When Chandni released in 1989, it put Switzerland's beautiful locales in the imagination of common Indians. While it was not the first film to be shot there, Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor dancing at the backdrop of Swiss mountains did wonders for the country's tourism in the subsequent years. Now, the Swiss authorities are planning to install a statue of the veteran actor who passed away in Dubai in February this year. "Considering Sridevi's role in promoting tourism here, there is a proposal to honour the actor by having her statue here," a senior official familiar with the development said, as mentioned in agency reports.
The statue will be the second one, after renowned filmmaker Yash Chopra's that was unveiled in Interlaken in 2016. "Many of Chopra's films featured Switzerland as a backdrop and he is credited with boosting the popularity of the Alpine nation among Indian tourists," the official said.
In 2011, Yash Chopra was also awarded the honorary title of Ambassador of Interlaken by the government of Interlaken. A train is also named after him. "Chopra's last movie as a director- Jab Tak Hai Jaan also had Switzerland in its original screenplay however it had to be cancelled due to his sudden demise. There is also a lake which is known as Yash Chopra Lake here as he shot many of his scenes at the lake in Lauenensee," the official said.
The first Indian movie to be shot in Switzerland was Raj Kapoor's Sangam in 1964. It was followed by An Evening in Paris in 1967. Following that Switzerland became the most sought-after foreign location for Indian filmmakers. It seared Switzerland's image as the romantic paradise in every Indian's mind. One of the most popular movies to be shot in Switzerland was Yash Chopra's blockbuster hit Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge in 1995.
"However, for many Indian tourists visiting the country today, it is Chopra's 1995 production Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge that is their Swiss point of reference. Interestingly, for the tourists who happen to be cinema fanatics, there is also a provision to arrange Bollywood packaged trips here," the official said.
(With PTI inputs; edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)