Shah Rukh Khan’s film Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) was released in 1995. It was the highest-grossing Indian film of the year and went on to become one of the most successful Indian films in history. Even after 25 years, the film is still being shown at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai. But not many know that a ‘Bond’ film has been running for 30 years now. Scroll down to know more.
Back in 1983, the Hollywood blockbuster British spy film and the thirteenth in the James Bond series Octopussy was released. The film starred Roger Moore, Kabir Bedi and former Indian tennis ace Vijay Amritraj. Some of the scenes in the film were shot in Udaipur.
It has been more than 30 years and the film is being screened daily at about 25 cafes around Lake Pichola every evening to attract tourists. It is being shown for free of charge in rooftop restaurants and cafes that are situated along Lake Pichola.
Deccan Herald report even quoted Ashiana Café’s manager Manoj Pareek as saying, “For last 20 years, I am screening the movie. Tourists come here every day to enjoy the movie over a couple of drinks. For them, it’s a wonderful experience that takes them to the 1980s when the entire crew camped in Udaipur to shoot the movie (James Bond: Octopussy). Mostly foreigners come here to watch the movie and the number of domestic tourists has always been negligible.”
Owner of Sunrise Restaurant and Café, Karan Rathore said, “Many times the café is overcrowded with tourists while sometimes the film is screened for hardly one or two. But once we start the movie it is never interrupted even if a big group of tourists express their wish to see it from the beginning.”
Several tourists visit all the locations where the movie was filmed in Udaipur. The guides in the historical city also often describe the incidents that happened some three decades ago to tourists. A tourist guide named Brajraj Singh said, “First you see the location in the movie and then you see them, in reality, the next day. It’s a thrilling experience. After watching the movie, a maximum number of tourists want to visit the market area near Jagdish Mandir where James Bond is chased by Kabir in an autorickshaw and Vijay Amritraj helps the Bond to escape.”
Cafes and restaurants in Udaipur began showing James Bond: Octopussy as a mark of pride because it was the first Indian city shown in a Bond film. Over the years, the pride has become an identity and USP for the local businesses in the city. Even though the number of tourists dropped visiting the cafes and restaurants, they continue to screen the film.