Best of Best, (2005)
This songs DVD is supposed to follow a theme – the best songs from the best movies. While that selection is debatable, it does deliver fifty-four great songs from fifty years of Indian film. The DVD goes in a somewhat chronological order, starting with a few classy songs in black and white and eventually ending with some tunes post-2000.
Songs from films such as Mr. and Mrs. ’55, C.I.D., Chori Chori and Pyaasa
It’s sad to admit that I haven’t seen very many early Indian films. In fact, I think the oldest Bollywood films I’ve seen are Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and Mother India, two vastly different films. It’s great to see some oldies on this DVD, because otherwise I’d probably never see or hear these songs. Sure, they’re not exactly my cup of tea, but they’re worth checking out anyway.
“Hamein Kaale Hain” from Gumnaam
It’s a booty-shaking Helen number. What’s not to love? Fantastic sets, elaborate costumes, ridiculously mustachioed household help, and the irrepressible Helen herself.
“Chand Mera Dil” from Hum Kisise Kum Nahin
Remember that song Shahrukh Khan couldn’t help but sing in Sushmita Sen’s presence in Main Hoon Na? Well, this is the original! (Aside: why does everything seem to go back to Main Hoon Na? That movie was so chockfull of allusions and only now I’m getting some of them).
“Aey Mere Humsafar” from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
I don’t care for the picturization so much, but definitely give the song a listen. Even if you don’t understand Hindi, I think you can appreciate its inherent romance.
“Ek Ladki Ko Dekha” from 1942: A Love Story
Besides the fact that Anil Kapoor is wearing women’s pajamas in the beginning of the song, both the song and its picturization are really sweet.
“Chaiyan Chaiyan” from Dil Se
Of course this song belongs on this DVD! It’s become to iconic to leave out.
“Odhani” from Tere Naam
I only watched Tere Naam this past weekend and I was blown away by it. I think that’s distorting my objectivity slightly, but at least I can admit that I’m glad they chose this song over Mahima Chaudhary’s average item number.
“Babuji Zara” from Dum
I’m not quite sure this song belongs on this DVD at all. If it’s the best at something, it’s the best at making Totally Basmatic both uncomfortable and disgusted. It starts off as your run-of-the-mill item number, but one costume change later and there’s glistening dancers writhing in S&M outfits. Is it sexy to pour a bottle of wine down someone’s leg and drink it as it comes down their foot? What a waste of wine.
“Ek Kunwara” from Masti
All right, as much as I love Masti and all its inherent silliness, I cannot fathom how this dance number is the “best of best.” The song’s not really that good, and the item girl is absolutely talentless.
“Main Hoon Na” and “Chale Jaise Hawaien” from Main Hoon Na
No, my beef is not with either of these songs. I love them both. I love them dearly. But Main Hoon Na is the only film that has not one but two songs on this DVD. Why is that? Why couldn’t they have just picked one? Who makes these decisions? I wish I did. I bet I could compile a pretty kick-ass songs DVD.
Honorable Mention for Dumb English Lyrics
By default this award goes to “Naa Na Karte” from Dhadkan, which contains the banal phrase “I’m in love… I’m in love… I am in loooooove.” While this phrase in and of itself is not really that dumb, the only other song on the DVD to include English lyrics is “Kaatein Nahin” from Mr. India, which has the even more average “I love you” repeated a few times in the chorus. I think all the other songs on this DVD are exclusively in Hindi.