The shooting of “Rangoon” did create wholesale buzz and ripples across the sections of Bollywood fans in the North-east of India. But, fact remains that, Bollywood had long chosen North-East to be the central locale of its story-telling. Many films were shot entirely in the surroundings of North –East India while others drew huge background references of the region.
The 1967 blockbuster Spy Thriller “Jewel Thief” which had legends like Dev Anand, Vyajantimala and Ashok Kumar in leading roles was shot in the landscapes of Sikkim. The film was a huge box -office grosser with its plot and music leaving an everlasting impact on audiences of that era.
Rajesh Roshan’s “Koyla” which starred Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit was shot in the landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh. The song “Tanhai Tanhai” shot around the Shungetser Lake and Nuranang Falls in the captivating Tawang district of the state. After the film, visitors have started flocking around the Shungetser Lake, which now has a new name “Madhuri Lake.” The next on list is director Mani Ratnam‘s “Dil Se” which is a War Romantic Thriller set at the backdrop of insurgency in north-east particularly in Assam. The lead character Shah Rukh Khan finds himself in a journey through the seven shades of love finding mention in ancient Arabic literature- attraction, infatuation, love, reverence, worship, obsession, and death. This is in context of the trails he has to undergo by virtue of his love-interest on Manisha Koirala who plays a militant of an insurgent outfit. This journey of the film does follow heavy references to the life around Assam and is one of the foremost in mainstream Bollywood cinema to depict the state in such light.
Kalpana Lajmi has also been a trendsetter in this aspect. For many of her Bollywood projects, she has chosen this region which included her 1986 film “Ek Pal” which was shot in Shillong and Jorhat. John Abraham and Tara Sharma in their 2003 Super-Natural Fantasy drama “Saaya” also finds a place in this list. Saaya was shot in Mokokchung district of Nagaland. Another name in this list is “Kurbaan”starring Salman Khan and Ayesha Jhulka. The film was partially shot in areas around the Eastern Air Command Campus, Eastern Shillong. Though the list is big and mentions of all films could not be possibly made, some films like “Daman” (Assam), “Dansh” (Mizoram), “Yeh Gulistaan Humara” (Arunachal Pradesh) have been made keeping the region as a part of plot and shooting.
Though Bollywood seems to have marched out of the serene and beguiling landscapes of the region, films like “Rangoon”, “Rock On 2”, “Aisa Yeh Jahaan” continue to give space to film-makers in delivering the necessary ambiance for story-telling.
TNT News with inputs from (www. magicalassam. com)
Image courtesy : (Internet sources)