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English movie spins a maharaja mystery in idyllic Ooty

Ooty (Tamil Nadu), Feb 4 (IANS) Bollywood may still go for foreign locales but a film in English to be released in Hollywood has settled for the idyllic settings of Ooty in southern India for its entire shoot.

2008-02-04T09:50:00Z
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Ooty (Tamil Nadu), Feb 4 (IANS) Bollywood may still go for foreign locales but a film in English to be released in Hollywood has settled for the idyllic settings of Ooty in southern India for its entire shoot.

For over a fortnight, Fern Hill Palace - the summer retreat for the erstwhile maharajas of Mysore - has been the venue for filming the thriller 'Karma - One Life in Two Life Times'.

Produced by an Indian production company, Golden Tickets Private Ltd, the film will be fully shot here and will hit the screens in April. But why did the 'Karma...' crew come to Ooty?

'It could not have been any other place. Ooty is so beautiful and perfectly fits in our story,' said Sanjiv Potnis, a co-producer of the film.

'Karma...' is a mystery tale of reincarnation in which a former maharaja's American daughter-in-law unravels her bloody tryst with Ooty in her previous life.

As the film centres on the American daughter-in-law of an Indian royal, the alluring Fern Hill Palace, with over two centuries of colonial history, was an 'ideal choice'.

The British built the majestic palace in the 1840s and Chamarajendra Wodeyar X of Mysore bought it three decades later. The heirs of the Mysore maharaja converted the palace into a heritage hotel in 1970s.

The 'Karma' makers, especially its director Shah Jahan, zeroed in on Ooty and Fern Hill also because 'it's cleaner and quieter' than other possible locales such as Shimla.

'People of Ooty are so nice and cooperative. And we will be able to finish the shooting by middle of February,' added Potnis.

The film crew, particularly the American actors, Carl Weyant and Alma Sarcassi, who play the maharajah's son and daughter-in-law, seem to be savouring every moment of their month-long shoot.

Weyant feels Hollywood should explore the beauty of Ooty. The film producers have roped in Italian cinematographer, Lucio Chemonese, to capture the beauty of the place.

Nestled in the rolling Nilgiri hills of the Western Ghats at a dizzying height of over 6,500 ft above sea level, Ooty was a favourite haunt of the Hindi and southern Indian film industry till the 1980s.

However, the Indian film industry's obsession with foreign settings took the sheen off Ooty. Hindi super hits like 'Saajan' and several films of Bollywood actor Mithun Chakrabarthy, who owns a hotel here, have been shot in this hill station.

And now Ooty, it appears, is ready for a fresh round of romance with the film industry.


Sheen 


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