Lavish sets, grand entries, musical and poetic numbers – it takes more than just a decent story and convincing actors to make a good movie in India. We are not saying that the story or actors are not important. If the story line is exceptionally good, the movie is already a hit, but to make it a blockbuster, it is important to engage the audience in a fictitious world with an extravagant set. This is a must, if not an added benefit. James Cameron, SS Rajamouli, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali have done it and of course, the results have been nothing less than what one can expect. Speaking of Indian cinema (especially Bollywood), here are ten of the most extraordinary and expensive sets that have ever been made in this film industry:
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
This movie depicted love, sure, but it also gave us a short glimpse of the beauty of Rajasthan – from the full moon in the clear skies to the grand havelis, the culture and the beautiful desert. Let's also not forget the beauty of Budapest.
From Paro's haveli to Chandramukhi's kotha, the decor everywhere was rich to perfection. With 12,20,00,008 pieces of stained glass to decorate a room to actually reconstructing a lake, attention was given to every minute detail. The impeccability of every shot in this movie makes this saga a classic.
Another Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, this movie may not have been a commercial hit, but was already the talk of the town much before its release. Even today, the film is remembered for having one of the best sets ever. That imaginary town looked nothing less than a fairy tale land on the big screen.
Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
For a film to be historically precise, it should also be historically lavish for the audience to believe lap up. With spectacular decor and richness in every frame, Ashutosh Gowariker won hearts all over the world for bringing history back to life with Jodhaa Akbar.
Holi has never looked as beautiful as it did in this movie. The splash of colors, the breathtaking view of Leela's room, the mighty havelis – all seemed like a dream come true. Bhansali's sets showed the authenticity of Gujarat. He did not compromise on the slightest of details and that's what made this movie such a big hit.
Bombay Velvet (2015)
Commercially, the movie may have tanked at the box office. But the set of Bombay that was remade in Colombo is one of Kashyap's costliest set to ever have been made. Even now, it is used as a tourist attraction.
One of the most expensive sets to have been made, this one was not even made in Bollywood, but in the South. S.S Rajamouli's biggest blockbuster with larger-than-life sets and special effects marveled the audience enough to make its way to Bollywood.
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015)
Sooraj Barjatya lived up to his reputation with this movie since his films are always known for fancy settings and backdrops. The visual extravaganza was taken a notch higher. The iconic Sheesh Mahal was recreated to shoot a certain scene in the film. The budget of lights was in crores to fit Barjatya's liking of a splendid set.
Bajirao Mastani (2015)
The grandeur of the set of this movie had us picking up our jaws off the floor. It was a visual treat to the audience and undoubtedly the Priyanka Chopra-Ranveer Singh- Deepika Padukone-starrer went on to become a huge hit.
Baahubali 2 (2017)
The Baahubali franchise took the succession of Indian cinema to another level. While Baahubali 1 was a huge hit, its conclusion was declared a blockbuster, not just in this country, but globally. As of now, the movie has already made five times the money it invested.
Your favorite ticketing site turns 10 soon, so keep an eye for exciting offers and more. Also, don't forget to read 10 Modern Takes From Retro Classics.