Bollywood in Britain

Britain as a Bollywood backdrop

Which British locations have been used for song and dance sequences?

Britain has been a favourite location for Bollywood directors for decades, choosing from stately homes and Scottish castles to shopping centres.


Most filming for Bollywood tends to be concentrated in and around London. Some directors prefer to focus on the grandeur of distinct British architecture as well as Londonís landmark tourist spots. For instance, the song 'Tenu Le Ke Main Javanga' from Salam-e-Ishq (Advani, 2007) uses Oxford University, Trafalgar Square, St. Paulís Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge as a backdrop (see related video link below).


The song 'Deewana Hai Dekho' from Kabhi Khushie Kabhie Gham (Johar, 2001) was filmed at Millennium Stadium in Wales, Blenheim Palace, as well as several locations in central London.

A song from Lamhe (Chopra, 1991) was famously shot in the scenic Lake District (see related video link below).  It starred Sri Devi and Anil Kapoor who appeared in Slumdog Millionaire as the quizmaster. The regionís Lake Ullswater was immortalised more recently in a song from Mujhse Dosti Karoge (Kohli, 2002) (see related video link below).

Have there been any Bollywood films with story-lines set in Britain?

A number of recent Bollywood films have featured second-generation British Asians with some of the plot set in Britain. Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge (Chopra, 1995) was a pioneering film for this reason. The story of two second-generation British Asians, torn between their love for one another and traditional Indian values became the longest running film of India cinema. The filmís London setting was central to the storyline, not just a romantic backdrop. On her way home from Kings Cross Station, actress Kajol takes in an open-top bus tour of Londonís popular sights ( see related video link below). 

Document icon Learning article provided by: Cartwright Hall Art Gallery | 
Text licensed under Creative Commons BY NC SA. Photos © Tim Smith, all rights reserved.

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