Films imitate life and life imitates cinema an awful lot when it comes to fests. We decode why Bollywood and Holi go hand in hand .
There’s a Bollywood song for almost every mood. And in the case of Holi, films have also defined the way the fest is celebrated. Take Kohinoor’s Tan rang lo ji for instance. Even though the track is part of a black and white film, it still gives you a feel of the colours.
Holi also gives filmmakers an opportunity to sprinkle some fun onscreen. Mother India’s Holi ayee re kanhai and Navrang’s Arrey ja re hath natkhat are two such cases where the directors have added light moments in intense films.
Holi songs don’t go unnoticed. The music resounding in every neighbourhood on the festival stands testimony to that, which is also why iconic songs like Rang barse have been topping charts ever since Silsila released in 1981.
The recent hit Do me a favour, let’s play Holi from Waqt: A Race Against Time is also a song that many ‘bhang’ hit enthusiasts are seen grooving to. Probably that’s why producer Yash Chopra made sure he used the festival in his films regularly (Silsila was one of his directorials). Be it Holi aayi holi aayi dekho from Mashaal, Darr’s Ang se ang lagana or Sohni sohni ankhiyon wali from Mohabbatein or Rang barse, Holi songs have always worked for Bollywood.
It might seem silly to want to wear white on a festival which revolves around colour that usually doesn’t wash off the clothes. But the trend that somehow began with films has stayed since. From Sholay to Baghban and Action Replayy, most actors are seen dancing around trees and water fountains in stark white. Though there have been variations.
Amitabh Bachchan teamed his white kurta with a multi-coloured stole, while Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra went for jeans to keep it modern. In Chaan ke mohalla, the holi song from Action Replayy, Aishwarya Rai teamed her traditional white kurta with a green salwar and multi-coloured chunni.
Filmmakers seem to have always had a soft corner for romance and women in wet sari sequences. Some colour is always welcome! Be it an element of ‘masti’ in Rang barse (Silsila), unabashed flirting in Holi ke din (Sholay) or pure romance in Sohni sohni ankhiyon wali from Mohabbatein, romantic angles and pretty women have only amped the effect of Holi music.
Besides the joy, the fest has also been used to present contrasting emotions in films. Remember the widowed characters in songs like Aaj na chodenge from Kati Patang, Maaro bhar bhar bhar pichkari (Dhanwan) or Layi hai hazaaron rang holi from Phool Aur Patthar?
High on life
There has to be something driving people to throw themselves in colour and vice versa. Most would agree that without ‘bhang’ and some alcohol, it just wouldn’t be as much fun. Who can forget Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz ‘trancing’ away in Jai jai shiv shankar in Aap Ki Kasam? Dharmendra and Hema Malini too went all out in Rajput’s Bhaagi re bhaagi re.
In Aakhir Kyon, the makers used Holi to expose Rakesh Roshan’s intentions towards his wife Smita Patil’s sister Tina Munim. They danced to Saat rang mein khel rahi hai.