Films set in the US, Australia and England appeal to NRI and domestic audiences alike; they have done well at the box office. After churning them out relentlessly for many years, Bollywood filmmakers are getting more ambitious and starting to sign up Hollywood stars.
Amongst big ticket Bollywood films still to be released this year, we could identify just one that will feature no foreign locales…
Shah Rukh Khan’s Billo Barber to be released on October 24!
The rest preset a varying mix of foreign actors, foreign setting, foreign technicians and foreign locales:
Love Story 2050 (July 4) , top lining debutant Harman Baweja and Priyanka Chopra, was shot extensively in Adelaide and Melbourne Australia; and New York City, USA, and features VFX by a team from Germany.
Singh Is Kinng (August 8), top lining Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif, is partly set in Australia, was shot there to the extent of 50% using a team of Australians technicians, and features foreign actors in its cast.
Dostana (October 24), top lining Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham and Bobby Deol, is set in Florida, was shot almost entirely at locales there, and features small time US actors in its cast.
Bachna Aye Haseeno (October 24), top lining Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Bipasha Basu and Minissha Lamba, is set partly in Australia, was filmed at locales in New South Wales, Australia and Venice, Veneto, Italy.
Yuvraj (October 24), top lining Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, has been filmed at locales in Austria.
Chandni Chowk to China (October 29), top lining Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone, is produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, features Hollywood star Chia Hui Liu (Kill Bill), is set partly in China and has been filmed extensively at locales in Bangkok and China.
Kambakth Ishq (December 5), top lining Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor, is set in Hollywood, is being shot at locales in US and Italy, and features Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (December 12), top lining Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma will be filmed at locales in Greece, Australia and Dubai.
Bollywood films set abroad help NRIs escape their isolation, and domestic Indians escape reality. The appeal is broad. Foreign technicians and stuntmen make that escape more contemporary and thrilling. However, it is not clear what Bollywood filmmakers hope to achieve by signing up Hollywood stars.
Are Bollywood filmmakers chasing their own dreams by signing up Hollywood actors. The problem is: Selling dreams works, always. Chasing them, only sometimes.