In Bollywood films, dance bars are usually the favourite haunts of villains and their minions while in real life, dance bars are places haunted by Bollywood songs. The relationship between the two is a curiously tangled one. Filmi dance bars may not be the grungy pits that the real establishments are, but the popularity of the songs set in these bars have made item numbers almost an essential element of a Bollywood blockbuster. It's the ticket to being noticed for young hopefuls who want a break, but often, even actresses with top-billing (like Priyanka Chopra or Madhuri Dixit) will appear in item numbers.
With the Supreme Court verdict having lifted the ban on dance bars in Mumbai, it seems like a good time to look at some of the successful and not-so-successful bar dancers of Bollywood.
'Babli Badmaash Hai' from Shootout At Wadala: When an A-list actress like Priyanka Chopra dons skimpy clothes, struts sexily and calls herself "Babli Badmaash" (while strategically positioned finger guns aim to up her oomph factor), you'd think the song would set screens of fire, but this number from Shootout At Wadala wasn't at all explosive. It seems the person who enjoyed Babli being badmaash most was Chopra herself.
'Aala Re Aala' from Shootout At Wadala: : Yet another song from Shootout at Wadala, picturised on Sophie Choudry and John Abraham. It's not like any bar we've ever seen in Mumbai and we're not sure about replicating these moves, but perhaps you should see the video and decide for yourself.
'Man Saat Samandar Dol Gaya' from the film Chameli: The success of Madhur Bhandarkar's Chandni Bar revived Bollywood's interest in dance bars in recent times, and consequently, songs like this one started finding their way into films. Set in a dance bar, the song manages to be both peppy and soulful.
'Deewani Deewani' from Chori Chori Chupke Chupke: If Preity Zinta was going for the little Red Riding Hood look, she did well though it's possible potential big bad wolves would be blinded by her red, glittery boots and red hat (red = sexy. Obviously). Watch the video here:
'Aa Ante Amalapuram' from Maximum: Although the film had Naseeruddin Shah, Sonu Sood, Neha Dhupia, and Vinay Pathak in pivotal roles, it is Hazel who stole the show with this item number. It's also the only thing in the film that became popular.