When director Shankar embarked on his sci-fi movie with Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, he decided to explore locations where no Indian film had been shot at. And miraculously, the Rs 150 crore Robot reached where James Bond was denied permission to be filmed. Among many other exotic locales, the cast and crew also shot a song in Peru’s Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
About three years ago, the makers of Quantum Of Solace approached the Peruvian authorities to shoot at their privileged location. But they were refused permission for reasons best known to the authorities. So it’s surprising to know that Kalanithi Maran and Shankar managed to get the required permit to film at Machu Picchu with the lead pair.
Interestingly, Shankar has shot at all the previous Seven Wonders of the World with Aishwarya for the song, Pyaar ajooba hai in Jeans (1998).
Confirming the news, Shankar says, "It was only when we landed there, that we discovered that ours is the first film to be shot in the wondrous locale." However, the experience wasn’t as awe-inspiring as it seems in the song promos. In fact, the Robot team had a tough time shooting there, with innumerable insects hovering around.
The director recalls that they didn’t take the insects seriously until some of the crew members got bitten. “It was a very weird bite, which left us feeling suffocated and breathless. Even after we returned to India, the people who were bitten would suddenly feel suffocated. And if that wasn’t bad enough, rashes with red spots from the insect bites were visible for weeks after,” recalls Shankar, adding that continuous medication ensured the victims were completely cured of the insect bites.
About Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu (meaning Old Mountain) was built in around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire. In 1572, as a consequent result of the Spanish Conquest, it was abandoned. The Conquistadors defaced sacred rocks at other locations, but they are untouched at Machu Picchu. Declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Machu Picchu was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll in 2007.
Full coverage: Rajinikanth's Endhiran