From ‘Masaan’ to ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, 10 Bollywood films set in small towns

A taste of small-town India in 10 Bollywood films that struck a chord with audience


Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Jolly LLB 2’ is the latest example of Bollywood’s affinity towards narratives set in small towns.
Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Jolly LLB 2’ is the latest example of Bollywood’s affinity towards narratives set in small towns.

New Delhi: Akshay Kumar-starrer Jolly LLB 2 that opened to Rs13.20 crore on Friday is the latest example of Bollywood’s affinity towards narratives set in small towns, major portions of the film having been shot in Lucknow. Here are 10 other Hindi movies that swapped fancy metros and exotic foreign locations for a taste of small-town India.

1. Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015): Director Sharad Katariya’s debut was the story of a mismatched couple set in Haridwar. The Ayushmann Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar-starrer earned the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, besides Rs30 crore in box-office collections.

2. Masaan (2015): Neeraj Ghaywan’s directorial debut was set in Varanasi, following two separate stories that ultimately converge. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival winning two awards and earned Rs3 crore in box-office collections.

3. Raanjhanaa (2013): Dhanush played an obsessive, small-town lover to Sonam Kapoor in director Aanand L. Rai’s romantic drama set in Varanasi. The film collected Rs60 crore at the box office.

4. Shuddh Desi Romance (2013): The Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor-starrer was a take on modern relationships and commitment phobia set in Jaipur. Directed by Maneesh Sharma, the romantic comedy earned Rs46 crore in box-office collections.

5. Kai Po Che! (2013): Based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel The 3 Mistakes of My Life, the Abhishek Kapoor directed film was set in Ahmedabad. Starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkummar Rao and Amit Sadh in lead roles, the film netted Rs49 crore in box-office collections.

6. Lootera (2013): The period romance starring Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha was set in Dalhousie besides the small West Bengal town of Manikpur. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, it made Rs29 crore at the box office.

7. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012): Anurag Kashyap’s two-part crime drama series was centered on the coal mafia of Dhanbad, Jharkhand. The ensemble cast included Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Richa Chadda, Huma Qureshi, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Pankaj Tripathi and the two films made Rs25 crore and Rs22 crore, respectively.

8. Tanu Weds Manu (2011): Director Aanand L.Rai’s cult romantic comedy was set in Kanpur and starred R. Madhavan, Kangana Ranaut and Jimmy Shergill in lead roles. The film made Rs38 crore at the box office and spawned a hugely successful sequel called Tanu Weds Manu Returns that released in 2015.

9. Udaan (2010): Vikramaditya Motwane’s coming-of-age drama on the tumultuous relationship between a father and son was set in Jamshedpur. Starring Rajat Barmecha and Ronit Roy in lead roles, it made Rs 3 crore at the box office.

10. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008): Set in Amritsar, Aditya Chopra’s romantic comedy featured Shah Rukh Khan and then-debutante Anushka Sharma. It made more than Rs84 crore in box-office collections.

All figures have been sourced from movie website Bollywood Hungama.

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