Year of release: 1999
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Actors: Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
The movie is based on Maitreyi Devi’s novel ‘Na Hanyate’. It’s a love triangle. Aishwarya (Nandini) falls in love with happy go lucky Salman (Sameer). But she marries Ajay (Vanraj) under the emotional pressure given by her family. Vanraj is in love with Nandini but soon he gets to know about Nandini’s affair with Sameer and he decides to reunite the lovers. They both head out to Italy looking for Sameer. In this period Nandini starts falling for Vanraj. And when she comes face to face with Sameer, she confesses that now she loves Vanraj not him. She returns to Vanraj and they live happily ever after.
The film showcases wide range of bright colours. Each frame looks fresh, vibrant and pleasing. It was filmed throughout the Gujrat-Rajasthan border region. According to the story teller, the second half of the story takes place in Italy but actually all the locations shown are from Budapest, Hungary. Budapest looks similar to Italy in many ways. Also financially its much cheaper and easier in terms of getting permits if you shoot in Hungary instead of Italy. We don’t mind cheating the locations but the locals speaking Hungarian and Hungarian sign boards surely highlights the feeling of being cheated.
Rann of Katch:
The opening song of the film ‘Manmohini’ was shot in one of the largest salt desert in world, Rann of Kachch. The colourful ride and dresses surely enriched the beauty of the dried up land. The super fast catchy track tries to compete with the overheated sun. Just imagining the cast and crew shooting and dancing in such deadly heat makes me sweat. You can visit the Katch during the Rann Utsav organised by the Gujrat sate government. This is an annual 3 day winter festival.
More about festival:
The marvelous Jaisalmer Fort has been a paradise in desert for filmmakers. Each pillar and corner of the fort is photogenic and soothing. Also known as the ‘Sone ka Qila’ the fort is a blend of Islamic and Rajput architecture. May be that’s why the director choose this location to film the ‘Albela Sajan’ song.
The rainwater lake is situated in the heart of the city Jaisalmer. Once it was the only source of water in northern Rajasthan. The lake hosts the ;Gangur Festival’ every year in March or April, when the the single women gather together and throw flowers in the lake for to get a good husband.
This is the place where Salman and Aishwarya are seen getting their singing lessons from Vikram Gokhale. The shirtless Salman tries to charm Aishwarya and her father with his singing skills and sexy looks.
Rao Lakha Cenopath, Chhattaradi, Bhuj:
The canopy in Bhuj belongs to the Jadeja rulers of the Kutch. The chhatri of Rao Lakhpatji is very famous for its intricate designs & carvings. Unfortunately it faced major destruction in the earthquake happened in 2000. The restoration work is going on. So if you go today, it won’t give you the similar site like seen in the movie, but it surely tries to uphold the heritage.
A few shots from the song ‘Albela Sajan’ were taken at this site. The specific lines from the movie shot at this structure are soothing and enriched with the Classical tunes of Indian music. Ironically, another scene shot at this location has a sad tone. Aishwarya and Salman are seen taking the Saat Phere at this location. With each phera Aishwarya explains its meaning and importance to Salman. While having their so called Gandharv Vivah, Aishwarya’s father barges in and he stops the ritual. He gets to know about her affair with his student and he is heartbroken. In the rage he takes her away and from here their tragic love story takes a sad turning point.
Orchard Palace, Gondal:
The Orchard Palace in Gondal was built in the 19th century to accommodate the guests of the Maharajas. You can enjoy your Royal stay here at any time of the year with previous bookings.
This beautiful white haveli is shown as the home of Ajay Devgan. The scene where Ajay drags Aishwarya out of the house after knowing her past affair was shot here. The furniture, the curtains, the artifacts and even the car in the courtyard gives you the hint of the royal class and aura.
Vijay Vilas Palace, Madavi, Gujrat:
The palace was built in 1920s for the then Yuvraj Shri Vijayraji and was named after him. The red stonned palace is full of carvings and is an architectural marvel. The royal family of Princely State of Kutch now reside permanently in the palace. They have turned a major part of the palace into a luxurious hotel. You can enjoy your stay there with enjoying the numerous facilities provided by the hotel.
The palace was used in the movie as the home of Aishwarya. The song ‘Chand Chupa’ was shot on the terrace of the palace. The extended porch, water canals, large rooms, marble fountain, the carved chhatris and chhajjas, can be seen throughout the film.
The Sunflower field:
Ajay and Aishwarya miss their bus and a hippie couple gives them a ride. Mid way they try to rob them and accidently Aishwarya gets shot near her neck. Ajay carries her in his arms through the bright yellow sunflower field and tries to get help from the passers. There are huge yellow flower fields in Hungary as they are an important part of their culture and economy. There are some fields right outside the capital city Budapest. There are various baudget hotels and resorts near these fields across the country. Artists and writers prefer living here as these places are far away from city and noise.
The Royal Hungarian Opera House:
The major scene where finally Aishwarya and Salman come face to face is shot at this largest opera house in Hungary. The opera house has marble staircase and colums. The mail hall holds a bronze chandelier weighing 3050 kg. You can see this chandelier when Ajay and Aishwarya enter the main hall of the Opera House. The horseshoe shaped auditorium can hold 1,261 people at once. It is said that the director changed the curtains of the house into gray to match the emotion of the scene. It is where Aishwarya tells Salman that she got married and now she loves her husband and he should move on too.
Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Hungary
The Szechenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest is known as a symbol of advancement, national awakening, and the linkage between East and West. It’s built over the Danube River. This place is where Aishwarya hugged both of her heroes in the film. There is a scene where Aishwarya runs fiercely, doesn’t even care for her expensive Pashmina shawl and resides in the arms of her boyfriend Salman. This scene was shot in pleasant day light. Another scene on the same bridge was shot at night. It’s the climax scene of the movie where Aishwarya walks towards her husband, Ajay with silent and confident steps. She confesses her love for him and they hug on the background of the beautiful night sky lighten with heavy fireworks.