By Joginder Tuteja
Songs and dances have been a part of Indian culture and haven’t left Bollywood’s side either ever since the camera started rolling. While conventional choreography continues to sell, there are innovations being tried as well. 2012 saw quite a few of them and though the likes of ‘Chikni Chameli’ and ‘Pritam Pyaare’ continued to cater to the gentry, there were experiments like ‘Raabata’, ‘Tum Hi Ho Bandhu’ and ‘Ishq Dance’ that made one go wow.
In Bollywood, not many songs come on screen from story telling perspective. However that happened in ‘Agent Vinod’ which made one remember the film for a very good reason. This was a shoot out sequence set in a hotel that was canned entirely in a single shot with the song ‘Raabta’ playing in the background. While bearing a clear Quentin Tarantino influence, there were subtle touches of Hitchcock thrown in as well in a couple of shots. A difficult sequence to be a part of, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor were totally convincing in this extended piece that also showcased Sriram Raghavan’s love for retro.
‘Aa Re Pritam Pyaare’ came to the point in it’s very first 10 seconds of play and never looked back from that point on. In fact such was the kind of choreography that complimented an amalgamation of beats, rhythm and melody that one was reminded of many such songs that filmmakers expected Laxmikant-Pyaarelal to deliver way back in the 80s. Some called the song vulgar or below the belt but the fact remains that ‘Pritam Pyaare’ girls Mumaith Khan, Maryam Zakaria and Shakti Mohan ensured that audience were glued to the screen. A wide canvas under Prabhudheva’s direction further helped.
For ‘Agneepath’, Karan Johar had a task in hand to strike a balance between coming up with something commercial while balancing it out with the core theme of the film. He kept that in mind and the result was ‘Chikni Chameli’ that kick-started the promotion of ‘Agneepath’. A quintessentially mass pleasing number that had some vibrant dance steps, it turned out to be a comfortable addition to Katrina Kaif’s repertoire after ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ (Tees Maar Khan). A racy number that didn’t give a moment to breathe, ‘Chikni Chameli’ was the talk of the town then and continues to play till date.
When heard first, ‘Tum Hi Ho Bandhu’ couldn’t quite make one realise how the end result would look like on screen. However this composition by Pritam saw a huge high for itself once Saif Ali Khan, Diana Penty and Deepika Padukone hit the beach to be a part of all the fun. It went on to be a favourite amongst all age groups and the kind of simple yet very effective dance steps performed by Diana Penty turned into a rage, especially the campus crowds.
The only bright spot (ironically without any singing part) of the music album and the most impressive and heart stopping moment in the film’s narrative, ‘Ishq Dance’ is pretty much to Katrina Kaif what ‘Fire’ was to Hrithik Roshan in ‘Kites’. A brilliant piece of choreography that took a musical piece by A.R. Rahman to a different level altogether, it made everyone pause for a while before a viewer realised that ‘Ishq Dance’ was turning out to be the high point of the film. The fact that Katrina came up with a dance of a lifetime was one cinematic moment that Yash Chopra must have been proud of.