For some filmmakers, locations are merely a pretty backdrop for their story. But some truly know how to showcase a location as a character, adding more to the story and the lives of the characters. Zoya Akhtar is one such filmmaker.
After exploring the fun and colorful vibes of Spain through the ZNMD filming locations, Zoya Akhtar’s next was about a high-society dysfunctional family pretending to be happy on a cruise holiday. Dil Dhadakne Do was shot mostly at the sea, on a cruise and across the gorgeous locales of Turkey.
Dil Dhadakne Do
Dil Dhadakne Do is a story of the rich and affluent Mehra’s and the dynamics of their relationships, that unfold during a cruise holiday.
On the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary, Kamal and Neelu Mehra invite close family, friends and business associates on a 2 weeks long luxury cruise holiday in the Mediterranean Sea. On the trip, Kamal is trying to woo a business rival into investing in his company by offering to marry his son Kabir with daughter Noorie. But Kabir falls in love with Farah, a club dancer he meets on the cruise. Ayesha, Kamal’s daughter reveals that she is not happy in her marriage that was arranged with Manav and shares her plans to get a divorce. Sunny, Ayesha and Kabir’s childhood friend joins midway and Sunny and Ayesha relationship rekindles. The cracks in Kamal and Neelu’s relationship become evident by the day. All of this amidst a lavish cruise vacation, the gorgeous locales of Turkey, and lots of high Punjabi energy!
DDD is one of the rare films in Indian cinema to be actually shot on a cruise ship. It also explores some extremely beautiful locations in the backdrop, adding character to the story. Let’s explore the DDD filming locations by the scenes.
Dil Dhadakne Do Filming Locations
Kabir Flying a Plane: Jet Hangar, Mumbai
At the beginning of the film, Kabir Mehra, who is preparing to take over the reins of his father’s company is shown flying a plane. The filming location for this very flight was the Jet Hangar in Mumbai. Very early in the film, Kabir’s love of planes and flying is established so as to connect the future plot twists with this factor.
Heading for the cruise vacation: Port of Naples, Italy
Commencing the grand trip with panache, we see the Mehra’s along with some other guests making a fashionable entry at the port of Naples from where a speed boat takes them a short distance to board the cruise. While the grand appearances begin, the port of Naples shines in the background. While there is no mention of the starting point of the cruise in the film, what we see in the film is the Port of Naples, one of the most popular ports for cruises from Italy.
Ayesha Hints At Problems In Her Marriage: Turkish Hamam, Izmir
The first stop on their cruise is the port of Izmir. We see the ladies enjoying the Turkish Hamam in the city of Izmir. Finding her mom in a relaxed environment, Ayesha hints at problems in her marriage, further asking why her mom didn’t leave her dad despite his demeaning behavior. Her mother shrugs her off.
Noorie & Rana Steal Glances: Galata Tower, Istanbul
The next stop of the cruise is the city of Istanbul. Here, we first see the Khanna’s and the Sood’s cross path on the top of the Galata Tower in Istanbul. While the parents are giving each other cold stares, the kids are stealing glances and smiles. The top of the Galata Tower is one of the most frequented spots by tourists in Istanbul and offers a panoramic view of the city and the Bosphorus.
Farah-Kabir’s Lunch Date: Taksim Square/ Nostaljik Tram/ Galata Saray/ Eminonu
Next up on their stop in Istanbul, Farah, the club dancer on the cruise breaks the rules and heads out to meet Kabir as promised, for their lunch date. They meet at the Taksim Square, take the Nostaljik Tram that heads towards Galata Saray. At Galata Saray, the duo sits at the Junior Bar and order Turkish specialties Kebab and Grilled fish for lunch. After some conversations and a full tummy, they cycle up Eminonu to get a view of the Bosphorus Bridge, and the famous Ortakoy Mosque, thus, covering the city of Istanbul in a nutshell.
Noorie Reveals Her Secret to Kabir: Hagia Sofia, Istanbul
After spending the night with Rana, Noorie meets Kabir dragging him in a corner at the Hagia Sophia revealing her secret, requesting him to play along when their parents ask. In this particular scene, we can spot the different corners of the interiors of Hagia Sophia, one of the most historical monuments in the city of Istanbul.
Ayesha-Sunny Steal Glances: Ruins of Ephesus
Next up we see Ayesha sitting on the steps, Sunny taking her picture from a distance. This gorgeous outdoor location is the ancient Greek city which is now in ruins, called Ephesus.
Phir Bhi Yeh Zindagi: Capadoccia/ Caves/ Whirling Dervishes/Hot air ballooning
Phir Bhi Yeh Zindagi is a sad track from the film which was deleted prior to the release. (It is now available in the online streaming version of the film.) In this song, the Mehra’s along with their guests explore the beautiful town of Cappadocia making the most of their trip. You see them engaging in activities such as Hot Air Ballooning, exploring the underground caves, enjoying a soulful performance by the whirling dervishes
Everybody finds out: Kings Bar, Antalya
Finally, everybody finds out the truth. Farah finds out that Kabir and Noorie are getting engaged, Kamal finds out that Noorie and Rana are having an affair. Not too long after, a major scene with the Mehra’s voicing their issues comes up, summing up the key conflict of the film.
Quite evidently, about 70% of the film is shot on a cruise. It was the Sovereign Pullamantur cruise on which the crew traveled to Tunisia, Barcelona, Civitavecchia, Naples to shoot the portions on the cruise.
Yet again, if the sequence of the filming locations is anything to go by, it’s most definitely not feasible to do all the back and forth while traveling across Turkey. Istanbul is the northernmost city and the port of Izmir, Kusadasi, and Antalya comes after in the particular order. While it works for cinematic liberty, make sure you’re careful while planning your trip. Also remember, you can reach Cappadocia only by road or air since it is landlocked.
It was the same year when Dil Dhadakne Do release that I took my first ever solo trip to Istanbul. Was it the film’s influence? I cannot deny I had Istanbul right on top of my bucket list from long before, but the film and all its beautiful locations served as a sign to fly to this beautiful country to fall in love. And I did just that!
While I only covered Istanbul for a week, I hope to take a more elaborate trip and explore more of this beautiful country. The DDD filming locations also added a cruise trip to our bucket list. And after a brief taste of the cruise life on our recent cruise from Civitavecchia to Barcelona, we can’t wait to be cruisin’ again!
You too must strongly consider exploring the DDD filming locations on an exciting trip to Turkey! For any help, drop us an email.