V Kumar has been writing on Bollywood movies and music for several years, highlighting perspectives that are often missed out or ignored.
Greatest Picturisation of Musical Melodies
Once someone asked John Opie, an eighteenth century British painter, as to what he mixed his colors with. Opie replied, " I mix them with my brains, sir."
The best picturised songs of Bollywood are not just pleasant to the eye, but also stirring enough to create a memory that lasts a lifetime. It is not just the locale, the nature, the beauty, the acting, the dresses, the mannerisms, the heroes, the villians, the comedians, the photography or the cinematography.... it is the human creativity that matters most in the end. There is no established formula, and there is nothing in this universe that everyone is going to love... Yet, great teams combine to bring the best out of great ideas, and that is what produced these best picturised songs of Bollywood!
A look at these ten numbers and how they play out on your screen will tell you a lot about the things that matter so much to us, and yet, which we can't easily express in words. But with a musical audio-visual, depiction we possibly can, as exemplified by these songs, and when that happens ... it is like having discovered a new form of human expression and communication... a new audio-visual literature... a new art altogether !
That is what makes these ten numbers an utter delight !!
movie: KAGAZ KE PHOOL (1959)
Waqt ne kiya kya hassen sitam....
This movie was not a success story on the Box Office, and it can be criticised for its slow pace at times, but it is also full of directorial brilliance, particularly in this song. Never before or after, light has been used with such impact, and this beam of Sunlight was artificially created using optical apparatus. Lighting, however, is just one of the means of what creates the stunning impact, conveying a very loud silence that engulfs the space around two very humane souls struggling with themselves and their destinies. This great piece of abstract performing art can primarily be credited to the genius of Guru Dutt, arguably the greatest Director of Bollywood. Cinematography was that of V K Murthy, while Y G Chawhan was the Editor. Singer is Geeta Dutt, music composed by S D Burman and lyrics written by Kaifi Azmi.
movie: HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM (1999)
Aankhon ki gustakhiyan ......
This 1999 movie, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is full of great pieces of musical choreoography, but this number tops them all, because of its touching depiction of the tale of infatuation and love that dominates all the great music and dance that goes around, without becoming mechanical even for a minute. Full credit to the two lead actors, Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai, for illuminating the screen with their presence. Choreographers are Saroj Khan and Natbar Maharana, cinetography is by Anil Mehta and editing by Bela Segal. Singers are Kavita Krishnamurthi and Kumar Sanu, music was composed by Ismail Darbar and lyrics written by Mehboob.
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movie: MUGHAL-E-AZAM (1960)
Pyar kiya to darna kya....
This number is one of the best in terms of picturisation because of more reasons than one. The mesmerizing beauty of Madhubala could be reason enough, but even more impressive is her dance, directed by Lachhu Maharaj, who was the Dance Director in this movie. The greatest factor, however, is the concept - a courtesan challenging the Emperor of India, courageously putting her head on the guillotine, as the younr Prince, her lover, watches with bemused pride. The number's greatness owes to great work of the director, K Asif, cinematography of R D Mathur and editing of Dharamvir. Lastly, one must not forget the impact of Sheesh Mahal (glass house), where this song was picturised. The singer is Lata Mangeshkar, music is composed by Naushad and lyrics written by Shakeel Badayuni.
movie: 1942 A LOVE STORY (1994)
Kuchh na kaho...
For a song that is picturised in a typical artificial set of Bollywood, this number creates an effect that is nearly magical, thanks partly to the exceptional music composed by R D Burman, a charming on screen pair of Manisha Koirala and Anil Kapoor, and great direction of Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The flowing character of beautiful love that intoxicates the screen in this number is helped by the cinematography of Binod Pradhan, editing of Renu Saluja and art direction of Nitin Chandrakanta Desai. Singer is Kumar Sanu and lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar.
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movie: MAHAL (1949)
This number is a musical milestone of Bollywood's history. Just around the time the newly independent nation was taking its first steps, this number was signing the transformation of Bollywood into a newfound age of maturity. This number, in Black and White, directed by Kamal Amrohi, remains unsurpassed even after six decades in the manner it created thrilling suspense with the aid of great picturisation and expressive, melodious music. Its great cinematography is credited to Josef Wirsching. Bimal Rai was one of the editors in this movie, along with M Shankar and M Tipnis. Singer is Lata Mangeshkar, music is composed by Khemchand Prakash and lyrics were written by J Nakshab.
movie: JOHNY MERA NAAM (1970)
Pal bhar ke liye koi hamein pyar kar le...
This musical number, directed by Vijay Anand is among the all time best picturised songs of Bollywood, thanks to its innovative conceptualization and flawless execution. The simple idea is centered around persistence of the lover (played by Dev Anand) in wooing her love (played by Hema Malini) through the endless number of windows of all sizes and designs, with a melodious song composed by Kalyanji Anandji, sung by Kishore Kumar and written by Indeevar, and finally wins with his persistence. This creative piece of picturisation was made possile by a team that comprised Fali Mistry as the Cinematographer and T K Desai as Art Director, with Vijay Anand taking up editing himself.
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movie: RAJKUMAR (1964)
Aaja.. ayee bahaar... dil hai ..
This number, picturised at a very scenic location, is unique in its concept of on-water dancing -something never seen again. The movie, directed by K Shankar, depicts a princess, with her friends, enjoying herself, dancing on unique basket-boats on water, as the hero, who has accidentally ventured into the water at the same time, tries to get a glimpse. Cinematography is by G Singh, art direction and costumes by M R Achrekar and choregraphy by Hiralal B. The leading actors are Sadhna and Shammi Kapoor, while the singer is Lata Mangeshkar. Music of this melodious number is composed by Shankar Jaikishan, while the lyrics are by Shailendra.
movie: JODHA AKBAR (2008)
Khwaja mere khwaja ...
This great qawaali - one of the best ever in Bollywood, is also great in its picturisation. Set in the context of wedding of Akbar, the Emperor of 16th century India (played by Hrithik Roshan) with Jodha, a Rajput princess (played by Aiswarya Rai) in the deserts of Rajasthan, this sufi qawwali is great in the way it is conceptualised by the director, Ashutosh Gowarikar and cinematographed by Kiran Deohans, with editing by Ballyu Saluja, costumes designed by Neeta Lulla and choreography by Raju Khan, Chinni Prakash and Rekha Prakash. The music is composed by A R Rahman, who is also the lead singer, while the lyrics are by Kashif. A great piece of teamwork indeed !
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movie: DIL SE (1998)
Chal chayya chayya ...
This masterpiece remains a milestone in more ways than one. It is also among the best in terms of innovative picturisations, with a great song-dance conceptualized and executed on a running narrow gauge train that wades it way through the foothills of Himalayas. It also stamps the genius of its director, Mani Ratnam, whose creativity is still evident in this movie, which enjoyed onlu limited commercial success. Cinematography is by Santosh Sivan and editing by Suresh Urs. The dancing of Sharukh Khan, Malaika Arora and company is choreographed by Farah Khan. The great music of this number was composed by A R Rahman, lyrics written by Gulzar and singers are Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi.
movie: DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE (1995)
Ho gaya hai tujhko to pyar....
This movie established two existing stars as all time greats of Bollywood. Both the leading actors, Shahrukh Khan and Kajol had been around and very successful, but this movie placed them among the league of all time greats, while also confirming them as one of the best on-screen pairs of Bollywood. Within the movie, this number marks their defining point. Directed by Aditya Chopra, this movie is cinmatographed by Manmohan Singh and edited by Keshav Naidu. Art direction is by Sharmishta Roy while Farah Khan and Saroj Khan were the choreographers. Singers are Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan, music composed by Jatin Lalit and lyrics written by Anand Bakhshi.
BEST PICTURISED SONG OF BOLLYWOOD
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© 2013 V Kumar