Have you been lately going bonkers over Chikni Chameli or does Munni still badnam you? Item songs are the latest talk of the town and have caught the fancy of generation so much so that many a times the success or failure of a movie depends on the item number it offers.
Who remembers Tees Maar Khan, but an entire generation swears by the song Sheila Ki Jawani. Yana Gupta had been catapulted to instant stardom with Babuji and even though the film went dheere, the pace with which the song ruled over public imagination was phenomenal.
Similarly, for the remake of the blockbuster of yesteryears Agneepath, the excitement is more on Katrina Kaif for her item number Chikni Chameli than the leading lady of the movie –Priyanka Chopra who is as good as non-existent before the much awaited release.
However, it is not the first time that item songs have been introduced in Hindi cinema. Piyaa Tu pasteurised on Helen for the film Caravan, then Laila Ho Lailaa showing scintillating Zeenat Aman in the film Qurbaani were the talk of the town for generations. The song Jawani Janeman in the film Namak Halaal is still as discussed about even today and praises showered on the woman it was pasteurised upon – Parveen Babi.
It is not the lyrics that matter much in these item numbers. The latka-jhatkas and the hip thrusts do most of the magic along with the rhythmic dance beats. Most often the words used in the song are as good as nothing and sound the most incoherent and nonsensical. But it is the mood and the attitude that matter on which the songs have been pasteurised.
And who can forget Sridevi dancing to the all-time classic I Love You in Mr India or Dum Maaro Dum pasteurised on Zeenat Aman in Hare Rama Hare Krishna. The difference in the item songs of yesteryears and of today’s generation is that those tracks had been pasteurised on the leading ladies while the songs of this generation are on standalone women who have no role other than the song to play in the movie – our very own Munni, Sheila and Cheekni Chameli are of this genre per se.
Be it substantial storyline, electrifying star-cast or a jhakas item song – as long as movies are able to pull crowds and earn decent box-office collections, no one is complaining.
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