MANIKARNIKA
New Member: Neeta Lulla's Parade of Costumes
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Neeta made her mark on the industry with her striking costume designs for numerous prestigious Bollywood productions. An outspoken opponent of gender-based violence, she has become one of the country’s most esteemed artists in her field, with work ranging from lavish costume epics to intimate musicals and domestic dramas.  

1

Billu

2009

WHERE TO WATCH

Among her many credits, Neeta has gotten to design costumes for some of India’s biggest stars including Irrfan Khan, who enjoyed one of his best roles in this comic drama about a barber whose connection to a visiting movie star turns his life upside down. Neeta’s knack for using costumes to accentuate character is in full force here, including numerous wardrobes for villagers ranging from toddlers to senior citizens.

WHERE TO WATCH
Billu
2009
137 Mins | PG
A struggling barber (Irrfan Khan) claims to have once been friends with a movie star.


2

Devdas

2002

One of Bollywood’s most frequently filmed tales is a flamboyant melodrama about a young heir, here played by matinee idol Shah Rukh Khan, whose rebellious choice of a bride sends him on an indulgent path to oblivion. So colorful it could melt your screen, this was one of the biggest hits of its year and served as a major calling card for Neeta’s formidable sense of design along with her three other peers on this production.  

WHERE TO WATCH
Devdas
2002
185 Mins | Not rated
Devdas is based on a classic Indian novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhye.


3

Jodhaa Akbar

2008

WHERE TO WATCH

One of the most ambitious epics from India in the new millennium, this sprawling saga depicts the romance between the title character, a sixteenth-century Mughal emperor, and the princess who steers his destiny. A powerful snapshot of Indian history, it also allowed Neeta and her team to devise a dazzling array of costumes for countless actors and extras who fill the screen.

WHERE TO WATCH
Jodhaa Akbar
2008
213 Mins | 14A
An emperor faces his greatest battle when he marries a defiant princess.


4

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi

2019

Neeta’s most recent epic is another larger-than-life tale of violent conflict, this time focused on a female rebel leading a revolt against the exploitation of the British, embodied by the East India Company. Neeta pulls out all the stops here with a parade of costumes inspired by mid-19th century fashion for its military and civilian characters alike.

WHERE TO WATCH
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
2019
173 Mins | 14A
The life of Rani Lakshmibai, one of the key leaders in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.


5

We Play with Our Lives

2010

WHERE TO WATCH

A later period in colonialist rule is studied in this 1930s true story of an uprising from teenagers and their teacher after the British forbid them to play football. A fascinating history lesson and compelling drama at the same time, it also provides the opportunity for a close-up look at period fashions in all their rich and fascinating detail.

WHERE TO WATCH
We Play with Our Lives
2010
15
A band of teenagers stages attacks across a city.


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