That's a no-brainer since Chicago is dubbed The Windy City. That should be the first clue that Bollywood movies would be right at home here. Think of all the staff you can save money on, now that they are not required to sit around operating fans in front of the hero and heroine for every important shot. That cuts flight, accommodations and meals for at least two staff (one for the hero and one for the heroine) that can be left at home.
- No Pankha-wale needed - CHECK
Sure, there's always the danger of some Marilyn Monroe-ish accident happening to the heroine's dress, but that only means they will have to wear saris or very tight (possibly short) skirts, and both options seem perfectly suitable to me.
- Shiny expensive looking apartment with great view that the hero could never afford in real life? - CHECK
All these people would provide the ideal white crowd dancing to Indian music for the first chorus. And if going for the more traditional look (though really, who does these days?), Chicago has plenty of Desis that would be more than happy to oblige.
The second chorus would of course move here because how cool would it be to have a Bollywood dance reflected in the Bean? I can't imagine anything more badass!
The third chorus could have people breaking away on the edge of the park:
Meanwhile the hero and heroine are flirting on the bridge:
Then we move on to one of the numerous cafes and restaurants for the next scene. Perfect! What next?
I am picturing the romantic song of the film starting with this shot...
- Romantic settings? - CHECK
...and ending with this one (because I love symmetry and so does Bollywood)...
...while in between some lovey dovey (no pun intended) moments here...
and of course here:
That just-married couple kissing on the divider is the perfect example of why this setting would work wonderfully.
Hero and heroine meet or part ways, or see family off, or mope for their lost love. Or if it's not a love story (hey, it's possible, don't nay-say it), this is where they would take the train every morning to go to their multi-million dollar company, before they teach us a lesson about honest work... or something like that...
- Train stations? - CHECK
|Not my picture this time, so credit to the these guys for this one.|
Of course there are also many highways overlooking the city as well as fancy bridges to complete the outside shots, so no need to worry about that at all.
Chicago boasts a bountiful Indian neighbourhood where delicious food can be ordered for the cast and crew and in the event of the heroine's salwar-kameez getting ripped or her fragile bangles getting broken, anything can be resupplied easily.
- Last minute needs? - CHECK
Well... I tried to picture a South Indian movie in Chicago, but somehow the image of a truck full of rowdies waving machetes in the air while chasing the hero just didn't look right impressed over the architectural perfection of this intersection... Eh?
- South Indian films too? - Quick! UNCHECK!
But that's ok because I remembered that I owe myself a post about my absolute favourite tropes in SI films, and the truck of rowdies is at the top of that list, so it will get its due soon enough.
Of course, the truth is I prefer Indian movies shot in India, but with so many NRIs all over the world, I can appreciate the need to branch out and offer milieus that are more familiar to the NRIs and look exotic for the people back home. So in that spirit, and all jokes aside, here's hoping for the next Bollywood movie filmed in America to feature one of my favorite cities around here.
ETA: I probably should specify that my petition is requesting films to be shot in Chicago and recognize it as Chicago. Chicago posing as New York doesn't count, just like Toronto posing for New York doesn't count. I want them to show the city in all its glory, not to shoot in unrecognizable corners and hope they will get away with it. Just in case that needed clarifying...