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Available on  gplay  » Movies » Ram Leela, Lagaan, Refugee: When Bollywood went to Gujarat
This article was first published 10 years ago

Ram Leela, Lagaan, Refugee: When Bollywood went to Gujarat

November 14, 2013 11:22 IST

Image: Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in Ram Leela
Joginder Tuteja

With Ram Leela's rich colours, opulent sets, elaborate costumes, and two of Bollywood's hottest stars -- Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone -- Sanjay Leela Bhansali draws the limelight to his home state Gujarat.

Inspired from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, Ram Leela is the story of a tempestuous romance set in a Gujarat village.

While Mumbai and New Delhi have been preferred backdrops in several Hindi films, Gujarat has featured in many films prominently too. 

Here's a look at past films set in the state.

Please click NEXT for more. 

Kai Po Che

Image: Raj Kumar and Amrita Puri in Kai Po Che

Abhishek Kapoor's widely acclaimed Kai Po Che captured the local flavours of Gujarat with its characters and their stories beautifully.

Based on Chetan Bhagat's novel The 3 Mistakes Of My Life, the film outdid the book's success.


Image: A scene from Lagaan

While Ashutosh Gowariker's award-winning Lagaan was set in a fictional village called Champaner, the film was shot in Bhuj, a city based in the Kutch district of Gujarat.

The film's beautiful cinematography highlighted the rocky and barren lands of Champaner with much finesse.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Image: Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Yet another Sanjay Leela Bhansali film that had a tempestuous love affair at its heart, the feel-good world of this film, shot on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border, focused on the vibrant, perennially festive side of Gujarat.

The film's soundtrack, sets, costumes, locations as well as the characterisation -- everything pretty much established Bhansali's love for Gujarat. 

Mirch Masala

Image: Smita Patil in Mirch Masala

Much before Bhansali though, Ketan Mehta's love for Gujarat manifested onscreen.

A Gujarati himself, Mehta went on to make three films in the state.

Other than his award-winning Gujarati film Bhavni Bhavai, he found most acclaim for Smita Patil starrer Mirch Masala.


Image: Movie poster of Sardar

Another Ketan Mehta film, Sardar narrated the tale of one of India's greatest leaders Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

With Paresh Rawal in a terrific performance as Patel, the film was feted by critics but didn't do too well at the box office.

Mehta deftly integrated the state of Gujarat in the narrative.


Image: Shahana Goswami in Firaaq

Though Nandita Das avoided shooting in Gujarat and instead passed off Hyderabad as Ahmedabad for her controversial directorial debut Firaaq, her impeccable storytelling narrated the aftermath of 2002 Gujarat violence.

She got a good ensemble cast in place for this National Award-winning 100-minute film.


Image: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Guru

Meanwhile, Mani Rathnam's Guru protagonists, played by Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, were based on India's most well known Gujaratis -- Reliance founder Dhirubhai Ambani and his wife Kokilaben.

Though the story begins in Gujarat and travels to Turkey and Mumbai, the Gujarati flavour remained intact throughout.

A commendable effort from Ratnam.


Image: Smita Patil in Manthan

Shyam Benegal made a memorable film chronicling the White Revolution of India (Operation Flood) which started in 1970 in Gujarat's Kheda district.

Meant to boost milk production and distribution, the film was funded by five lakh members of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) with a donation of Rs 2 each.


Image: Kareena Kapoor in Refugee

JP Dutta's Refugee, Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor's 2000 debut film was set on the India-Pakistan border in the Great Rann of Kutch.

Abhishek's character in the film helped illegal refugees from both India and Pakistan to cross the border.

This was a departure that Dutta made from the landscape and topography perspective since before Refugee, most of his films were set in Rajasthan.