By design, or fortuitously KAI PO CHE! has emerged as a film which has captured the wondrous landscape of Gujarat in its pristine beauty, and has picked up the popular lexicon associated with the most popular festival in Gujarat, Makar Sankranti as the central theme of the movie.
When films focus on a state that hitherto has not been used so extensively as a backdrop it indeed also unconsciously emerges as the signature statement to promote the state as well.
One could always argue that HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM had been a film situated majorly in Gujarat, indeed it was, but it also moved to Italy as well, while KAI PO CHE! continues to remain rooted in Gujarat majorly.
Here then is a trip down memory lane of few such films which have been situated in a major state and could be one of the reference points to promote the state. A caveat needs to be entertained here, that one is not including Mumbai in this list, as it has been a regular reference point of the landscape.
UDAAN: Apart from the fact that UDAAN is an aspirational film from the perspective of a youth, it was also among first films that was shot extensively in and around Jamshedpur and Ranchi and was able to bring out the distinct flavor of the city. It was Vikramaditya Motwane who brought Jamshedpur into the consciousness of the common public.
HIP HIP HURRAY: Way back in the early eighties, when cinema was focused around Mumbai, Prakash Jha took the fans to Ranchi and wove the magic around football and gave a glimpse of aspirations of youth of Ranchi to the fans all across.
GANGS OF WASSEYPUR: It was GOW that told the world that indeed there existed a town by this name, which is amongst one of the biggest cities where truck spare parts of all kinds are available. This was also the city where coal mafias fought legendary wars in the eighties, to control the coal mines, and it formed the basis of the content. Were it not for Anurag Kashyap, WASSEYPUR would have been anonymous.
AARAKSHAN, RAAJNEETI and SATYAGRAHA: Prakash Jha has off-late become fascinated with Bhopal as location and two of his films, AARAKSHAN, RAJNEETI were able to capture the pristine beauty of Bhopal and with SATYAGRAHA he would be doing a hat trick of films situated in Bhopal. One only hopes that this time around he also captures Bhim Baithaka and the Bhoj temple, iconic historical sites of Bhopal.
LOVE IN SHIMLA: In the era of black and white film, this Joy Mukherjee Sadhna starrer was the first film that was shot extensively in Shimla and it was able to capture the pristine beauty of Shimla in its majestic glory and is a documentary underlining beauty of Shimla.
YEH DILLAGI was another film in recent times which returned to Shimla along with KYA KEHNA to relive the glory of Shimla on silver screen.
LAGAAN: LAGAAN was also another movie that was shot extensively in Gujarat, but as it was a period film, it could not encapsulate the modern Gujarat as KAI PO CHE! has done.
The list is just illustrative but underlines the fact that whenever cinema has chosen unexplored locations, it has scored at the box office, and one hopes that the same happens with KAI PO CHE! as well.