Bollywood has never ceased to explore diverse cultures and this time it is the love for Kolkata and its culture, which has caught the attention of filmmakers.
Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani 2 and Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos are exploring the eastern side of the country.
“If the script allows Kolkata, then why not!” says filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh when asked about the increasing number of films being based and shot in Kolkata. For him, the main concern is that “the script has to fit”.
This cultural hub has now become a cultural fulcrum for Bollywood films not only for pumping up the aesthetics several notches higher but also to impart substance to the characters and the storylines, thus becoming an abstract character in itself.
Actor Ayushmann Khurrana’s next is set in Kolkata and he feels the city has something fresh to offer.“Kolkata is a very unique cultural melting pot. Like we shot at Bow Barracks, which has a mix of Anglo and Chinese communities. The city gives a fresh texture. Though we have seen thrillers and slice-of-life films come from this city, this is a love story,” says Khurrana.
Actor Vidya Balan has shot in the city for Parineeta and for Kahaani and has spent many days in the city and she says she has always had a great experience working there.“It was wonderful working in Kolkata. People are so warm and welcoming, my debut film was a Bengali film, even before Parineeta, so they think I am Bengali. When I am in Kolkata, I don’t miss home that much,” Balan told us earlier.
Films such as Kahaani and Piku have also done very well at the box office, trade analyst Amod Mehra feels that success of the previous films is not the only reason why filmmakers are getting more inclined towards Kolkata.“There was a film called Calcutta Mail. It was a super disaster. But art cinema based in Bengal has done reasonably well,” he says and adds, “Whether they are shot in Bihar, UP or in West Bengal – it doesn’t make any difference. If it doesn’t suit the role or the story, nobody will go to shoot a movie to a particular place just because some movies have done well.”
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