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By Sudharshan

“As I came down the Highgate Hill I met the sun's bravado, and saw below me, fold on fold, Grey to pearl and pearl to gold, This London like a land of old, The land of Eldorado.”

Not only did Henry Howarth Bashford see the beauty of London, many directors from Kollywood too did. When the whole world celebrates Paris as its romantic capital, K-town directors are looking at London as the most romantic city. London is not just a romantic city; it is a place filled with real action. The evergreen fictional action heroes Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson belong to this great city. The world’s most criminal minds lie at the Scotland Yard.

The city is too diverse to be characterized by a particular style. The Buckingham Palace, the Thames, the great London Tower Bridge above it and St Paul’s Cathedral give a vintage look to the city, where as the Gherkin, Canary Wharf and the Wembley Way are modern miracles in the architectural front. This diversity in appearance is what is attracting the filmmakers from around the world.

Lately, many film makers from Kollywood are finding London as both suitable and attractive location for their films. AL Vijay directed Thaandavam, was shot for 65 days in the location. This is the longest schedule for a Tamil film in London. Thaandavam, which has action and romance as its two main ingredients will have the major part of the story happening at this city. The makers of the film kept bragging about the wonderfully crafted song sequence between Vikram and Amy Jackson in the magnificent city. “London offered wonderful locations and memorable experience to all of us,” said UTV’s Dhananjayan Govind.

Another example is the recent film Marupadiyum Oru Kadhal. Though not a very well crafted film, director Vasu Baskar had chosen the location to create the required romantic feel. Considering that it is a ‘Kadhal Kottai’ like film, where the couple loves each other without even seeing each other, the film could have been made in New York, Paris or even in Chennai, but Vasu didn’t.

Mirattal, another upcoming action film, starring Vinai Rai and Sharmila Mandre in the lead has been shot in the city. The makers are blowing their own horns that a high intensity action sequence was shot at the most exotic spots of London including the streets around the Buckingham Palace, the London Tower Bridge, Oxford University Aerodrome, London Airport and the University of East London campus. They also boast of utilizing high end cameras and a chopper for the shoot.

One big schedule of Rajinikanth’s upcoming magnum opus Kochadaiyaan was shot in the city, though mainly for the infrastructure available there. But this doesn’t cast off the probability of London being the favorite for the Kollywood directors. Though UK gives a film rebate of up to 25% for filming in their country, it wouldn’t be fair to say that our film makers go there just to avail it. It cannot be denied that London does give a romantic feel as well creates a mood for good action. It sure is a good find by our filmmakers and we hope to see more of such exotic locales.

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