When the city becomes a part of the script!
Cinema has always been about characters. Whether it’s a comedy or romance or violence it has always been the characters and their quests, which make...
The Indian filmmakers have woken up to a range of locations and the audience is not complaining. Why should they?
Cinema has always been about characters. Whether it’s a comedy or romance or violence it has always been the characters and their quests, which make us remember those movies. Then there are films, which keep the characters primary and then skillfully bring the city or the place also into prominence.
The location of the story also plays on our mind. Some of these “places” are real cities and some of them are fictional but over the years they have made so much impact on us that even the fictional ones also almost exist for us.
Mumbai: Make believe drama makers like Manmohan Desai, who would always use the backdrop of Mumbai to make turning points in the story, for example, Zamindar Brij Bhan would commit a murder of the hero’s father and escape to this city to become a major international smuggler and true to his new status of a metro, he would rename himself as BB or Bingo or whatever.
Even his son Krish Bhan would rename himself as KB or King. Even the good guys escape to Mumbai to move to the next stage of life. Nirupa Roy in ‘Deewar’ probably started the trend of good people shifting to Mumbai. It also happened before too, but ‘Deewar’ made Mumbai the unspoken hero or heroine of many scripts for years to come.
Ramgarh: This is one of the most iconic villages ever created in the history of Indian cinema. The village that suffers from the tyranny of Gabbar till it is liberated by the unrelenting attitude of Thakur and his men. Forget Ramgarh as a village, its locations like the water tank inspired many Romeos all over India to propose to their love interest with drama for years to come, maybe not with the same success as that man, who made the proposal from water tank so famous.
Switzerland: Yash Chopra fell in love with this location and ensured that we Indians were convinced for an entire decade that real love exists only in that country. Rest other locations and countries were only to add the numbers to the Atlas and make latitudes and longitudes look rational. Or other countries existed only to ensure geography teachers earned their daily bread with respect.
Mahishmati: OK, if you have not heard of this one then you have missed out on the most iconic fictional kingdom on this side of 2000 AD. This kingdom is still waiting for its rightful heir because Rajamouli has informed us that the second part will not hit us before 2017. Mahishmati remains an ode to the large canvas capabilities of Rajamouli – India’s answer to James Cameroon and his Pandora!
The love in cities: Ok so there was a time before Yash Chopra too when international cities were in vogue and part of the story almost as a character. So you had Tokyo in ‘Love in Tokyo’. Shammi Kapoor going lock stock and barrel to woo Sharmila Tagore in ‘An Evening in Paris’, etc . So you had these famous movies where a hero would be blatantly following our desi saree clad heroine and all the firangis enjoying with amazing looks of curiosity and smiles on their faces.
Tigmanshu Dhulia kind of filmmakers and Salman Khan’s ‘Dabangg’ showcased the cities of the cow belt in India, with unabashed glee. The most prominent of them being Kanpur; this city was the centre point of some of our recent movies like ‘Tanu and Manu’ and ‘Dabangg 2’. In its own subtle way the movies bring out the small town flavour. Remember the iconic lines of ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ – “Yahan kabootar bhee ek pankh se udta hai aur ek pankh se apni izzat bacha ke rakhta hai.”