The Mumbai local train has, over the years, served as a backdrop in several Indian films, besides featuring prominently in an Oscar-winning Hollywood film (Slumdog Millionaire; 2008).
Now, the new talk of the town is the Mumbai Metro (it was thrown open to public on June 8). Surely, it’s only a matter of time then before it, too, features in films.
We spoke to the authorities, and they seemed more than keen at the prospect. "It’s the first and the only metro of Mumbai, and we would like to develop it as a film destination. Mumbai is the hub of Indian movies…we would like to be associated with the world of movies, of course, subject to applicable laws. While showcasing the world-class facility, we shall [also] ensure no inconvenience [is caused] to our commuters," says an MMOPL (Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd) spokesperson.
Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar
"The metro has added to the beauty of one of India’s most developed cities. As a film-maker, I’ll shoot there whenever there’s a demand for it in any of my films. While all the popular locations of the city have been featured multiple times, the metro will give a new look to the city and to our films."
Director Anees Bazmee
I definitely know that the metro will be a part of my films whenever there is an opportunity, but I hope that the cost for permissions is reasonable. We all understand that it is the city’s newest property, but the cost [of shooting there] has to suit film-makers’ budgets."
Producer Boney Kapoor
"We were the first one to shoot in the Delhi and Kolkata metro networks. I shot Khushi (2003) in Kolkata, and Bewafaa (2005) in Delhi. In both cities, the procedure for seeking permissions was the same. I hope the authorities in Mumbai will have a similar structure."
Writer-director Nishikant Kamat
"Like the Mumbai local trains, the metro, too, will surely be a part of films that feature Mumbai. But I think shooting there might start only after six months. By then, the authorities will have a clear idea of the timings and days when there will be least amount of traffic."
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai
"Any unexplored location attracts film-makers. The metro will undoubtedly be one of the most attractive destinations in Mumbai. Unlike the crowded trains and buses, the metro’s look and feel will give a new definition to the city’s transport facilities through films."