Watching a movie is always a journey through the world of fantasy. It is indeed very true that film makers don’t just make films but they actually create dreams. They can truly be called ‘Sapno Ke Saudagars’. Movies enthral and at times literally hallucinate us to such an extent that there comes a moment when the movie ceases to be an art work and it transcends us into that fantasy world where we start perceiving the reel life as the real life. This is the magic of Cinema! Of the many things that stay with us after exiting the cinema hall, the amazing and exciting locations we see on the silver screen definitely tickle our curiosity and we develop a strong urge to visit those places. Those beautiful locations indeed become our Silver Screen Dreams.
It all probably started in the early 60’s when Bollywood movies gradually began stepping out of the country in search of foreign locations which were completely alien for a layman then. It was the legendary Mr. Raj Kapoor, who pioneered in shooting films abroad. Who can ever forget the milestone movie ‘Sangam’ (1964), which was probably the very first Indian movie which was shot exclusively in Europe.
In the following years we had some more very interesting movies which gave insights into the life and culture of faraway lands. Prominent amongst those were ‘Love in Tokyo’ (1966) which taught us the Japanese word ‘Sayonara’ for ‘Bye Bye’; ‘An Evening in Paris’ (1967) which truly gave a sneak-peek into the most romantic city of the world and ‘A Night in London’ which was released in the same year.
It was the legendary film maker Mr. Yash Chopra who carried on the legacy of Mr. Raj Kapoor of showing the beautiful world to Indians on the celluloid. Who can ever forget one of the most romantic songs ever ‘Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum’ from the movie ‘Silsila’, where we see Rekha and Big B Amitabh Bachchan strolling amidst the ocean of colourful tulips in the world famous Keukenhof Gardens of Amsterdam. Even today the gardens are famous amongst Indians by the name of ‘Silsila Gardens’.
In fact, we all Indians owe a lot to Mr. Yash Chopra, who not only entertained us but truly opened the window of the world for India. Be it ‘Chandani’ or the mega blockbuster ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, romance has always blended so beautifully and aesthetically with the pristine and spectacular locales of Europe and especially of Switzerland in the movies made by Yash Raj Films. Following the footsteps of Mr. Yash Chopra we have Karan Johar who has taken Bollywood to a completely different pedestal by shooting his movies exclusively in the United Kingdom and The United States of America and making them very popular amongst the diaspora audience.
In the past few years our movies have come of an age where they are being shot in some of the very exotic and equally off the beaten track locations. It was indeed a privilege and a true delight to see Aishwarya Rai dance at all the Seven Wonders of the World in the movie ‘Jeans’. We got a glimpse of Australia in ‘Hindustani’ and ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. We saw beautiful New Zealand and Krabi, Thailand in Hrithik Roshan’s debut film ‘Kaho Na Pyar Hai’. We had an opportunity to see the snow-covered land and magnificent glaciers of Alaska in the Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor starrer ‘Pukar’. Ranbir Kapoor starrer ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ was shot in Switzerland, Italy and Australia while ‘Rockstar’ was shot in Czech Republic. We explored the city of New York along with ‘Sashi’ played by Sridevi in ‘English Vinglish’ and we all want to pack our bags and go on a Spanish Odyssey after seeing ‘Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara’.
The list of exotic locations and beautiful countries which we have seen in our Bollywood movies is as endless as the list of movies which have featured them. The next time you travel to your dream destination through the eyes of Bollywood, do try to realise your Silver Screen Dreams. Movies are magical and so are our lives. You never know; someday you could be living the reel life as your real one!
(Team Veena World)