25 Indian films where design takes center stage

Bahubali 1 and 2

The magician behind the greatness of Bahubali 1 and 2, Saby Cyril, was tasked with creating an Indian empire unlike any previous kingdom. Set nearly 300-500 years ago, the Devasena Kingdom, surrounding villages and water bodies spread over 3-5 acres of land were created as models by the art department and concept artists, followed by expansions added by the VFX team, including adding the appropriate textures, lighting and details.

Read also : This Ahmedabad bungalow is a great example of a minimal yet warm abode

Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022)

The last feather in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s cap, Gangubai Kathiawadi, recreated the Mumbai of the 1950s and 1960s in the most dynamic way. The most important part of the film takes place in the red-light district of Kamathipura in South Mumbai, which includes art deco elements, wooden structures, murals and paintings. SLB relied heavily on his childhood memories of Bombay to recreate this architectural masterpiece – from brothels to cafes, shops, cinemas and mosques.

Padmavat (2018)

The harrowing story was brought to life by Sanjay Leela Bhansali in collaboration with production designers Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray. The story of bravery and sacrifice in the 17th century was depicted in three important places: Allaudin Khilji’s Palace, Chittor’s Palace and the battlefield. Each location had its own character, drawing inspiration from Persian architecture in terms of frescoes and carvings in Khilji’s abode, in contrast to Chittor Palace’s acute depiction of Rajasthani architecture, including beautiful bay windows on Havelis and stone carvings.

Sawariya (2007)

The architectural atmosphere of Sawariya was exquisite. Art director Omung Kumar created the fantasy world with a blue theme. The romantic town with its lakes, streets, shops and antique clock towers was a sight to behold and also included elements such as carved stone pillars, domes, arches and dim lighting. This fairy tale backdrop brought out the creator’s unique imagination and enhanced the storyline and performance.

Guzarish (2010)

The sets, costumes and music of Guzarish were the pillars of the unusual story of an ancient quadriplegic magician. The film’s sets were regal but did not overpower the characters’ screen presence. Designing Wizard Ethan’s house with vintage items and antiques enhanced his experience and resonated well with audiences. One of the film’s most iconic segments, illustrated in the song “udi teri aankhon se”, takes place in a cafe with dim lighting and artistic paintings with a detailed idol backdrop.

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