Dream Girl to Gulabo Sitabo: Ayushmann Khurrana’s love affair with India’s heartland continues

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Ayushmann Khurrana is gearing up for the release of his upcoming film Gulabo Sitabo on Amazon Prime Video on June 12. Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the actor will be sharing the screen with Bollywood’s legend Amitabh Bachchan for the first time. Shot in Lucknow, it will Ayushmann’s sixth film to have been set in the backdrop of India’s heartland. The actor, born and brought up in Chandigarh, has managed to get the UP ka andaaz in each of his films.  

Here’s a look at a list of his films that were shot in Uttar Pradesh:

Bareilly Ki Barfi

The 2017 romantic comedy film by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari saw Ayushmann as local printing press-owner Chirag Dubey who goes from white to grey so effortlessly that the audience stay invested in him. “Thukraaye huye aashiq ki kabhi haay mat lena," says Ayushmann, Bareilly's local bully, who helps two lovers find their love in the bylanes of the city, keeping up with the rowdy accent and unparalleled swag. 

Recommended Read: Gulabo Sitabo: When Ayushmann Khurrana finally broke Amitabh Bachchan's 'Deewar'; watch BTS video

 

But the interesting part is, Ayushmann's five back-to-back releases between 2019-2020 were based out of UP!

 

Article 15

Released in 2019, Article 15 was shot in UP’s Lucknow - the city of Nawabs. Ayushmann plays a Delhi-based IPS officer Ayan Ranjan who is posted to Lalgaon as the ASP. The film is based on the true events of honor killing. The actor had revealed that for one scene, the team had to shoot in a swamp filled with leeches. “Anubhav Sinha hum aapke liye khoon bahane ko tayaar hain,” said Ayushmann.

 

Dream Girl

Ayushmann was seen acing the Mathura dialect in Dream Girl, in which his character impersonates the female voice that also lands him a job. The actor shot in the patli galis, temples, and the ghats of Mathura. During the shooting, he shared many Instagram stories chronicling his Mathura days and anecdotal behind-the-scenes shots, giving a beautiful glimpse into the simple and endearing life of a small town.

 

Bala

Ayushmann’s satirical comedy was shot not just in one, but two cities of Uttar Pradesh - Lucknow and Kanpur. He plays a young Kanpuriya guy Balamukund ‘Bala’ Shukla who suffers from premature baldness. The versatile actor nailed the Kanpuriya accent with ease when he says dialogues like, “Itni zor se maarenge ki ek baar tippa kha ke seedhe Phoolbagh pahonchoge!”

 

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

Ayushmann’s last release, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (SMZS), tells the story of two people from the LGBTQ community who are facing trouble in convincing their families of their relationship. The film was shot in Varanasi. SMZS gives small-town parents a much-needed nudge to accept their children for who they are beyond the parameters of their sexuality. 

Gulabo Sitabo

Coming up next is soon-to-be-released Gulabo Sitabo. The film marks Ayushmann’s consecutive fifth film to be shot in UP. For this film, Ayushmann once again landed in the city of Nawabs, aadabs and old-world charm. Set in Lucknow, the film sees Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann constantly bickering for a haveli. The film, which is soon releasing on Amazon Prime Video, is based on the popular state folklore about two puppets, Gulabo and Sitabo, who were always at loggerheads. 

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