EXCLUSIVE: Bade Miyan Chote Miyan- Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff give Jordan a taste of Bollywood

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The vast desert, with its red and yellow dunes surrounded by mountains of innumerable shapes nestled under a clear blue sky with thick clouds, was the location chosen by filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar to film a song sequence with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff for the long-awaited Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. The filmmaker says: “It is a visually impressive place, raw but majestic. “It is untapped and very charming.”

In open-air jeeps racing across the sandy expanse, with gusts of strong cold winds hitting our bare faces, we headed to the film's set perched atop one of Wadi Rum's sandstone peaks.
Curled up and wrapped in our woolen garments, one couldn't help but applaud the actors (Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Alaya F and Manushi Chiller) who, along with the background dancers, swayed effortlessly to the music and the steps choreographed by Bosco Martin.

Tiger Shroff sporting a vest that perfectly showed off his chiseled abs, laughed: “Fit hone ka faida uthaya jaa raha hai.” But jokes aside, both Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff, perhaps among the most disciplined and fit actors, responded in unison that although they were used to filming in varying temperatures, the expanse and beauty of the location made it worth it.

By inviting around 50 journalists from all over India to be part of the film's shoot and explore Jordan, producer Jackky Bhangani reminds us that it is 25 years since the first film by Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda) produced by his father Vashu Bhagnani and Launch of Pooja Entertainment. “We wanted to create an environment where those who write about film can experience the setting as it is. Over the years, one felt that the relationship had become a bit clinical, we all got together during promotions, talked and discussed the film and everything is forgotten. We wanted everyone to experience what goes into making a film, as well as explore this incredible place (Jordan). By bringing everyone here we are also creating memories,” says Jackyy Bhagnani.

Peter O Toole and Omar's Academy Award-winning film Lawrence of Arabia (1962) was one of the first films to be shot in Wadi Rum. Its spectacular landscape and its similarity to the surface of Mars made it a great attraction for filming science fiction and space-related films. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, Dune and The Martian were some of the films filmed here.

After the set visit, we headed to Aqaba, where we were given a sneak peek of the making of the film at the closing party. With high-octane action spread across all continents, the creators have spared no effort to bring us a huge spectacle.

The coastal city of Aqaba is dazzlingly beautiful, its coastline is divided into four countries: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. You get a confluence of many cultures in their food, from the succulent Mansaf (a lamb dish) to the delicious Egyptian dessert Umm Ali, it is a gourmet's delight.

While you can lounge on the Red Sea beaches in Aqaba, you should not miss the opportunity to take the Dead Sea tour and immerse yourself in the natural yet simple beauty of Jordan.

The other popular filming location is the ancient city of Petra. Of course, the only movie that comes to mind is Indiana Jones among the many filmed there. We get to explore the “Pink City”, as you gaze at its majestic beauty, you can’t help but hear someone excitedly ask “Kareena Kapoor?” No, I was not mistaken for the actor, but he excited the locals who professed his love for Bollywood, and Kareena Kapoor Khan was a popular screen icon among them. “I wish you a wonderful life and I want you to make a movie in Petra,” says the Petra shopkeeper, and he even gave me a souvenir to take home.

With human and raw resources readily available and the constant work of Jordan's Royal Film Commission to make the country a viable tourism and film destination. Apart from single window clearance for film shoots, it is also an on-arrival visa for Indians.