RAJNITI is going to give a new lease of life to Delhi as a location for Hindi films. The myriad geographical landscapes that Delhi is studded with, straddling across centuries, is a delight of the filmmakers, and with Delhi centric film makers making their position felt in Mumbai in a big way, as also the change that the city is experiencing owing to common wealth games, would make it the toast of the film makers of Hindi cinema. The current changes that city of Delhi is experiencing and the transformation that it has acquired, providing the filmmakers with an opportunity to search for a diversified palate. But the real favorite with the filmmakers is the India Gate of Delhi in the same manner, as Gateway of India hitherto was, till the Mumbai bomb blasts, as a fallout of which it was decided to ban shooting of the films with Gateway of India as a background.
No city in the world can provide the the imposing facade that India Gate presents and the side angle shot covering whole of Raj Path is really a visual delight, that even Champ De Ellies of Paris also is not able to provide. In one long shot one can in the frame imposing North and South Blocks in their majestic splendor. In the recent times, this splendor was revealed to the movie aficionados when Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra shot RANG DE BASANTI and used the frame of India Gate as the symbolic place to register protest in RDB.
Such was the impact of the landscape through RANG DE BASANTI tha the common people subsequently started using India Gate emerged as the perfect background for protests against the apathy of the systems. One often wonders whether the candle light protests that happened subsequently in Mumbai on Gateway of India were inspired by the idea that was provided by RANG DE BASANTI.
The cousin of India Gate, Gateway of India in Mumbai gave the most exquisite shot underlining its facade in its regal splendour, when Santosh Sivan weaved his magic through main Ratnam’s BOMBAY, which also was the leitmotif in the poster of the film as well. Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala in a cozy moment, and the soft light emanating from the background, in fact became a statement for brand Gateway of India. The choice of Gateway of India in the Hindi films was owing to the fact that the aerial shot of Mumbai during the nights using Gateway of India as the background, and with the huge official towers looming in the background created an element of awe on the screen.
Keeping in sync with ethos of both the cities, it seems that with politics as the background, India Gate would be the backdrop of the frame, while for films with commerce, gangsters etc., Gateway of India may continue to be the preferred choice.
By: Suman Rai