to Manisha Koirala’s Mallikajaan, who runs the brothel with her “diamonds” — played by Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal and Sanjeeda Shaikh, all clad in yellow attire and traditional ornaments. With them we traverse the dancing halls, dimly-lit chambers, angans and darbars of Heeramandi, the aptly named red light district, which glitters with regal splendour.

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“Only wearing anklets does not define a woman as a courtesan,” Mallikajaan says in the trailer, adding that tawaifs need to master the art of enticement. However, her reign over Heeramandi is threatened when Sonakshi Sinha’s Fareedan steps out of the house in black attire and participates in the freedom struggle.

Just as trouble and worry start to gnaw at the courtesans, the city outside rises up as one against colonial rule, shattering the old order and giving a glimpse of a new yet uncertain future amid the chaos. It is during such a pivotal time that Aditi’s Bibbojaan urges her fellow “mujrewalis (courtesans)” to think of themselves as “mulkwalis (patriots)”. “Sharafar humne chhor di, mohabbat ne hamein chor diya...ab sirf bagawat hamare zindagi ko mayene de sakti hai (We left behind our honour, love abandoned us...now only rebellion can give meaning to our lives),” she tells them in a rousing address, trying to incite them to join the struggle for Independence.

The following scenes show Sonakshi’s Fareedan leading a group of women fighting armed policemen on the streets and Sharmin struggling in her love life as a courtesan. The trailer then gives a glimpse of Aditi’s tussle for freedom, Sharmin’s fight for love and the power battle between Manisha and Sonakshi.

“In the glittering, regal halls of Shahi Mahal, romance and revolution clash in silence. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s sweeping saga of love, loss and liberation - Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar,” Bhansali Productions wrote alongside the trailer shared on Instagram.

Bhansali’s maiden web series also marks Fardeen Khan’s comeback to the world of acting after a hiatus of 14 years. Apart from him, Taha Shah Badussha, Shekhar and Adhyayan Suman also play key roles in the web series.

Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar is slated to premiere on Netflix on May 1.

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