2011 was a year filled with good music and many outstanding song picturizations. In this top fifteen we will acknowledge all the choreographers, art directors, cinematographers, performers and many more who have worked very hard to entertain us.
15. ‘Aap Ke Aa Jaane Se’ – Love Breakups Zindagi
This song is not on the soundtrack of Love Breakups Zindagi. It is actually a renewed version of the same song from the movie Khudgarz from 1987. The song comes at a point in the film when the whole family is together and the youngsters in the family perform to a song in order to entertain the guests. And what better song to perform to on a wedding than ‘Aap Ke Aa Jaane Se’. A huge, disco style stage is set up with lights and all. The choreography is a bit old school and brings back memories of the late 80s and 90s, which is quite enjoyable if you grew up around that time. Sonu Nigam sings the song and does a great job with it and brings back that softness which we sometimes long for in songs. This is a very sweet video to kick start our top 15.
14. ’Desi Boyz’ – Desi Boyz
After ‘Desi Girl’ in 2008, it was time to introduce the ‘Desi Boyz’ in 2011. In this video, we get to see Akshay and John in different get-ups, dressed as pilots, firemen and playmates, which goes well with the film. Choreographers Bosco and Ceaser have tried to capture the mood of the film with this song and they have succeeded very well. The video is eye catching with several girls swirling around two of the hottest guys in the industry. The choreography is not much to write about, but don’t we just all love to see Akshay Kumar and John Abraham running around without their shirts on? Definitely one of the most entertaining videos we have seen this year. Rohit Dhawan certainly knows how to utilize this. In short: it’s youthful, it’s colorful, it’s Dhawan.
13. ‘Criminal’ – Ra.One
When the music came out, ‘Criminal’ was one of the most awaited songs, next to ‘Chammak Challo’. An outstanding song like this, composed by Vishal-Shekhar, deserved outstanding choreography. When the first look came out in September , everyone was thrilled; however, when the whole video released, the choreography disappointed the fans. The picturization, on the other hand, was much better. The setting – a party in the honor of the Ra.One Game release. Everybody is having a great time and in Bollywood that means it’s time for song and dance. The video exudes certain sexiness with Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena adding to it. And if you noticed, one of the background dancers has criminal written on her ‘booty’ which suits the lyrics.
12. ‘Senorita’ – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
‘Senorita’ is one of the biggest hits of 2011 from the film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Three guys go on a bachelor trip to Spain, and of course a typical Spanish number was required. SEL has composed a very beautiful track in which the three main leads (Farhan, Hrithik and Abhay) have sung themselves, and it makes the song more realistic and definitely more enjoyable. The choreography by Bosco and Ceaser is simple, enjoyable and has a Spanish touch. The Spanish lady and exotic location add to that as well – the Senorita and her dancing make the picture complete. Enjoy Espanol!
11. ‘Mujhko Pehchaan Lo’ – Don 2
If anybody knows how to do things out of the box, it’s Farhan Akhtar and Shah Rukh Khan. You can trust them to do the unthinkable as the duo teamed up for a new twist in Bollywood choreography for the music video of the song ‘Mujhko Pehchaan Lo’ – the title track for Don 2. For the first time, Bollywood choreography made way for a typical action sequence. No dance, only lip sync. Vaibhavi Merchant choreographs the song. According to Farhan: “To see Don vanquish his opponents while casually singing the words is surreal, but very intriguing.” An outstanding concept, which works quite the magic as it suits the film and the character of Don really well. Kudos to the team of Don 2 for coming up with this innovative way of presenting a song.
10. ‘Khwaabon Khwaabon’ – Force
This song is very unique in terms of composition. It takes elements from Arabic music and mixes it up with Indian Classical. Also, the video that goes with it leaves you spellbound. This song is not about the choreography, it’s more about the cinematography, which is fantastic. The song has been shot in the desert and although all you see is sand, it is intriguing. It captures the heart of the song, which talks about dreams, about being lost in yourself and searching for your goal in life. The empty sand hills reflect the emptiness inside them and the tree on fire represents their desire for each other. A very beautiful video that immediately attracts your attention and once you start watching it, it is not easy to take your eyes off of it.
9. ‘Sajh Dhaj Ke’ – Mausam
This song brings you right back to the 90s. Remember all those songs filmed in the fields of Punjab, with the lead actors dancing in the yellow fields? Basically this song shows us not only how beautiful this part of India is but also takes us along on a journey where we follow a village during the wedding festivities to eventually end with a big sequence on the actual wedding day. The very well choreographed song, by Ahmed Khan, with lots of Punjabi style thrown in, let’s us once again enjoy Shahid’s brilliant dancing skills.
8. ‘Rola Pe Gaya’ – Patiala House
‘Rola Pe Gaya’ might not have the greatest choreography, but that is not where the beauty of this song lies. The song gets noticed because of the unique way it has been conceptualized and executed. The choreographer made sure the audience gets a clear image of how NRI’s are living in two different worlds. If you noticed, the song kicks off in the basement with all the youngsters partying while upstairs the whole family is together doing their own thing. The basement represents the world where these youngsters want to be and live their dreams, where they set their own rules and live their life. The party upstairs is the world where they have to live – in the world of their parents with their ‘rather old fashioned ideas’ and no space to be their own person because their parents decide what is best for them. It’s an outstanding concept that definitely deserves all the applause.
7. ‘Character Dheela’ – Ready
Salman Khan and Zarine Khan set your screen on fire in the item number ‘Character Dheela’ from Ready. Mudassar Khan choreographs the song in which we see Salman and Zarine paying a tribute to legendary Bollywood actors – Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dharmendra. It’s a typical Salman Khan song and executed as one expects a Salman Khan song to be. Zarine Khan sizzles on screen.
6. ‘Do Dhaari Talwaar’ – Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
The song is a very modern day Qawwali coming from Yash Raj Films mixed with good Punjabi beats. Composer Sohail Sen delivers an outstanding track and choreographers Bosco-Ceaser turn the song into a real delight to see on screen. It’s everything you expect from the song – a huge setting, sparks flying, not only between the main characters, but also in the background. Katrina is on fire; she entertains us with some belly dance and just lights up the screen by performing amazingly well. Ali Zafar and Tara D’Souza’s performances are great! And though Imran might not be a great dancer, he sure is enjoying himself, and that made the audience enjoy themselves as well.
5. ‘Ooh La La’ – The Dirty Picture
This song is one of the biggest hits of this year. Composed by Vishal-Shekhar and sung by Shreya Goshal and Bappi Lahiri. Not only does the song take us back to the 80s, so does the video. To make such a video, one must have spent hours watching songs from the 80s on DVD. And coming from the production house Balaji, that inspiration came in the form of Jeetendra. The use of props and the way it has been shot reminds us of many Jeetendra films. Remember the white shoes and clothes which Naseeruddin Shah is wearing? Also notice the dhols, the powder, the fruit, hills, the clothes and of course the choreography, by Pony Verma, which is sexy, defiant and all that the 80s were about. One has to give credit to the choreographer for being able to catch the mood of the 80s and put it up on celluloid once again. Also, it is an absolute joy to see Naseeruddin Shah dance on screen. He hasn’t danced that much in his career, but here he gets a chance to relive the 80s as a hero.
4. ‘Suraj Ki Baahon Mein’ – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
This song is the happy finale to one of the finest films of the year 2011. After a superb ending of the film, we are taken to what seems to be the wedding of Hrithik and Katrina’s characters. The three friends find their own happiness. This is evident from the lyrics of the song, which are written by none other than Javed Akhtar and end the film on a perfect note. It basically tells us to enjoy life, keep dreaming and look out for new opportunities in life. Life has its ups and downs and so does friendship, but true friendship does last forever, doesn’t it?
3. ‘Chammak Challo’ – Ra.One
At the number 3 spot is the most downloaded song and video of the year, ‘Chammak Challo’ sung by none other than Akon. Choreographer Ganesh Hegde reinvents himself with this song by using South Indian elements in the choreography and even gets Shah Rukh Khan to do a little bit of Bharat Natyam. Kareena Kapoor is looking smashing in her sari. It’s an outstanding video, which is refreshing, and makes you want to dance and be G.One’s Chammak Challo as well.
2. ‘Thug Le’ – Ladies vs Ricky Bahl
Get into the groove with Ranveer and Anushka as the soundtrack of Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is filled with hit songs. But the one video that really stood out was a new concept in the form of ‘Thug Le’. The song starts off amazingly well and gets you in the mood right from the start. Vaibhavi Merchant’s sister has done the choreography and don’t you just love the idea? The set that’s been built seems to represent some kind of underground basement where illegal parties can be held. The cast dances in sand, which the dancers and Ranveer and Anushka kick around. This gives the video a whole different, sort of an ancient, feel to it – very unique. Did you also notice the break-dancers pull stunts with fireworks coming out of their shoes? How awesome is that! The choreography is simple, easy and definitely brings you in the party mood.
1. ‘Awaaz’ – F.A.L.T.U.
The most unique concept of song picturization this year, and therefore deserves the number 1 position on our countdown, has to be ‘Awaaz’ from the movie F.A.L.T.U. For all of you who regularly watch reality shows like Dance India Dance, this concept may not be new to you. But while it has been used in these reality shows a few times, it has never been seen in a film before. Choreographer Remo D’Souza takes full advantage of this. Let me tell you how it works. You have this black curtain or screen and the dancers wear suits and gloves that light up in the dark. So when you look at the video, it looks as if it is animated, which it’s not. The best thing about it is that the dancers all together create all sorts of wonderful images, like for example the map of India that you see in the video. The depiction of emotions in combination with the beautiful lyrics is beyond imagination. Just simply outstanding! Remo D’Souza has really outdone himself with this song.
Special mentions: Of course, we cannot forget to mention some other song videos that were really appreciated in 2011 as well. ‘Bhaag DK Bose’ and ‘Switty Tera Pyaar’ from the movie Delhi Belly have to be on the list. The interesting thing is that these music videos were purely promotional to raise awareness about the film and boy were they hits, especially liked by the youngsters in the country. The first song was picturized as a rock video inspired by several popular rock bands, one of them being Greenday. The other was a spoof on hiphop showing the three guys wearing lots of jewelry and dancing in their tracksuits, which provided a lot of laughs. Then there is of course ‘Darling’ from the movie 7 Khoon Maaf. The song comes in when Priyanka is about to get married to a Russian and thus it contains Russian elements, which you find in Sandeep Soparrkar’s choreography for the song as well, and made it one of the popular songs of the first few months in 2011.
The year 2011 appeared to be a great year for music videos. Choreographers went out of their way to give the audience something new and surprised us with their creativity. Hopefully in 2012 we will see lots more variety in the way videos are made, choreography and presenting our favorite stars in a whole new light. We can’t wait to see what we will include on our list for 2012!