A Blog on Cinema

Why film abroad?


Dileep and Kavya Madhavan

Most Malayalam movie songs are filmed on location in either Kerala, Ooty, Kodaikanal or the recent favourite Pollachi. Thus Malayalam film industry did not join their brothers and sisters in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu movies who go and dance on the streets of various foreign countries, embarassing everyone in the process. The most recent Malayalam movie which violated this was Kamal’s Swapnakoodu, which had a few songs filmed in Europe.

“We had a story board for the two songs and we chose Vienna as no Malayalam film has been shot there. We had shot the songs in Vienna Old city, Salsburg, Meeraben gardens, Visionbrun palace and other places”. But unfortunately the much-hyped song picturisation in Vienna too did not help to create any overall positive impact [SWAPNAKOODU: Kamal’s bitter pill]

The location had nothing to do with the story and using this technique Kamal fell to depths only seen by Hindi film directors. Then this trend was picked up by Joshi (aka Joshiy) and Dileep. The energetic song, Shavaa Shavaa (Afsal, Sunitha Sarathy, Suresh Peters), in the film Runway was filmed abroad with Dileep and Kavya Madhavan dancing in the streets of Thailand and the beaches of Phuket. While other language heroines are scantily dressed in such scenes, since Kavya does not expose like other Malayali heroines, she remained dressed conservatively in the song.

Maybe the people of Thailand have passed a law banning the entry of these two in their country that for the new movie Lion, Dileep and Kavya Madhavan have moved to New Zealand. Apparently it was a “dream honeymoon song” and so it makes complete sense to picturize it in New Zealand.

When there are so many beautiful locations in India (watch any Mani Ratnam movie), why go abroad for picturization? With serials running on various channels, the family story no longer works on the big screen. Even if there are family stories, they all revolve around the All Sacrificing BrotherTM script. To make some money the trend seems to be to produce entertainers and this song picturization abroad is part of that strategy.

To borrow a mathematical concept, as limit of Malayalam movies approaches Hindi movies, we may seen more and more songs and stories being picturized abroad.


  1. The question is that malayalam films have been said to be the low budget without all the fancies of hindi films also tamil films normally have. But i feel someone will make the difference by making a movie with big budget and shooting in other countries so its not that a bad idea

  2. karthiksn,

    we are not againt shooting abroad. this technique of just shooting some songs abroad is just an irritation as it does not blend with the story. (most songs filmed inside India also don’t blend with the story, that is a separate issue).

    the goal of malayalam cinema should not be to imitate tamil/hindi cinema which cater to people with different tastes, but instead come up with something much more creative.

    if malayalam movies were the only ones around, this technique would have worked. but with the proliferation of other language channels, people can see bigger budgets tamil and hindi movies with excellent picturization abroad. so the uniqueness factor is also not there.

  3. i understand wat u say but u see most of the songs in films are placed uselessly so if u can put it uselessly atleast make it look that is my point of view and i wud not definately want malayalam films to go like hindi and tamil films(i watch all three of these language pictures). I belive story wise malalam films are lot better compared to hindi films

  4. Filming songs in foreign locales have become a craze amongst film makers of late. Dont know, if it is the crazy idea of a producer who feels that his movie will have a great glossy look if the songs are filmed outside, or if it is the idea of the directors and the all mighty heroes, who want to visit a foreign location at the cost of a man who unfortunately had to place all his hard earned money in making a film. We had movies being shot in foreign countries earlier days also, but it was made in such a way that the need of the foreign country was needed. As per the story then, the protagonist of the movie had to go there to earn or something like that and so a foreign location. Many movies were made in the gulf and the united states of america. But now in the name of shooting songs in foreign locations, our heroes and heroines are made the biggest comedians as they dance all of a sudden in a road junction or in front of a building that has no importance for people there. And these are the locations, ‘the art director and the director finalize after a lot of search’.. what a joke!! You can see people staring at them as if ‘here is another group dancing to make money’!! Thanks to our indian film making, many a street dancing and street music groups have lost their only way of making money!!

  5. Unnikrishnan,


    Imagine the plight of the natives of these countries. They might be on their way to regular grocery shopping and you see Dileep and Kavya in eastman color dresses dancing their way to glory. The image of India as a developed country needs no other advertisments.

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