Over the years, several Bollywood films have penned love letters to iconic cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata among others as the backdrop of the films.
Here are five such Bollywood films that quintessentially captured the essence of Kolkata through their films.
Meri Pyaari Bindu
The 2017 romantic drama film Meri Pyaari Bindu starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra is a tale of nostalgia set in the City of Joy Kolkata. One of the underrated films of Khurrana, Meri Pyaari Bindu has the typical Kolkata ‘prem’ (romance) and the couple has that typical chemistry based on the rivalry of East Bengal-Mohunbagan derby, fuchka (golgappe), and hand-pulled rickshaw, among others.
Durga Pujo plays an important role in the 2012 Hindi thriller film Kahaani’s climax. The film stars Vidya Balan in the lead. The festival not only acts as a backdrop for a pivotal sequence but is also a metaphor. Throughout the film we see Kolkata preparing for Durga Pujo through Sujoy Ghosh’s lens and the film’s climax is set on Vijaya Dashami (last day of Durga Pujo).
Set in the 1970s in Darjeeling and Kolkata, the film narrates the story of Murphy Johnson aka ‘Barfi’ (played by Ranbir Kapoor), a deaf and mute young boy who meets and befriends Shruti Ghosh (Ileana D’Cruz), a new girl in Darjeeling. When six years later, Shruti comes back into Barfi’s life and rekindles their friendship, there is a scene when the duo along with Barfi’s autistic friend Jhilmil Chatterjee (played by Priyanka Chopra) travel by a tram in Kolkata. The song ‘Phir Le Aaya Dil’ is weaved through this sequence which shows glimpses of the streets of North Kolkata, Ganga ghats, and trams and perfectly captures the essence of Kolkata.
Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the comedy-drama film Piku stars Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, and Irrfan Khan in the lead along with Moushumi Chatterjee and Jisshu Sengupta in pivotal roles. The film takes you on a journey to an early morning Kolkata, papers being delivered, tea in earthen pots, kochuri (kachauri) with potato curry, glimpses of Ganga ghats and North Kolkata old houses and streets.
Another film adapted from Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel of the same name, is the 2005 Hindi film Parineeta starring Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, and Sanjay Dutt. Set in Kolkata, this Pradeep Sarkar directorial delves deep into Bengali culture with a whole sequence of Dutt doing the famous dhunuchi dance and Balan features in an iconic red border white saree.
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