|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.