For Shah Rukh Khan it indeed would be a moment of de’ja’ vu with JAB TAK HAI JAAN as far as emoting romance is concerned. The ubiquitous red public telephone both which is shown all steamed up owing to passionate romance of Katrina Kaif and Shah Rukh Khan on the screen in JTHJ indeed is one of the most visible street furniture that have been used by the Hindi cinema to express love and the moment or the whole time frame is accentuated by the lyrics Saans mein tu hai. The setting is also apt, the iconic rainfalls of London, the ubiquitous black umbrellas of the citizens of public opened out as they spread out and the misty weather creating steam inside the phone booth, further accentuated by the hot passion invoked by Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, through the song create an element of eroticism to the whole ambiance.
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For Shah Rukh Khan it would be like revisiting those moments of DILWAALE DULHANIYA LE JAENGE where he was serenading Kajol all across London by calling from one red phone booth after the other. As a matter of fact, Shah Rukh Khan had also been shown inside the red phone booth in YES BOSS as well, where he was serenading Juhi Chawla with the song- Main koi aisa geet gaon.
Indeed in London, in the era of mobile phones, this iconic public telephone booth in shocking red color stands out and conveys passion, and it could be one of the reasons why it has been used off and on to convey romance.
One would not know whether it was Man Mohan Desai who was catalyst in providing trigger to the filmmakers of Hindi cinema to use this red telephone booth, but it was he who had used this red telephone box on various occasions in his film NASEEB, which was among the few films that had explored the hinterland of London in great detail.
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In the context of Hollywood films MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series have used this red telephone booth in great details, probably owing to the fact that it is a film that has used the location of London in big detail, and for a sense of identity such vital street furniture when they are portrayed on the screen indeed are able to capture and convey a sense of nostalgia associated with it.
There indeed is a sense of nostalgia and melancholy associated with this red phone booth as was manifest from the song-Main yahan tu wahan from BAGHBAAN, where Big B was expressing his sense of frustration at not being with his beloved.
It seems the whole physical structure of this phone booth indeed creates the ambiance for setting the tone of romance, and this could be the reason why it was again used in JTHJ, and the effect is amazing indeed. One only hopes that with more and more films being shot in London this ubiquitous street furniture of London would be portrayed in more imaginative ways in the times to come.