The various shades of Holi in Bollywood films: From the shy exuberance of 1940s Aurat to Hrithik Roshan-Tiger Shroff’s dance off in War


Deepika Padukone isn’t simply celebrating Holi in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’s “Balam Pichkari”, the track additionally marks the transition of her ‘chashmish’ Naina right into a assured lady who is prepared to tackle life full throttle. Sholay’s “Holi Ke Din” is sort of a ticking time bomb, prepared to explode as Gabbar Singh’s henchmen assault Ramgarh. While the occasions in Damini’s Holi sequence adjustments the total storyline, Shah Rukh Khan’s obsession reaches new heights in Darr’s “Ang Se Ang.”

Holi has been offered in many shades and colors in our movies, and from the time India began making movies. From being a second to rejoice to introducing a significant twist or letting ardour have its play, Holi has been an integral half of Bollywood narrative gadget for many years. However, as the occasions adjustments, its illustration modified as effectively.

Nargis and Raj Kumar in a nonetheless from Mother India’s track “Holi Aayi Re Kanhai”.

The earliest Holi portrayal in Bollywood that we are able to enumerate listed below are “Jamuna Tat Shyam” from Aurat (1940) and “Daaro Re Rang” from Jogan (1950). The movies from the black-and-white period principally depicted the competition in lengthy photographs, in its full glory with the total forged actually enjoying with colors. But did it add something to the plot? Rarely.

Dilip Kumar in “Khelo Rang” from Aan (1953), nonetheless, introduced a brand new color to Holi – actors prancing round and ladies giving flirtatious appears. The lengthy photographs gave means to shut ones, identical to the rising proximity between the actors. We bought a real depiction of the competition’s conventional roots. Soon sufficient, long-distance flirting was changed by delicate romance, like in “Holi Aayi Re Kanhai” from Mother India (1958). The flashbacks of Raj Kumar romancing Nargis was an exquisite breather in the in any other case intense drama of the movie.

My reminiscence of Holi goes again to Navrang track “Are Ja Re Hat Natkhat” (1959). It grew to become outstanding as a result of actor Sandhya performed the twin function of each Radha and Shyam. A lovely dance sequence, which continues to be a benchmark of creativity to today.

Bollywood stored its date with the competition of colors in one more memorable sequence in Kati Patang (1970). Apart from “Aaj Na Chhodenge” discovering a everlasting place in our playlists, it was additionally progressive in the means it handled how the society checked out a widow at the time. Asha Parekh’s Madhavi is holding again her need given the conventions of the society, however Rajesh Khanna’s Kamal just isn’t prepared to budge. Holi was gaining prominence to take the story ahead, a lot that Phagun (1973) completely revolved round Holi. What occurs in its track “Piya Sang Khelo Hori” adjustments the course of the story and the lives of its characters.

aaj na chhodenge rajesh khanna asha parekh Asha Parekh’s restrained wishes as a widow in 1970 movie Kati Patang have been proven throughout “Aaj Na Chhodenge” track.

Our movies started opening doorways for its songs to seamlessly stream into the plot. Going ahead, if we tried to edit out Holi, the screenplay would stay hanging. Just as we noticed in Sholay’s “Holi Ke Din” (1975) which got here as a reduction amid the excessive octane dacoit drama. Hema Malini and Dharmendra get drenched in the blast of colors, whereas Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan realise a spark in their silence. It was additionally a prelude to the large story twist about to occur, which elevated the tempo of the film. By the finish of it, Gabbar Singh’s “Holi kab hai?” discovered foreign money amongst the followers, and eased us into the climax of the movie.

Giving a brand new dimension have been Amitabh and Rekha once they shed all inhibitions in “Rang Barse”. For the viewers, Silsila (1981) was an actual reflection of the reel life couple, the track was additionally a significant breakthrough in the iconic movie. It was no extra about romance or taboos. It was about love and solely love, even when it meant difficult the so referred to as societal norms.

Holi continued to be a plot twist in movies of the 80s and 90s, together with Damini (1993). Holi scenes stored getting intense, In the Rajkumar Santoshi movie, Meenakshi Seshadri witnesses the rape of her maid by her brother-in-law and his associates. Her screams for assist get suppressed amid Holi’s loud festivities.

holi sequences silsila damini Films like Silsila (1981) and Damini (1993) had plot altering Holi sequences.

By Nineteen Nineties, Bollywood started displaying the bolder aspect of Holi. By now, the depiction of harmless love was passé. Rather filmmakers swore by motion, assault and concern. And taking it to newer heights was Shah Rukh Khan flaunting his menacing avatar in Darr (1993). In the midst of his ‘K-K-K-Kiran’, got here “Ang Se Ang Lagana”. Playing a stalker, the actor makes use of the anonymity allowed by Holi to trespasses into Juhi Chawla’s secure zone and smear color on her. Creepy a lot? An essential chase sequence adopted between SRK and Sunny Deol.

The canvas of Holi was getting greater, exuberant and loud. By late Nineteen Nineties it grew to become a plot level in the movie when the total forged marked the competition collectively. Now, the way it occurred was the job of the writers. We have been returning to the celebratory mode.

shah rukh khan darr Shah Rukh Khan performed a menacing stalker in Darr.

The viewers’s love for festivities grew to become so sturdy that the 2000s stored Holi majorly for track and dance. This was the 90s era adapting to the new millennium, embracing dance flooring tradition. Community Holi was gaining prominence, and so was the demand for frolic and enjoyable. Both Mohabbatein (2000) and Baghban (2003) had chartbuster Holi songs – “Soni Soni” and “Hori Khele Raghuveera” giving us a second of vibrancy, even when it meant them probably not including something to the plot. No, not even Shah Rukh’s plea to Amitabh Bachchan, to overlook their variations was of any relevance to Mohabbatein.

Gladly sufficient, folks songs once more got here into image by early 2010s. Tracks like “Balam Pichkari” and “Badri Ki Dulhania” fused collectively conventional Holi songs with new-age music association. And as they are saying, folks can elevate something, and we bought two hit songs in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) and Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017). It was a great way to introduce the new era with its roots.

Lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya, in the making video of “Balam Pichkari’, said, “It was more of a fun, teasing and flirting song. That’s how we arrived it the hook which is very desi hook, to be precise – “Balam pichkari jo tune mujhe maari…”

war song jai jai shivshankar hrithik tiger Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff’s dance off was set round a Holi track in War (2019). (Photo: YRF)

Most not too long ago, when Bollywood’s finest dancers – Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff, have been introduced in for a dance off in War (2019), the makers ditched a Hip Hop or acrobatics and opted for a Holi sequence in “Jai Jai Shivshankar”.

The journey of Holi in Bollywood certainly proves that we can’t take the competition out of our movies. From being the go-to track scenario to a catalyst of change, Holi has been, and continues to be, outstanding. How will the new decade form Holi sequences in our motion pictures? We are awaiting to see, with a splash of color.


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