Is Gujarat proving lucky for filmmakers?

Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
27 Sep, 2013 16:08:26 PM

They are tell-tale signs of a definite quotient success one way or the other, the films that are using Gujarat as the part of the cinematic landscape to narrate a story. Indeed, for some it may appear to be too far-fetched an argument that the sheer presence of Gujarat as the part of the cinematic landscape is doing the trick, but indeed it is doing the trick one way or the other. The latest addition to this premise is selection of THE GOOD ROAD as the Indian entry to Oscars. It is a film that has been shot in Kutch area of Gujarat and it is a road film that explores Gujarat through the arid regions of Kutch and the manner in which people associated alongside a main road behave on a day-to-day basis.


Fact of the matter is, that THE GOOD ROAD in spite of being a film in Gujarati language has pipped THE LUNCHBOX as the Indian entry to Oscars, indeed is a pointer to the fact how important Gujarat has emerged as key ingredient of success for a film maker.

One would not know whether it is the effect of the soil or what, but significant milestones have been achieved for the films that have been shot in Gujarat. Be it the Amul film starring Smita Patil MANTHAN shot way back in 1976 by Shyam Benegal (a cult film on women empowerment and it still continues to inspire women all over the world), a MIRCH MASALA that opened up to the fans of Hindi cinema a colour riot that Gujarat symbolizes- again a film where Smita Patil played the lead role.

But it was Sanjay Leela Bhansali who presented the magic of mystique called Gujarat on a gigantic scale in HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM which caught the imagination of the film fans all across the globe and the country side in a big way. It was further accentuated with KAI PO CHE! which again was a film that was shot predominantly in Gujarat. Sanjay Leela Bhansali again returns to Gujarat in a big way through his next RAMLEELA which again is a film that is shot through and through with vibrancy and richness of colours that Gujarat symbolizes.

While the filmmakers like Shyam Benegal, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ketan Mehta have used the current metaphors of Gujarat, even Aamir Khan was bitten by the beauty of Gujarat though he used an imaginary estate, the film LAGAAN was shot through and through in Gujarat only and at the risk of being audacious one could say that Aamir Khan carried his penchant for Gujarat in 3 IDIOTS as well, using the Gujarati surname as also by going eloquent on the Gujarati cuisine. Who knows his new film P.K. (PEEKAY) could also have a distinct flavor though it is being shot in Rajasthan?

When one is talking about Gujarat how can one forget the connection with Gujarat that Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan have? They both made their debut in the world of Hindi cinema through the first film shot in Rann of Kutch in all probability, REFUGEE and went on to make their mark in the world of Hindi cinema.

Gujarat indeed has emerged as the flavour for the filmmakers, probably owing to its nearness to Mumbai and still large number of hitherto unexplored locations, and the beauty of this state has been aptly summed up through the Discover Gujarat campaign of Big B- Kuch Din To Gujariye Gujarat Mein.