Bollywood now eyeing Thailand
By Subhash K. Jha
Dec 8 (IANS) Bollywood's fascination with foreign locales
is not new, but Indian filmmakers seem to have taken a fancy
to shooting action movies in Thailand and say it works out
cheaper as compared to Europe.
least two dozen action-adventure films during the past two
years have been shot in Thailand.
fact, recently one couldn't take two steps in Bangkok without
running into a Bollywood crew. Among them were the cast and
crew of Nikhil Advani's "Chandni Chowk To China",
Anthony D'Souza's directorial debut "Blue" and Suniel
Nitin Mukesh, who has been shooting there for "Freeze",
told IANS: "There was so much of Bollywood in Bangkok
I was confused whether I was in Mumbai or Bangkok. We did
a lot of heavy duty action scenes in Bangkok. I guess the
atmosphere there is conducive to crackling and bone-cracking
producer has to reportedly shell out about $1,000 per week
to shoot in Bangkok, which is much cheaper than in Europe.
In terms of airfare too, Thailand is nearer and therefore
this an indication of geographical aptness or plain practical
Hansal Mehta thinks it's laziness and lack of imagination
that propel all actioners to Bangkok.
Shah, who shot his rugged adventure film "Luck"
in South Africa, said: "I think thrillers are shot in
places like Bangkok and Thailand because a crime action adventure
film needs a dark dingy hectic atmosphere with shady bylanes
gives a certain edge to a crime drama. Because it has a history
of crime behind it whereas European countries like Switzerland
with their green virgin locales lend themselves well to romance."
Kunal Kohli, who shot his romantic films "Hum Tum"
and "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic" in Europe, thinks
it's all about economics.
films cost a lot of money. So they anyway need cheaper locations
with good infrastructure. You get that in Southeast Asia."
the same, Sanjay Gadhvi, who shot his actioner "Kidnap"
in Mumbai but went to Bangkok for one crucial action scene,
said: "Why Bangkok? I'll tell you. It's more economical.
Shooting shifts for action films are far more expensive. So
costs are cut through cheaper locations."
producer Bunty Walia: "South Asian countries have the
look, manpower and the expertise to execute complicated action
scenes at a comparatively cheaper rate. As for love stories,
filmmakers need virginal beauty spots, imposing architecture
and super outdoors. Understandably they head for Europe and
is currently busy with his film "Lamhaa", which
is being directed by Rahul Dholakia and stars Bipasha Basu
and Sanjay Dutt.
Luthria of "Kachche Dhaage" fame attributes the
exodus for action to Southeast Asia to these factors.
are so many props required in an action film. There are cars,
bikes, chopper and boats to ply and wreck. Action crews are
far cheaper in South Africa and Southeast Asia. And since
an action film needs a much bigger crew to be transported,
the airfare to these countries is relatively cheaper.
romance, European and Australian locales are prettier for
love and the quality of light in these countries is best for
close-ups and other intimate moments," said Luthira.
Basu's "Murder" was said to be the first film to
be shot entirely in Bangkok. Other Hindi movies shot there
include "Ek Ajnabee", "Zinda", "Family".