Priyanka Chopra’s Babli Badmaash item song – a sad comedown for Sanjay Gupta

Cineswami takes a look at the various item numbers from Sanjay Gupta’s films and thinks that Babli Badmaash is nowhere close to them in terms of entertainment

There was a time when Sanjay Gupta could do no wrong. He looked at the existing methods of shooting songs, ripped apart the rulebook, threw it away, spat on his hands and set about reinventing with gusto. We’re, of course, referring to Kaante and specifically the songs Maahi ve and Ishq samundar. The way Gupta and his team interpreted it, the visuals were slick, sensual, classy and blew whatever little competition there was out of the water.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better than this, Gupta followed Kaante up with Musafir that really upped the ante. Though the film was, shall we say politely, malodorous stool, the songs, and the way they were shot, were tremendous. In sharp contrast to the cool blue tones of the Kaante dance numbers, Musafir’s songs like Saaki saaki, Ishq kabhi kariyo na and Door se paas were bathed in warm hues and they were hot and sweaty.

The dark subject matter of Zinda, heavily inspired from Korean masterpiece Old Boy, did not really warrant the presence of rambunctious song and dance numbers and while we may not forgive Gupta his inspiration, we certainly can pardon the songs. We are magnanimous you see. Then, other filmmakers treated the world to Munnis, Sheilas, Fevicols, Jalebis and Chamelis.

It is therefore with tremendous anticipation and no trepidation at all that we awaited the release of Babli Badmaash from Shootout At Wadala. However, in the run up to the release, Gupta went on a charm overdrive on Twitter, shouting from the rooftops that the song is the best thing since whatever. Now that the song and the video is upon us, may we request, can we get the old Gupta back? For, unlike the Musafir and Kaante songs, to begin with Babli Badmaash isn’t an infectious earworm. Anu Malik, though he tries gamely to be retro, is just not cutting it here. The arrangement is tired and the hook non-existent. To top it all, the robotic choreography combined with Priyanka Chopra’s athletic but strangely leaden movements kills whatever vestige of interest there is in the song. To be fair, the song isn’t vulgar it’s just plain boring. Jeetendra and Sridevi’s PT steps in the 80s Padmalaya films were more exciting.

And now for a blast from the past, naming no names. A certain illiterate star who currently may or may not be engaged in a war over words with an equally illiterate scribe was at a film industry bash at a Mumbai five-star hotel a few years ago. The star was under a cloud at the time (as he perennially is) over an antelope slaying incident. A director, once a superhit maker, but now fallen on flop times, had been repeatedly refused dates by the star. It was getting late, much alcohol had flowed and the buffet was about to close. As the star was getting a plateful of nourishing viands, the director lurched up beside him and asked a member of hotel staff if said antelope was on the menu. If looks could have killed, the director would have expired on the spot. There was history, as the director had watched the film that had brought the star to the nation’s notice and openly questioned his credentials to be the hero.

Anyway, dinner consumed, the director proceeded to the toilet to expel excess liquids. While he was at it, he heard the star entering the toilet, talking to a friend. The director turned around, mid-stream, and succeeded in splashing the star’s shoes. The star saw red and fisticuffs ensued. The feud was resolved some time later thanks to the intervention of the star’s father. Proving that no enmities are permanent in Bollywood, the star and director worked together in a ‘princely’ film, which duly bombed at the box office. They are due to work together again, but the star hasn’t confirmed or committed dates. The director meanwhile is desperate and is willing to pay even Rs 100 crore to the star.