The One With Chikni Chameli

Katrina Kaif's Item Number - Chikni Chameli for Agneepath

I get it. When you make a movie, you’ve got to pull every single trick out of your bag, to ensure that the junta laps it all up . After all, it is show-“business”. And so, it does not matter if you are making a movie on vengeance. In Bolly land, there is always some time for the hero and the villain to settle down to enjoy some flesh-appeal. And nothing’s better than a sexy siren, vibrating and gyrating at 50 Mhz. We’ve had that since Helen invented Bollywood cabaret with “Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo” . And since then, we have come a long way. The obligatory belly showcase, and the dhak dhak movements have been considered necessary elements. As well as the inclusion of a keyword, which helps in identifying the song almost instantaneously. e.g. Sheila, Munni, Babuji, Mehbooba, Monica, Humma Humma, and the list goes on, as long as the list for Item Numbers.

But even with all these checklists ticked, the formula for Agneepath’s formula item number – Chikni Chameli, couldn’t be more flawed.

There’s the ravishing Katrina Kaif , dressed in a Manish Malhotra Koli ensemble, which should mean a sure shot at a new nationwide hurricane, just by the virtue of her appearance. Choreography by Ganesh Hegde, and Hrithik and Sanju Baba at the audience end – what could possibly go wrong. Only, everything.

Katrina Kaif's Item Number - Chikni Chameli for Agneepath

First, the song. It is a track which sounds heavily inspired by yesteryear’s Lavni and Koli Dance hits, especially Mungda, and it is no where close to the peppy and catchy tune of the originals from which it draws its influence. Instead, it sounds more like a noisy routine, filled with shrill whistles and Shreya Ghoshal sounds very much unlike herself.

The very best Koli dance song of the recent past has to be Cham Cham Karta Hai Ye Nashila Badan. Featuring Sonali Bendre on the dance floor, and Vaishali Samant belting out the vocals, this track was a nationwide hit for its insanely catchy hook. And even though this was from a Marathi movie – Agabai Arrechchya, there must not have been a single Indian who hasn’t grooved to its rhythm. Compared to this, Chikni Chameli is pretty flat, and “thanda”.

The lyrics are uninsipiring, especially when she says – Pawha chadha ke aayee – instead of getting turned on, all I can think of is – get that drunk bitch out of my face.

Secondly, the choreography: When you have one of the best dancers in Bollywood, you DO NOT make her dance like a ghaati launda. Katrina’s mushtanda moves almost made the song more repulsive than what it originally is. The Beeri trick doesn’t help it either. And frankly, I think we’ve already had an overdose of the Moulin Rouge-esque setup of item girls swinging over dudes, with their fluttering lehengas painting the skyline.

I have said enough already about the 2 minutes of footage that I have seen of Chikni Chameli. And as she promises, “Ye to Trailer hai, Poori Fillum Dikhane Aayee”, I can only hope that the movie is better than the trailer we just saw. I hope Sanju Baba does not do another sleepwalking routine, and can do more than just look bad in his guyliner, bald man look.

As for now, Chikni Chameli gets a mere 2 out of 5 possible Sheilas.

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6 thoughts to “The One With Chikni Chameli”

  1. The choreography is simply outrageous. I was shocked when I saw the trailer first time. It’s laughable! I then found it in youtube to laugh some more. How on earth did Katrina agree to do this! But Katrina is certainly one of the best dancers in bollywood. It is part of her job so she does it but it is another area where she is not so good.


    Sujoy Reply:

    @Reema Sahay,

    I don’t know if it’ll serve any good to the movie tbh. It is just another banner advert to announce that Agneepath is releasing in Jan. Other than that, it is of completely no use.


  2. It doesn’t work for me either. I keep thinking that if they turned off the wind machines, the song would lose at least 30% of the little oomph it has.


    Sujoy Reply:

    Accurate calculation is accurate 🙂


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