Once upon a time in Hindi films, the heroine stood smiling coyly in a corner and the bad girl gyrated away at cabarets in teeny-weenies. Cut to present — the leading ladies are also the item-number champs, and the coming months will see more of them in such bold tracks than ever before.
Top actors such as Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Sonakshi Sinha and Nargis Fakhri are among those who have item numbers lined up in the coming months. PeeCee, who recently did ‘Babli Badmaash Hai’ for Shootout at Wadala, will be seen in another item song in filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next, Ram Leela. The track will reportedly include dance styles from Gujarat. “The song has already been shot in Mumbai,” reveals a source close to the actor.
Sonakshi will be seen doing a club number alongside Akshay Kumar in Boss. Sung by Yo Yo Honey Singh, the song, titled, Party All Night, reportedly fetched her R6 crore, and is touted to be the costliest Bollywood song.
It’s the ex-flames who’re generating the most buzz, though — Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif may reunite as an ‘item’ in Atul Agnihotri’s next. The filmmaker, however, has his lips pursed. “We are still working on the song. We have not approached Katrina, but Salman has been involved with the project right from the beginning. Let’s see how thing shapes up”, says Agnihotri. Nargis Fakhri, too, will be seen in Tapori-style ‘Dhating Nach’ in Phata Poster Nikhla Hero while Mahie Gill will be seen in an item song in Bullett Raja.
“Apart from money, item songs help actors connect with the masses, and so boost their career,” reasons trade analyst Vikas Mohan. But, overexposure is a concern, say some. “They should know where to draw the line ... too many such songs can put them at the risk of being overexposed,” says ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar.
Trade analyst Amod Mehra disagrees. “I don’t think this is overexposure ... at times, an item song has taken a film to a whole new level thanks to A-list actors!”
Actors paid in big gifts, not cash
There are many instances where actors are compensated not in cash but in kind (read big gifts) for doing item songs. Salman Khan reportedly gifted a high-end BMW car to Kareena Kapoor for Fevicol Se (Dabangg 2), filmmaker Karan Johar is known to have gifted Katrina Kaif a Ferrari for Chikni Chameli (though he denied it), and the story is the same for cameos. SRK gifted Rajinikanth a BMW, a superbike worth R15 lakh to Sanjay Dutt, and an expensive guitar to Priyanka Chopra for their guest appearances in Ra.One.