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Leading film critic Sachin Chatte on the top ten movies shot in Goa!

When it comes to locations for shooting films in India, it can be said without a trace of doubt that Goa is second to none. Many films have been shot here and with each passing year the numbers keep rising. In 2014 itself around 10 films shot in Goa were released including Singham 2, Youngistaaan, Joe B Carvalho, Kick, Hate Story 2, Yaariyan, Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, Ek Villain and 3 a.m. Abbas Tyrewala’s Mango, which was filmed in the state along with R Balki’s Amitabh Bachchan starrer Shamitabh are yet to be released as also John Abraham’s Rocky Handsome.

Several of these films were not just shot in Goa, but their stories were set in Goa as well. Sometimes Goa is used only as a picturesque location as was the case with Rohit Shetty’s Singham Returns, whose plot had nothing to do with Goa.

One of the earliest popular Hindi films to be shot in Goa was Dev Anand’s Jaal (1952) and Amitabh Bachchan’s debut film Saat Hindustani (1969) which was about the liberation of Goa. He also acted in Pukaar (1983) which was about Portuguese rule in Goa but that film bombed at the box office.

Here are 10 films in chronological order shot in the state that made waves because of the story or for showcasing the beauty of Goa to the country.

Jaal (1952) – Directed by Guru Dutt and starring Dev Anand, Jaal was the first big Hindi film to be set in Goa. The opening titles state: “On the west coast of India there are some foreign colonies, where people from other countries come for business purposes…” N. Datta, the Goan musician, assisted S.D. Burman and the tunes had a distinct western feel to them.

Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981) – One of the earlier films that made the landmarks and scenic places of Goa popular, K. Balachander’s Hindi remake of his own Telugu film Maro Charitra was also a big hit. The story was about a young South Indian (played by Kamal Hassan) who falls in love with a North Indian girl (Rati Agnihotri), leading to a tragic ending. It had some very popular songs which were filmed at places like Shanta durga temple and Harvalem waterfalls. Don’t miss the traffic cop who used to man the signal at the old Patto Bridge, and Kamal Hassan’s antics on his bike on Vagator hill.

Trikaal (1985) – Few films have got everything right about Goa like this Shyam Benegal film. Shot largely in Loutolim in Mario Miranda’s strikingly beautiful ancestral house, the story is set at the fag end of the Portuguese era. It got all the finer details right and still remains a delight to watch after all these years. Shyam Benegal won the National Award for Best Direction and Saba Zaidi for Best Costume design for this film which marked the comeback of Leela Naidu.

Jalwa (1987) – Starring Nasseruddin Shah, Archana Puran Singh and Pankaj Kapur and inspired by Beverly Hills Cop, the film dealt with the drug menace in the state. Directed by Pankaj Parashar, the film was a decent success at the box office, unlike the more recent Dum Maro Dum which had a similar subject. The popular title song had Archana Puran Singh dancing on the beach with Pankaj Kapur ogling at her. The film was shot in Betim and Sinquerim with an important scene on the steps of Panjim Church.

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994) – Shah Rukh Khan has shot a few films in Goa (Josh, Ra One, Chennai Express), but the first one remains the most memorable for which he even won the Filmfare Critics award for Best Performance. Even though the story was similar to another film shot in Goa, Saagar, it still remains one of the more endearing movies of the 1990s. Filmed at Fort Aguada, Colva Beach and the ruins of St. Augustine among other well-known places, the popular song Anna Mere Pyar Ko Na Tum was also shot in a place which is a unique attraction of sorts for tourists, the ferry boat.

Khamoshi (1996) – Sanjay Leela Bhansali also shot Guzaarish entirely in Goa but the film didn’t do as well as this debut film of his. With memorable performances by Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas as the deaf and mute couple, Manisha Koirala also won accolades as the lead actress. While there were scenes of Aguada Fort and the beaches, Bhansali loved the indoors even back then.

Dil Chahta Hain (2001) – Based on the experiences of director Farhan Akhtar, this hugely popular film had only a fraction set in Goa, but it had a tremendous impact on tourism in the state. The Chapora Fort is now synonymous with the film and every Indian tourist wants to go there. That particular fort scene was also splendidly captured by cinematographer Ravi K.Chandran.

Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd (2007) – Goa is a popular destination for honeymooners; a cursory glance on a flight to Goa tells you that every third couple is on their honeymoon. Directed by Reema Kagti (she assisted Farhan Akhtar on Dil Chahta Hai), the film is about six couples of different age groups and backgrounds on their honeymoon in Goa. Almost the whole film was set in Goa and shot at places like Fort Aguada, Corjuem Fort, Dona Paula and Our Lady of the Mount Chapel.

Singham (2011) – Director Rohit Shetty’s love for Goa is manifest in the fact that almost all his films are either set or shot in Goa. Along with the Golmaal series, Singham – in which Ajay Devgn plays an honest cop who takes on corrupt politicians – was set in Goa and was a huge hit. An action scene filmed at the Dona Paula jetty is one of the more memorable ones in contemporary Hindi films.

Finding Fanny (2014) – A story with Goan characters set in an imaginary local village, this movie by Homi Adjania was one of the better attempts at films deeply rooted in Goa. With most of the scenes shot in the hinterland (Divar, Socorro, Aldona), there was not a single popular landmark in the film, yet it captured wonderfully the beauty and charm of Goa’s villages.


This article was first published in Timeline GOA Magazine: Issue 1 Vol. 1 (Page 36), by Goa Timeline.


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