Mumbai seems to be a city that fills in several dreams and desires in one’s heart - yes, all for the love of the cine industry. Thousands of people visit the Maximum City every day! Some walk by sea, some spot their favourite star and get a picture with them. But do you wonder where these films are shot, for not every film comes from exotic foreign locations.
If the idea of seeing those 70s sets and Mughal era settings give you goosebumps, Bollywood-Theme Park seems to be a must-visit for you and your filmy gang.
Divided into three zones, the Bollywood theme park has over 12 film sets starting from Mughal-E-Azam to a glimpse of South Indian temples such as in Meenakshi Sundareshwar, along with the four-seater Golmaal bike and 3 Idiots’ iconic butt chair.
While the entire trip involves click-worthy sets, the zones cover costume trials, live entertaining shows, an artist studio for audio-visual productions, wax museum, 7D film screening and a cafeteria along with a huge wall of fame at the entrance boasting some of the superhit films of Hindi cinema.
The gate to your B'town dream
Indianised version of the Egyptian entry gate | Swarna Srikanth/FPJ
As you enter, you are transported to Egypt with a huge golden entrance welcoming you to a dreamland. The Indianised version of this Egyptian gate reminds you of movies like The Great Gambler, Jeans, Kabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham, Maine Dil Tujhko Diya, Singh Is King, and many more. This also carries symbols of the scenes shot on the backdrop of the Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza.
Conceptualised and designed by Narendra Rahurikar, a senior production designer, the place is built to give glimpses of Bollywood at one place. “Films have fascinated me since childhood. I was drawn to Mumbai's enigma,” says Rahurikar, who has designed sets for movies like Chennai Express, Singham and the Golmaal series among many others.
Dress up and pose
Time to steal Deepika Padukone's look from Bajirao Mastani | Swarna Srikanth/FPJ
If you dream to wear your favourite Manish Malhotra Sari, or the Bajirao Mastani dress and Amitabh Bachchan's iconic Shehenshah costume, spend some time here. You can wear those original costumes and feel like the Maharaja-Maharani. From appreciating the aesthetically designed wall paintings to beholding the sight of the chandeliers, one could feel being present into the era of riches and royals. In addition, the realistic well-built Rajasthan palace with traditional jharokhas holds all the potential to give you royal vibes.
Behind the scenes
VFX and folly artist Prathamesh Shivnekar hints us on green-screen chroma key | Swarna Srikanth/FPJ
Lights, camera, action! If these words fascinate you, this audio-visual and VFX zone is for you. The place provides an opportunity for students who want to learn the art behind creating mesmerising visual and sound effects on screen.
Did you know that Allu Arjun’s massive hit film Pushpa had its popular fight scene shot and edited via chroma key? Or the footsteps of Bahubali's horse were matched with a coconut shell during the post-production? Not spilling the beans here, once you visit the Bollywood theme park, Video Editor and Folly Artist Prathamesh Shivnekar would guide you through how films take help of green-screen and more - with a practical fun experience. Shivnekar reveals that aspiring models, influencers and others may also use the studio and premise to get their individual photoshoots done.
Next, you step into the destination for a small singing stint. Vishal Bagal, who champions the art of sound mixing will give you a sneak-peek behind music recording. You can also check your singing talent here as Vishal motivates you saying, "Sing like a star, all the best…”
Spend some music time with Sound Engineer Vishal Bagal in the recording room | Swarna Srikanth/FPJ
The studio is set amidst a huge display of Ajanta Ellora caves, a set representing the South Indian setting and Delhi Darbar to elevate the beauty of the palace.
Eat, play, repeat
Military themed cafe' | Swarna Srikanth/FPJ
By now, you would have already spent at least two hours exploring this majestic filmy setting. And if you crave for some food, head to the in-house military-themed cafeteria. This comes as a tribute to the bravehearts. You can try their veg grill cheese sandwich, samosa pav, veg manchurian along with a relishing cup of coffee or tea.
The time for 7D experience
It’s time for some thrills and chills with an eight minute 7D movie which takes you on either horror or adventurous journey - the movies are played on an alternate basis. A walk a little further, you are meeting your favourite stars. Not literally! but their waxes - you are allowed to take pictures here. Next up in the museum is late comedian Raju Srivastava's wax. Don’t miss the chance to sit on the KBC hotseat with Amitabh Bachchan and click a selfie with Jadoo from Hrithik Roshan's Koi... Mil Gaya.
We are told that there will be a 360 degree theatre coming up next year.
KBC feel in wax museum | Swarna Srikanth/FPJ
Bollywood Theme Park is located in Film City, Goregaon and can be reached via gate number 1. Tickets: INR 1,000. Book online.