Gone are the days when the top banners based their movies in the stunning Indian locales, be it Kashmir, Manali, Darjeeling or wherever else in India. Today if you want to see these locations you certainly will have a hard time finding a recent release that caters for all these scenic pleasures. Instead you’ll find releases over and over again that are shot in London, Paris, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia or just anywhere that is NOT India
It’s the new trend and now almost a cinematic crime to fully base a movie in India.
The trend of shooting movies in overseas locations has been in existence in Indian cinema since time immemorial. When movies like An Evening in Paris and Love In Tokyo were circling the cinemas this trend was in full mode. If the story wasn’t based overseas then a trip or two were made especially for the songs. Classic gardens of Switzerland and the scenic routes of New Zealand have made constant appearances in songs.
It began with just songs or half a portion of a movie but then it was basing the story in India but shooting in overseas locations such as the cinematic genius Sooraj Barajatya’s Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon. The script was set in a small town called “Sundar Nagar”; however the movie was primarily shot in New Zealand. The scenic routes that the characters travel through throughout the movie are all in New Zealand, even though according to the storyline it’s meant to be Sundar Nagar.
Makers have decided to take this step further, Dharma Productions and Yash Raj Films being first in line. The new trend of fully basing a movie’s storyline in overseas became rapidly popular and still is. Lucky – No Time For Love, Kal Ho Na Ho, Salaam Namaste and recent releases of Don – The Chase Begins, Tara Rum Pum and Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna are to name a few that have followed in the trend and have become box office hits.
Today, locations like Australia, New York and Malaysia are in high demand as places for shooting. However, now that this trend is reaching its absolute high, audiences are starting to think what happened to movies and characters based in Indian cities
Yes, makers of Bollywood, audiences are very much questioning why are most stories today of NRIs and not the average Indian in India? Before movies were shot to ’cater’ majorly for the NRI and overseas market as they generate more revenue however production houses and makers are so fascinated with the overseas market and locations that they have forgotten where their cinema originated from, India.
Only a few makers have stayed true to their country and the efforts of Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Ram Gopal Verma have to be commended on. Even the great Sanjay Leela Bansali is on this very short list of makers that still believe in the beauty of the Indian locales and creativity that can be brought to a movie by keeping the story line at home.
There are hardly any good enough reasons to say why it is a must to keep traveling so far away and spending quite unnecessary amounts of budget on overseas locations when the same feel, characters and scenic pleasure can be brought to audiences from their very own homeland.
Makers might argue that to get a feel of a bustling city and rushed lifestyle, movies such as Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna and Kal Ho Na Ho must shoot in locations like New York. But truth be told its not!! The recent released Metro’s maker, Anurag Basu, would beg to differ, he who has based the whole of Metro in India. A bustling city and a fast life was what he needed for his storyline and instead of rushing off to ever popular New York, he stayed right at home.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra who has delivered nothing but huge blockbusters would also beg to differ that we need overseas locations to coincide with a good script. He took full advantage of the beautiful Kolkotta in Parineeta and of course the ever lively Mumbai in the Munna Bhai series.
So at the end of the day it is not necessarily a bad aspect of cinema that we portray NRI characters and overseas locations. It was a fresh idea that audiences loved when it came into existence. However, today it has been too over used to the point that audiences have become aware of how India-based characters and movies are becoming more and more rare.
So here is a plea to the makers from Indian cinema, from all fans here as BollySpice. Please bring back the color and culture of India in our movies. Bring bank the “choutpati’ dates and the jogs on Juhu beach. Bring back the songs in the fields of Darjeeling and the scenic paths of hill stations! Bring back India into our movies.