I have now seen this particular place in four different films spanning nine years. Originally I thought it was a set, but it now seems difficult to believe that a set would remain so unchanged over that time frame. Almost nothing does change, except the dining table chairs and floor coverings! The light fixtures remain almost identical, as do the altar (?) beside the second door, the stone walls, the stairs, the ceilings—and of course the Cat Wall-Hanging.
Surely if it were a set, different art directors would have changed it from film to film and most certainly from year to year, don’t you think? Especially since the whole thing is really retro-hideous (which is why I love it so).
(left to right: Namak Haraam—1973, Chorni—1981)
In Chakravyuha I noticed the big wall of stained glass (how could you not?), and when I went back to look my Namak Haraam screencaps I saw it there too, along with the same faux-marbled walls and pockmarked ceiling.
(left to right: Namak Haraam—1973, Chakravyuha—1978)
Note that between Chakruvyuha and Chorni there is no difference in the dining chairs, and the medallioned wallpaper and much of the decor has stayed put too, along with the air-conditioned portrait. Please try to ignore the beating that Rajesh is taking in some of the below screen shots (enjoy Pradeep’s smug grin at the bottom left and focus on the room!).
(top to bottom in pairs: Chakruvyuha, Chorni, Chakravyuha)
There are stairs (as you can see) immediately outside the door on the left next to the cats.
The setting in Chorni is inside an apartment building, but I suspect that was sleight of hand and that it is actually a real house as shown in Chakravyuha—see the grille at the bottom windows on the landing? They seem the same as the ones on the outside wall in the left-hand screenshot.
This is a tough one—probably someone who lived there or visited people who did will have to stumble over this. Odds of that are slim, but I’ll take them! And if anyone else has seen this eye-sore of a place used in a movie, do let me know which one and where! Surely all you have to do is see it once to remember it (the upstairs is below, from Chorni again—I think it is all part of the same location—mostly because of the matching stone walls and stained glass).
Updated June 2012: This is also the house where the Oberois live in 1982′s Disco Dancer. These are screenshots of the exterior and the interior, confirming that it’s the same house as above. Sadly, the cat wallhanging has been replaced with something more tasteful. I don’t know what they were thinking.
The gates leading into the garden, and more of the exterior.
Sadly, the owners seem to have been content to remain anonymous because they are never thanked in the credits. Not yet, anyway!