2018 was the year to quench your wanderlust. You could have gone to Jakarta to cheer on the Indian contingent at the Asian Games or to the largest sporting extravaganza in the world, the FIFA World Cup, in Russia. If you aren't a sports fanatic, Ladakh's Naropa Festival and the Rann Utsav in Kutch were some alluring alternatives. But, we get it if sports and culture do not make your list of interests. For those of you though who happen to be Bollywood aficionados, here are a list of films that will inspire you to travel.
Thugs of Hindostan (Malta)
An untapped location in Bollywood, the island nation of Malta first came into limelight through HBO's popular fantasy Game of Thrones. A visually stunning magical world is created in the backdrop of beautiful Maltese architecture, culture, and gorgeous water-bodies. Located in the central Mediterranean between the Italian island of Sicily and the North African coast, there are a host of places to visit in Malta. The island of Comino in particular, which is home of the famed Blue Lagoon, is a limestone islet and bird sanctuary with its turquoise colored water offers a glamorous sight.
Sanju (South Africa)
I can recount the time when "Kar Har Maidan Fateh" would blast through my headphones on repeat non-stop. The song showcasing Sanjay Dutt's battle with drugs exhibits Ranbeer Kapoor traversing through some unbelievable locations. In one scene, we see Kapoor, portraying Dutt, have a confrontation with his dead mother's image on top of the Tabletop Mountain in Cape Town. What you see is a breathtaking view of the South African capital city with Sukhwinder Singh's soul stirring voice adds a new dimension not only to the song and Kapoor's character, but also the locations through which he travels through.
Race 3 (Thailand & Abu Dhabi)
I doubt many of you watched this film, unless you happen to be a "Bhai" fan. Nonetheless, this Salman Khan venture is sure worth a shot only for its location. From Pattaya's gorgeous beach which is where Salman dances to a peppy number to the sky-scrappers of Abu Dhabi, there is just so much to be left awestruck by - only location wise - in this Remo D'Souza directed film.
Directed by Akarsh Khuranna, a self-described Kerala junkie, Karwaan is a road film depicting the journey of three characters from Bangalore to Coimbatore to Kochi. Treading into the unknowns of Bollywood films, Khuranna explores God's own country to its full extent. From the beautiful roads weaving themselves through the lush greens of Kerala to the traditions of Kochi, the cinematography of the film explores the nook and cranny of this charming South Indian state.
A film dedicated to sports enthusiasts, Mukkabaaz was a piece of genius from Anurag Kashyap. With tantalizing sequence, we see the life of a boxer from Uttar Pradesh entering his prime. While he continues to knockout competition, he isn't allowed to compete nationally due to his caste. In search of success, Shravan Singh, played by Vineet Kumar Singh, comes to India's holy city of Varanasi. We see the bustling streets of this sacred city, the banks of the Ganges River and temples that make the city special. We witness the austerity of life in the city as the song "Paintra" enters its climax with its unrelenting speed of beats.
Batti Gul Meter Chalu (Tehri, Uttrakhand & Khatling Glacier)
A film venturing into inflating electricity bills, this Shahid Kapoor film comes from the Land of the Gods, Uttarakhand. We see the curvy, wriggly mountainous roads of the hilly region with a backdrop of the gorgeous Garhwal mountains. While the movie fails to hit the mark, the setting is absolutely mind-boggling and will make you want to go there right away. The indescribable Khatling Glaciers are a marvelous gift from Mother Nature and supremely mystifying.