Bollywood in Bruges


'PK' (‘Peekay’), the first Bollywood production filmed in Belgium, has its première today in Belgian cinemas. The whole of the first quarter of this romantic comedy is set in Bruges. Locations like the Bruges Market, the Minnewaterpark, the 'reien' (famous Bruges canals), the Sint-Gillis-and Sint-Anna quarters all feature in 'PK’.

The picturesque Bruges inner town proved the ideal setting for the production team of top Indian director Rajkumar Hirani. The director was looking for a town with canals, cobblestones and a concert hall, for recording a romantic musical scene. Thanks to a tip off and only after travelling hundreds of kilometres and visiting other places, including Paris, Krakow, Venice, Berlin and Vienna, did the makers discover Bruges. “This place had an innocent charm. Something we found nowhere else. I was enchanted by the picturesque architecture, landscape, the ancient historic backdrop and the magnificently refreshing surroundings.”

Bruges is a textbook example of Flanders in the middle ages and is one of the most important tourist destinations in the area, attracting more than 4 million visitors each year. The town has numerous buildings, churches, museums and art collections from the middle ages. The compact town centre can be discovered easily on foot. One classic tourist activity is a boat trip on the canals or a tour through the town in a pony and trap. The historic centre of Bruges is listed among the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. The numerous canals which traverse the town give her the nickname 'Venice of the North."

PK is a romantic film which tells the love story of the  Indian student Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) who stays in Bruges during her film studies. One day she meets the love of her life, the Pakistani Sarfaraz (Sushan Singh Rajput). The difference in their backgrounds and origin creates many obstacles. The couple want to marry, but this does not go quite according to plan and Jaggu returns to India. On her return to India she meets PK (Aamir Khan), an alien. PK has never seen a human before and has many questions about this world that is so alien to him. PK attracts Jaggu's attention and together they go looking for the answers to his questions.

PK is a top production: actress Anushka Sharma and her counterpart Sushant Singh Rajput are well known and acclaimed Bollywood stars.

The first clip, the love song 'Chaar Kadam' ('4 steps'), was launched on YouTube on 21 November and has, in the meantime, been watched 800,000 times. Since this is  all recorded in Bruges, the town could not think of better publicity. Last week the 'making of' the film in Bruges was also put on you tube.

It is not the first time that Bruges plays an important role in a film. In 2008 there was 'In Bruges' from director Martin McDonagh with cast including Colin Farrell.