Special feature: Bollywood’s love affair with Europe

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Bollywood has long been in love with Europe. Films in the 1980s often had Bollywood songs shot in Europe, whisking the actors and actresses from the fields in India to the streets of various European countries. Raj Kapoor’s ‘Sangam’ (1964) took the audience to the likes of Venice, Paris and Switzerland, setting a precedent almost for Bollywood films to be shot in Europe. With the release of ‘Befikre’ this week which is set in Paris, BizAsiaLive.com looks back at love stories set in Europe that made us fall in love with the actors and the countries too.

‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ (1995)

SRK-Kajol in 'DDLJ'
SRK-Kajol in ‘DDLJ’

If there was ever a Bollywood that embraced the complexities of young love within the Asian culture in a foreign country, ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ did this with flying colours. The first half of the film showed two contrasting families who were bringing up their children in contrasting ways. Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) and his father (Anupam Kher) are easygoing and have embraced the English culture. Raj does as he chooses and enjoys being the spoilt brat. Simran (Kajol) comes from a strict family whose father (Amrish Puri) is stuck in his ways and wants to keep the Indian culture alive in London. Raj and Simran fall in love on a Euro Rail trip and there are some fantastic song numbers in various European cities.

‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (2011)

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‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ is one film, which embraces the adventure that foreign countries can hold for the audience. The film follows three friends Arjun (Hrithik Roshan), Imraan (Farhan Akhtar) and Kabir (Abhay Deol) who seek to reconnect on a boys trip through Spain. There are some great scenes in the film where the three learn how to deep-sea dive, dance the flamenco and take part in the famous Tomatina festival. The scenes were memorable and the whole film was beautifully shot in the Spanish landscape. The location played a key part in the story line as each place held a significance for each of the characters.

‘Tamasha’ (2015)

 Tamasha - Ranbir Deepika

‘Tamasha’ really showed off the beauty of Corsica but also the possibility of what a European country can represent for the characters. Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) and Tara (Deepika Padukone) both meet in Corsica and decide that they are going to emulate the personas they wish to be and keep their story on the island. They both leave their troubles behind and frolics around the island enjoying each other’s company. After their time together, they both realise back in their grey daily lives that they love each other and find it hard to adjust back to their normal selves. The film touched upon the possibilities a holiday romance can bring and the difficulty of transitioning it into real life.

‘Cocktail’ (2012)

Saif-Deepika-Diana in 'Cocktail'
Saif-Deepika-Diana in ‘Cocktail’

‘Cocktail’ was primarily shot in London and looked at love through the eyes of three characters who all meet in different ways. Meera (Diana Penty) gets married to an NRI Indian in India and moves to London hoping to start a life with him. When she arrives, she realises that he married her for her dowry. She bumps into Veronica (Deepika Padukone) who is a party girl living in London in a restaurant. Veronica takes Meera in and gives her a place to live. The film showed British Indians in a harsh light, showing the difficulties people face in keeping Indian traditions alive in a foreign landscape.

‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ (2012)

SRK and Anushka Sharma in 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'
SRK and Anushka Sharma in ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’

Yash Chopra’s films always had a passion for London and it is only fitting that his final film was set here. ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ was shot all the recognisable parts of London including Westminster, Southbank, Trafalgar Square, Marble Arch and many others. The film followed the story of journalist Akira (Anushka Sharma) who becomes fascinated with daredevil bomb disposal expert Samar (Shah Rukh Khan) and wants to shoot a documentary with him. She discovers that Samar has a past in London where he started off a busker who sings in London. Whilst doing this, he meets Meera (Katrina Kaif) a rich Indian girl who wants to learn how to sing in Punjabi for her father’s birthday. The film had some great scenes shot in some of London’s most picturesque locations including Greenwich, on the River Thames, Somerset House and many others.

‘Befikre’ promises to make the audience fall in love with Paris again and from the trailers, it shows the city in its best light. We wish the team of ‘Befikre’ all the best for their release this weekend.

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