A café in Morocco’s central market, Place Socco, where the Agent Vinod team shot for five days, has been re-christened The Golden Farah, because that’s what it’s called in the film. It has become a popular tourist attraction and today, if you take a taxi anywhere in Tangiers and ask for The Golden Farah, you’ll be driven straight to Place Socco and given a rundown of the shoot.
“Morocco is lovely and the locals love Hindi cinema. About 15 years ago, theatres there officially screened our movies. We shot an action sequence in one such theatre. But now, they have to make do with pirated DVDs freely available in the market,” says director Sriram Raghavan. “They knew that Kareena (Kapoor) was Raj Kapoor’s grand-daughter since some of the older people had seen his movies.”
Saif Ali Khan was equally popular. Smiles the star-producer, “I was recognised, the locals seemed to know about my movies Kal Ho Na Ho (2003) and Omkara (2006).” In Berlin they’ve started the Don 2 tour, will we now have an Agent Vinod tourist trail in Morocco? Says Sriram, “Well, I’ve been told to let them know when the film releases.”
The spy thriller has been shot in 12 countries and Sriram jokes that when he began the film, his passport was blank but now it is full of stamps. “I don’t want to sell our film on the fact that it’s going to take viewers on a world tour. It goes to places like Morroco, Latvia and St Petersburg before the climax in Delhi, because the story demands it,” asserts Sriram.
“Some of these countries entered the picture as the script progressed but about Morocco, I knew from day one that this North African country was going to be one of Agent Vinod’s stops,” he ends.