Punjabi fever grips Bollywood: Namaste England, Arjun Patiala, Gold, Paltan all set up camp in Punjab | bollywood
Jab We Met, Veer-Zara, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Mubarakan, Jab Harry Met Sejal — can you guess the common factor in all these films? Yes, they were all shot in various parts of Punjab.
While the above-mentioned films were spread out over several years, right now there’s a cluster of Bollywood films that are being shot in the cities of Punjab — Patiala, Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Chandigarh (the city that serves as the Punjab capital).
THE LIST INCLUDES…
Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyan, starring Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Bachchan and Vickey Kaushal is being shot in Amritsar; Vipul Shah’s Namaste England, starring Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra, is being shot in Amritsar, Patiala and Ludhiana; Arjun Patiala, with Kriti Sanon and Diljit Dosanjh in the lead, is being shot in Chandigarh; parts of Reema Kagti’s Gold, starring Akshay Kumar, have been shot in Amritsar; JP Dutta’s war film, Paltan, starring Arjun Rampal and Esha Gupta, has been shot in Chandigarh. The Diljit Dosanjh-starrer Soorma, based on the life of hockey player Sandeep Singh, has been shot in a stadium in Chandigarh. And some parts of the Alia Bhatt-starrer Raazi have been shot in Patiala.
WHAT’S THE FASCINATION?
One of the simplest reasons is that the state has beautiful scenery: lush green fields; the tranquil and magnificent Golden Temple in Amritsar; the rustic feel of narrow lanes and crowded local markets.
Filmmaker Vipul Shah, who’s shooting his fourth film in Punjab, says, “The rural population [in Punjab] is now the most aspirational and the true reflection of today’s India. All the cities in the districts of Punjab have a great mix of cultural vibes with the old world and the modern world. You have great modern structures as well as the traditional Indian structures, and that combination is beautiful.”
Trade analyst Amul Vikas Mohan feels that Punjab has historically been one of those few states that pan-India audiences always connect to. “Even if you go way back to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Punjab is one of those few places in the country where pop culture still thrives. From [Punjabi] music to films, everything works across India with so much charm. And that’s the reason most filmmakers want to incorporate a Punjabi family in their films.”
IT FITS THE PLOT
In many cases, it’s the location that drives the story of a film and Punjab fits the plot. Actor Amit Sadh, who plays a hockey player in Gold, says, “Most hockey players came from Punjab — then and now. It’s the land of hockey! And shooting in Punjab is very friendly — be it the co-ordinators and the crowd, it’s like they want film people to come there and shoot.”
Actor Amit Sadh, who plays a hockey played in Gold, says, “Most of hockey came from Punjab — yesterdays and todays. It’s the land of hockey! And shooting in Punjab is very friendly — be it the coordinators and the crowd, it’s like they want films and film people to come there and shoot.”
Shah feels that Punjab offers the “perfect setting to shoot romantic love stories”. He says, “When you travel from one city to another, all you see is beautiful, lush green lands on both sides. It’s just so expansive and amazing. You almost feel like you’re in Europe. So, that attracts me to this place.”
Varun Sharma, who stars in Arjun Patiala, says, “The location is the directors’ vision. For our film, [shooting in Punjab] is a no-brainer, since the film has Patiala in the title and the first connect with that word is Punjab. Arjun Patiala highlights the beauty of the place and [the location] plays a very important part in the narration.”
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