The cultural capital of India, Kolkata is well known for its aesthetic values in the field of music, dance, literature, cinema and rituals. Laureate personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Satyajit Ray, RD Burman, Kishore Kumar, Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Amartya Sen and Mother Teresa and many more are associated with the city. I bet, you all will agree with me, that watching movies is a second best option to know about cities (first is travelling, of course). So, let me tell you more about Kolkata via these 5 popular bollywood flicks:
1. Kahaani (2012)
Topping in my list, Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani is a must watch for you all. With twists and suspense, the movie takes you through a festive mood of Durga Puja where Vidya Bagchi (played by Vidya Balan), arrives in Kolkata from London on a mission to avenge the death of Arup Basu, her husband. This critically acclaimed movie will drive you from the posh yet congested streets of Ballygaunge to the hues of Kumartuli, Kalighat, Maidan and Howrah.
2. Yuva (2004)
My next pick is Mani Ratnam’s Yuva. The movie is a fusion of youth, politics, hooliganism and love. This film drives the life of three young men from completely different classes of society and one fateful incident changes their lives forever. The budget film, with full of noted casts from bollywood, Ajay Devgn, Abhishesk Bachhan, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Esha Deol and Rani Mukherjee, was one of the biggest blockbusters. The movie takes you through the cultural square of Rabindra Sadan and lights and groove of Tantra, one of the nightclubs in Kolkata located inside The Park Hotel, Park Street, which is one of the 5 star hotels in Kolkata.
3. Raincoat (2004)
Rituparno Ghosh’s Raincoat is one of the critically acclaimed movies that reels a plot of two lovers, parted by destiny and meet again one day. Inspired from O Henry’s short story, The Gift of Magi, Raincoat is a national award winner and both the superstars, Ajay Devgn and Aishwarya Rai, were critically acclaimed. The entire movie drives you within the congested alleys of Central Kolkata.
When we speak of literature, one of the notable names like Sarat Chandra Chattapadhyay is always esteemed. Big blockbusters like Parineeta and Devdas based on the novels by Sarat Chandra Chattapadhayay are my fourth and last picks.
4. Parineeta (2005)
Parineeta, featuring superstars like Vidya Balan, Sanjay Dutt and Saif Ali Khan, is a story of friendship, family, love and hatred. The film, primarily shot in Kolkata, recreated the 6o’s era and became a box-office success because of its beautiful music and great story.
5. Devdas (2002)
Devdas, is a story that reels the life of a zamindar’s son who is in love with his childhood sweetheart, Paro, who belongs to a middle-class family. The movie powerfully depicts the prevailing societal customs in Bengal in the early 1900’s, because of which love stories don’t see happy endings.
So, have you seen any of these movies?