Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Dances of 2009!

The end-of-year lists keep flying fast and furious but I'm going to add one more to the mix!

The tail end of the 2000s has seen two trends rise up in Bollywood hand-in-hand: a) the preference for montages over picturizations and b) the beginning/ending credits song. While I have no problem with the second, I find the first troubling. Bollywood producers clearly understand that people enjoy hearing original songs in films but a certain segment of the Bollywood production fraternity also finds it embarrassing. The resulting compromise between throwing a bone to the masses and 'competing' with Hollywood is the half-assed song montage -- which bores and annoys me.

To that end, I bring you a list of some of my favorite dances of year! A celebration of the joys of song picturizations!

In no particular order:

#1 "Chandni Chowk to China" from Chandni Chowk to China

Choreographer: Pony Verma

Why? I'm one of the few people who enjoyed the entire film but even haters have to admit that this picturization is pretty darn entertaining! I hate on Deepika a lot but she manages to be just the right amount of charming and haughty here and Akki looks especially good in his 1940s look. Pony Verma does a great job wrangling the herds of back-up dancers for a seamless picturization.

#2 "Bhangra Bistar" from Dil Bole Haddipa

Choreographer: Vaibhavi Merchant

Why? Rani the cutest cross-dresser this side of Saira Banu and Rakhi Sawant's over-the-top item girl character is the perfect foil for her. I love the somewhat seedy aesthetics of the setting and the stagy choreography. The entire song is a ridiculously fun romp!

#3 "Aa Gale Lag Jaa" from De Dana Dan

Choreographer: I couldn't find it. Anybody know?

Why? It's a sultry, rain-soaked gem of a song picturization. This is what directors are missing when they give us boring montages of the hero and heroine gazing in each other's eyes. From the close-ups of Kat's butt wiggling in her drenched sari to the candy-colored fantasy background, I have yet to tire of this song.

#4 "Ghazab" from Aa Dekhen Zara

Choreographer: Harshall-Vitthal

Why? It's a party and Bipasha Basu is firmly in charge! She rules this picturization with an iron fist and I love watching Neil Nitin Mukesh try to keep up. With the gritty bar setting and actual Thai back-up dancers, it's a fun song and an unusual visual treat!

(Check out the making of! I didn't know Shaan was so cute.)

#5 "Ore Saawariya" from Aladin

Why? It's a hilarious send-up of those wedding songs where the hero and heroine spar via dance. Except in this case, poor shy Aladin is literally being chased around BY THE SONG! Vocals by Amitabh Bachchan only add to the fun!

#6 "Prem Ki Naiyaa" from Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani

Choreographer: Ahmed Khan

Why? RANBIR KAPOOR! You either like him or you don't and I adore him. The song is a fun celebration of having a crush. I love the part where he is following her through the grocery store. Ranbir is one of the few up and comers who can actually dance and I hope more films take advantage of that fact.

#7 "Le Le Maza Le" from Wanted

Choreographer: Prabhudeva? (I couldn't find anything that said for sure.)

It was so hard to pick just one song from Wanted but when was the last time you saw an old-fashioned cabaret song in a villain's den?! It's all 1975 up in this joint and I LOVE IT!

#8 "Salma O Salma" from Dhoondte Reh Jaoge

Choreographer: I have no idea.

Why? I wish more people had seen this film! It's both a tribute and a send-up to songs like this one- just a guy wooing a girl by doing sexy dance moves with his best buddies. Or something. Whatever - I just like it!

That's all I got - I burned out on "Baaware" and "Kuke Kuke" is funny but needed more Govinda. What about y'all? Favorite dances of 2009?!

ETA: Okay I could resist looking up more songs - I've got the runners up for you!

Runner up #1 "Kuke Kuke" from Life Partner

Why? It's hilarious but there isn't as much dancing as I would like (MOAR GOVINDA PLZ). Check out the cute making of video! Genelia d'Souza is the cutest thing on the planet. Pretty much.

Runner up #2 "Happening" from Main aur Mrs. Khanna

Why? Because I love a mujra! And I love Preity Zinta! It's just a shame that the choreography and costumes are so boring and poor Preity is stuck dancing with some of the woodenest men this side of Aftab Shivdasani.

Runner up #3 "What's Up" from 99

Why? Kunal Khemu dancing is the best thing ever - not the best thing ever, sticking this song over the credits instead of giving Kunal like 10 dance numbers during the film.


E said...

I LOVE "Bawaare"!! I still think it's so infectiously dazzling and fun.

Daddy's Girl said...

Ooh great choices!! Hadn't seen some of them yet, so this was a great way to catch up. Love the rain song from 'De Dana Dan'!
I totally agree that 'Wanted' (kudos to you on managing to pick just one!) and 'Ajab Prem' (RANBIR!!!) definitely had some of the best picturisations this year. And Bips totally tore the house down with 'Gazab' - I love its quirkiness, and I even love the fact that it totally takes you out of the film for a few minutes - just so that Bipasha gets to thrill the audience. And I agree - the montage thing is ok now and then (really liked its use in 'Paa' for example), but what I really LOVE is what Bollywood does best - the gorgeous visual feast that is a good old-fashioned picturisation. If ain't broke, don't fix it... and it most certainly ain't broke!

vishi2max said...

what about Jalwa from Wanted ???

Filmi Girl said...

@vishi2max Oh, I liked that one, too, but I tried to pick just one from each film! :)

I nearly died when Anil came out during "Jalwa"! I wasn't expecting him!

Louella said...

For me the best picturisation of 2009 is defenitly Siragugal from tamil movie Sarvam - OK, that's not Bollywood but long ago I realized that in SI cinema they usually have more fabulous videos:P

shell said...

Aaah, lists like list remind me how behind I am on this year's movies. Then again, what a great way to see the best of the best without muddling through all the crap!

Sami Saayer said...

galay lag ja of de dana dan was by prasanna kumar. he did garam masala songs too.

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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