Bollywood back in earlier avatar
Islamabad, (Anantnag) Mar 14: Apparently fatigued of portraying the conflict in the state, Bollywood is back in Kashmir for an overriding old reason: to capture its breathtaking locales on camera. Or so does the shooting of Rockstar in Pahalgam imply.
Ranbir Kapoor starrer with the new comer Nargis Fakhir also evokes nostalgic memories of Bollywood’s first brush with Kashmir. It was Ranbir’s grand father Raj Kapoor who in 1949 first introduced Valley as an ideal film destination to Bollywood by shooting Barsaat here. And the film had the great Nargis as the lead actress. But Kashmir in all its grandeur came into play in the song Hawa Main Udta Jaye Mora Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka shot on the actress Nimmi frolicking in the meadows.
Ever since Kashmir has been the staple of the numerous movies many of which turned out to be great romantic films.
From Raj Kapoor through Shammi Kapoor and Rajesh Khanna to Amitabh Bachan, all big stars and big banners have felt their films incomplete without lush Kashmir locales in the backdrop.
However, the trend changed through nineties with romance suddenly going off the air with the outbreak of the militancy. Setting the tone was Mani Ratnam’s Roja which for the first time put Kashmir on screen for its own sake. - as a subject. This was followed by a long hiatus with worsening Kashmir situation scaring away film makers. Only three movies were shot in Indian Kashmir between 1998 and 2003, according to tourism officials.
But after 2003, a succession of Kashmir-centric movies were made which focused on turmoil, Pakistan and the conflict in the state. Thus followed Pukar, LoC:Kargil, Maa Tujhe Salam, Yahaan, Tahaan some of them really silly and jingoistic in content.
But now the tide seems to be turning. Kashmir is once again becoming important for its beauty and the mystique. Hence Saat Khoon Maaf in 2009 and now Rockstar which use Kashmir as a beautiful geography rather than a peg to hang a shrill jingoistic narrative on.
Perhaps a symbolic return to this old trend is the arrival of Ranbir and Nargis who between them - Ranbir because of his illustrious Kapoor lineage and Nargis for her name - evoke a piece of Bollywood history, even if Rockstar by no means echoes Barsaat. For Kashmir observers, this is a significant shift. This is seen as a redeeming change in the perception of Kashmir situation and helpful in drawing tourists back to the state. “Terror-centric movies created stereotype of Kashmir as a perennially conflict-ridden area. But the resurrection of Kashmir as a born again romantic abode for Bollywood will change this,” says a tourism official. “We want films to spread good word about Kashmir and help revive the image of Kashmir as a paradise on earth”.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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