For Bollywood stars, it's London calling

'IT IS a cross-cultural romantic film with a global appeal,' Akshay Kumar, who plays the lead role in the 3.5 million pounds film, Namastey London, told PTI. 'It has two stories —one of Arjun, a Chandigarh boy (portrayed by Kumar) marrying a London-born Jasmeet

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Published: Mon 12 Mar 2007, 10:48 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:25 AM

lonSingh who loves everything that's western including a husband. The other is about a Pakistani couple —Pakistani boy who wants to marry a White Girl," he said.

Kumar, who has carved out a niche for himself as an action hero and versatile comic actor was all praise for the Director of the film Vipul Amrutlal Shah.

Describing him as a progressive and dynamic director, Kumar said in the last two films Aankhein, a thriller and Waqt — A Race Against Time, a social and family drama, Vipul had tried to bring in a breath of fresh air and both films had turned out to be a box office grosser.

In Namastey London, he said barring the producer, director and himself, all casts and crew in the UK shooting were engaged locally. "We wanted to have a London feeling and hence even the cameramen, make-up men, dress designer were engaged from here," he said.

"It gives a new perspective and you can feel that this is not an Indian film that way. It is something different."

londAsked about major assignments on hand, Kumar said one of them would be 8 by 10 (eight by ten) produced by Percept —a science thriller. Other two films on hand are Welcome and Hey Baby.

He said UK has emerged as one of the biggest markets for Indian films. Four years ago, the gross collection from UK for Bollywood films was 40 million pounds per annum and "today it has gone up to 220 million pounds per annum."

Shah, in a separate interview, said his last film Waqt —a Race Against Time in which Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bhachchan and Kumar acted, was one of the top 15 grossers in the UK.

Describing Namastey London as the "most topical and timely film", Shah said the production cost of the film had gone up by a few hundred thousand pounds as he had to engage the entire British crew working with Hollywood films. "They are very expensive but the output was worth the expense".

Conceding that the Bollywood films currently has a global market, he said the audience also expect certain standard in the Indian films.

The entire film was shot in 90 days and 80 per cent of it was done in UK locations and 20 per cent in India including in places like Kedarnath, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Agra (Taj Mahal), Ajmer Sharif Dargha, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.

"This is the first Indian cinema which has a very strong portrayal of Pakistani and Indian families living in London. That makes truly a South-East Asian families living in London. Effort has been made to make it as real and credible as possible."


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