Stepping out of Mumbai and Delhi's streets and lanes which have been shown in films over and over again, Bollywood is now romancing Kolkata and its Victorian aura still intact in some places.
After the just-released Kahaani where Vidya Balan traversed through the length and breadth of the city searching for her missing husband, two other big-budget films, due for release later this year, have focused on the metropolis and West Bengal. Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor, two of the most bankable actors in Bollywood, shot for more than a month recently in the city and in the hills of Darjeeling for the Anurag Basu directed murder mystery Barfee. Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha, on the other hand, will recreate the old-world charm of West Bengal in Lootera, a romantic period film set in the 1950's. It was shot recently in the natural surroundings of the picturesque Purulia district, 295 kms from Kolkata. VIDEO Director Sujoy Ghosh, who describes Kolkata as one of the characters in his thriller Kahaani, says other filmmakers might soon jump into the bandwagon. "I am overwhelmed with the kind of interest Kolkata has generated among the people in Mumbai and elsewhere. It is Kolkata and not any other city which people are talking about now," he told PTI. Portraying the colourful and vibrant city that Kolkata is, Kahaani has brought alive the city on screen. The film's star Vidya considers the City of Joy as her second home which gave her a break in Bengali film Bhalo Theko.
Filmmakers point out that the landscape of Mumbai has been overused by the camera in the last few decades.
VIDEO The multi-layered Kolkata, on the other hand, has a different appeal with its Metro trains, rickety trams, hand-pulled rickshaws, dingy bylanes, British-era buildings, iconic structures like Howrah Bridge and Victoria Memorial.
"If I look from the eyes of the camera all other metros look the same but Kolkata has a unique character," said Anurag Basu whose Barfee will be in theatres this July.
First Published: Mar 12, 2012 14:08 IST