Lucknow is a city filled with heritage, history and culture. The city, known for its mosques, Awadhi cuisine and tehzeeb, has become a favourite for Bollywood directors over the years. Today, we check out some of the movies shot in Lucknow. By Anushka Goel
The City of Nawabs, Lucknow has long been known for its beauty. The city is not your quintessential spot for stunning mountains or forests but lends a local flavour with its streets, corner shops and age-old structures. Be it local cuisine, chikankari clothes or just the warmth of the people, Lucknow has given a lot to Indian history and culture, and remains a spot one must visit at least once.
The city also paints a beautiful picture when one wants to portray traditional India. Its people, architecture and weather blend easily into creating a picture-perfect scene. And it is maybe this charm that Lucknow has, which has made it a favourite for filmmakers over the years. Be it Ishaqzaade, Umrao Jaan or Gulabo Sitabo, Lucknow and its people have been featured in several movies over the years, narrating stories hidden behind its walls and in its streets, right from the Mughal era.
So, if you’re a local wanting to look at your city in a new light, or someone who wants to witness the city’s charm before they actually visit, check out these 10 movies shot in Lucknow that transport you to the destination of your dreams.
Movies shot in Lucknow that depict the city’s charm best
Daawat-e-Ishq is an apt name for this romantic comedy, based on IPC 498A (dowry act). The film feature Lucknow and its delectable cuisine in a unique avatar – through the eyes of Tariq (Aditya Roy Kapur), a restaurant owner, and Gulrez (Parineeti Chopra), who meets Tariq with the intention of scamming him but later falls in love.
Tanu Weds Manu
Among the most popular movies in Indian cinema, Tanu Weds Manu is a fun romantic comedy starring Kangana Ranaut as Tanu and R Madhavan as Manu. The film revolves around the arranged marriage of the lead couple, the eccentricities in their relationship and how they navigate through them all to finally fall in love and enjoy marital bliss. The film is based in Lucknow, and the city’s homes, streets and alleys lend a beautiful flavour to it.
The action-drama has the classic storyline of how children from rival families fall in love. Arjun Kapoor’s debut and Parineeti Chopra’s second release features Lucknow in a way no other film has been able to capture, and paints one of the most authentic pictures of the culture there.
The comedy, revolving around a man who suffers from premature balding, is based in Kanpur, another popular city in Uttar Pradesh. However, several scenes, especially those of the short videos that Pari (Yami Gautam) and at times Bala (Ayushmann Khurrana) make, feature popular spots in Lucknow as the backdrop.
Gulabo Sitabo is a comedy-drama starring one of the most celebrated actors of Indian cinema, aka Amitabh Bachchan, and one of the most off-beat mainstream actors, Ayushmann Khurrana. The movie, which prominently features Hazratganj and Chowk, is the story of a fight around a crumbling old haveli, Fatima Mahal.
The Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz starrer is among the many movies based in Lucknow. Inspired by the longest-running income tax raid in the country, the film features several picturesque locations in the city, such as Ghanta Ghar and Shivgarh Palace, which is located a few kilometres from the main city.
With a gripping storyline and a stellar cast. Thappad is probably one of the best movies based on social issues. The story revolves around the seemingly happy life of Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) and her husband Vikram (Pavail Gulati) until one night, he slaps her hard across the face as Amrita tries to break up a fight between her husband and a colleague. The movie, set in Lucknow, shows glimpses of the Jahangirabad Palace, among other places.
Jolly LLB 2
Jolly LLB 2 is the sequel to the popular movie starring Arshad Warsi and Amrita Rao. The sequel, with Akshay Kumar and Huma Qureshi as the leads, was among the movies based and shot for in Lucknow. It showcased the many lanes and places in the city, along with other places such as Manali.
The film, featuring Saif Ali Khan and Jimmy Sheirgill, is set against the backdrop of the mafia and the underworld in Uttar Pradesh. The movie, which has been shot in Lucknow, features some beautiful locations which showcase the local flavour and nooks and corners of the city. Hazratganj’s homes, with stained glass and high ceilings, add an unspoken charm and authenticity to the movie.
The 1981 classic, featuring the elegant Rekha as Umrao Jaan, is set in Lucknow. The movie is the story of Amiran, kidnapped at a young age and sold to a brothel, where she is renamed Umrao and taught to dance and attract the attention of wealthy males. The movie, which speaks of her failed relationships and tough life, remains a must-watch to date.
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