Set against Lucknow's scenic backdrop, these 17 films talk of hard-hitting social realities!
People, the wait is over. We're here with Part 2 of the 'films shot in Lucknow' segment, diving deeper into the relationship long prospering between the City of Nawabs and Cinema!
Here's a reminder of how the architectural landmarks, rich history and culture of the city continue to attract filmmakers. Additionally, the government offers subsidies for films shot in Lucknow, only adding to its charm. Peruse through this list of movies and series, based on social issues, that featured various locations of the Uttar Pradesh capital:
The progressive film, Thappad, shook the society when it was released in 2020. Shot in Lucknow, while featuring areas like Jahangirabad Palace, among others, the movie challenged conventional norms of a familial situation where it is always the wife sacrificing for the other members - whether it is her dreams or self-respect.
Satyameva Jayate 2 (2021)
Satyameva Jayate 2, the John Abraham-starrer, touches upon subjects like vigilante killings, cases of injustice and more. The film showcased numerous shots of the streets of Lucknow, its heritage structures, havelis and schools in the city.
Pagglait, a highly gripping tale about a widow on the journey of self-discovery, questions patriarchy and the innumerable societal expectations that a woman carries. With principal photography in the city, the film features Lucknow Metro and more places.
Article 15 (2019)
The hard-hitting social drama, Article 15, set in the heart of Lucknow, sheds light on crucial societal issues like caste-based discrimination ingrained in the minds of the people and related crimes in rural India.
Shot in Lucknow, and featuring areas like Gomti Riverfront, the satirical dark comedy Bala created a stir when it released. With its social messages, splendid direction and writing, the protagonist faces society discriminating him on the basis of physical appearance over other accomplishments.
Raising voice against an ardent issue like Islamophobia, the Anubhav Sinha-directed film Mulk was filmed across Lucknow. Though not a box office hit, the film was praised across the globe for its story, hard-hitting dialogues questioning the society attacking one community, and a splendid cast.
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl (2020)
Inspired by the real-life Indian Air Force fighter pilot Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is one empowering film for women across the globe. Born in Lucknow, Saxena is one of the first females to fly in a combat zone. The film was mainly shot in the city to build its base.
The Pankaj Tripathi-starrer, a satirical comedy, revolves around a common man declared dead in government records and who faces numerous obstacles to corroborate his existence. Kaagaz: A True Success Story of a Dead Man, highlighting discrimination, workspace issues and struggles of a common man, had Lucknow set in its backdrop.
Lucknow Central (2017)
This eponymous prison drama unfolds against the backdrop of Lucknow, showcasing its unique blend of culture and modernity. The thriller Lucknow Central, with its soulful music, is based on a real story and revolves around five men who've been imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit. They decide to escape with a 'prison musical'.
Umrao Jaan (1981)
Predominantly shot in Lucknow, with certain parts in Malihabad and Faizabad, Umrao Jaan is one such ageless film where the cultural backdrops of the city still leave its spectators awed. The age-old, with its renowned cast, conveys the story of a 'tawaif', with kothas of prostitution in the days.
Jolly LLB 2 (2017)
A comedic satire, Jolly LLB 2 is an interesting depiction of the Indian judicial system and brushes upon subjects of corruption, power and more. The legal courtroom drama was shot at numerous locations in Lucknow and Kanpur.
A Suitable Boy (2020)
The drama series, A Suitable Boy, based on Vikram Seth's 1993 novel of the same name, holds a mirror to the society of the time. Set in a post-independent India, this Mira Nair-series was predominantly shot in Lucknow.
Shaadi Me Zaroor Aana (2017)
Even though a rom-com with typical desi romance, Shaadi Me Zaroor Aana stresses on answering narratives around women's education and societal expectations from them and corruption for a major part in the film. Some of its segments have been set in the Uttar Pradesh capital, including the jogging around Gomti Riverfront and its baraat scenes.
In the guise of a culinary adventure and romantic interests, Daawat-e-Ishq hints at the harsh reality of dowry and its repercussions. The film also begins with a disclaimer, "a bride is burnt every hour in our country over dowry". It was predominantly shot in Lucknow, featuring places like The Residency, Rumi Darwaza, Ambedkar Memorial Park,
With issues like Islamophobia touched upon by Anwar, this 2007-film might not have worked on the box office but entranced all with one its songs. Some of its beautiful scenes, too, take place in Lucknow, Kakori and Bakshi Ka Talab.
On the face, the film is a modern Romeo-Juliet tale with undying love becoming immortal towards the end, however, Ishaqzaade touches upon topics like political rivalry, social stigmas, religious disparity and more. It also featured Old Lucknow majorly, with scenes shot in Chowk.
Hinting on issues like corruption, poverty, money swindling, among others, Raid portrays the honest Income Tax officer, played by Ajay Devgn, and his tale of fighting against defaulters. He raids the mansion of a powerful man in Lucknow, thus, based in the city itself.