The city of joy has always had a very close connection with Bollywood. Despite the fact that ‘Bombay’ has always been the hub for cinema, filmmakers venture outside for the real essence of their stories and Kolkata happens to be their favorite cultural destination.
The cultural capital of Bengal is a hub for art and heritage and we are not surprised why the directors love this place so much. Here are 10 movies that have been shot in Kolkata and we can’t help but find ourselves falling in love with this place where food, culture, and art dwell in every nook and corner.
Mani Ratnam’s political drama that was originally named as ‘Howrah Bridge’ brings three stories together on Kolkata’s famed Howrah Bridge. The film featured Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan and Vivek Oberoi in lead. The story revolved around the three of them entering politics and facing its consequences.
Pradeep Sarkar’s musical romantic drama was based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1914 Bengali novella and set in Kolkata. A major chunk of the movie was shot in Calcutta, specifically, at the James Princep Memorial. The movie manages to bring the heart and soul of Calcutta on the big screen with Vidya Balan and Saif Ali Khan’s brilliant acting.
Directed by Imtiaz Ali, this romantic comedy-drama has been shot in Kolkata. The scene where Rishi Kapoor recalls meeting his lady love has been shot at Bonedi Bari in Rash Behari Avenue. The movie talks about true love in today’s time with Calcutta being one of the places central to the storyline.
Director Anurag Basu’s comedy-drama about a deaf-mute simpleton was shot and based partly in 1970s Calcutta. The Ranbir Kapoor-starrer is a visual treat owing to some of its beautiful locations in Darjeeling. The presence of Howrah Bridge in various shots along with the trams and ‘puchka’ reference, the movie gives you a quintessential Kolkata vibe.
Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, this mystery thriller revolving around a pregnant woman looking for her missing husband in Kolkata during the Durga Puja festival is certainly Bollywood’s best collab with Kolkata. The crew followed guerrilla-filmmaking techniques on Kolkata’s city streets to avoid attracting attention.
O. Henry’s short story The Last Leaf was beautifully adapted by Director Vikramaditya Motwane in this period romance, based onset in 1950s Calcutta. The Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha-starrer made Rs27 crore at the box office and gave us some beautiful music that added on to the Kolkata vibe of the movie.
A lot of scenes from Tigmanshu Dhulia’s action film were set and shot in Kolkata. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Sonakshi Sinha and Jimmy Shergill, it made Rs32 crore in box office collections. The movie showcases the protagonist’s romance with Kolkata as the backdrop.
Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar this action thriller was set in 1970s Calcutta and told the story of two orphaned outlaws played by Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor. Young Bala and Bikram become gun carriers and coal bandits, ultimately growing up to become the most powerful goons of Calcutta.The -directed film made Rs78 crore at the box office.
Dibakar Banerjee’s mystery thriller on the legendary detective was set in then Calcutta during World War II. The film follows the first adventure of Byomkesh Bakshi as a private detective and is extensively filmed in Kolkata. This film is a treat to the eyes of every Kolkattan in the city and elsewhere alike.
Directed by Shoojit Sircar, this comedy-drama was the story of a father and daughter who embark on a journey from Delhi to Kolkata. It is short-tempered Piku Banerjee, her grumpy, aging father Bhashkor and Rana Chaudhary, who is stuck between the father-daughter duo, as they embark on a journey to life and also, Kolkata. Beautifully shot at the Nonapukur Tram depot and some parts of North Kolkata, this film gives us a beautiful insight into this city of joy.
Do you find ‘joy’ in Kolkata as much as Bollywood does? Share your favorite Bollywood movies with Calcutta in the backdrop with us, in the comment section!