May 26 2016

One-take wonders: 6 songs shot in single takes

by   Sonal Pandya

We take a look at a few songs that dared to be different and innovative in their visualizations.

1 'Roop tera mastana' Aradhana (1969)

Probably the first instance of a single-shot song in Indian cinema, 'Roop tera mastana' is part of a classic soundtrack composed by SD Burman. Cinematographer Alok Dasgupta used the camera on a track to film the song picturised on Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore. Incredibly, director Shakti Shamanta shot only three takes; the first was incomplete, while the others were more to his liking. He even showed the two leads how it had turned out in the preview theatre by the end of the day.

2 'Chale jaise hawaien' Main Hoon Na (2004)

Farah Khan's directorial debut, Main Hoon Na, was not the first time the choreographer-turned-filmmaker experimented with this format. In the song 'Koi mil gaya' from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Khan turned the camera 360° on the action around the auditorium, making actor Shah Rukh Khan the constant amongst extras and co-stars Kajol and Rani Mukerji. For 'Chale jaise hawaien', the first half of the song, shot in a single take, is largely picturised on actress Amrita Rao dancing around the school grounds. The only break in action is when Zayed Khan's character Laxman is introduced and the camera cuts to Shah Rukh Khan reminiscing about his long-lost younger brother. Thirteen years after Main Hoon Na, Farah Khan will get another opportunity to explore a song in a single shot with Vishal Bhardwaj's Rangoon (2017). The yet-to-be-released song does not feature any stars.

3 'I want to make love to you' Aitraaz (2004)

With Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, Aitraaz (2004) looked to be heavily inspired by the 1994 Michael Douglas-starrer Disclosure. The song, 'I want to make love to you', had three different remixes composed by Himesh Reshammiya. In this romantic thriller directed by Abbas-Mastan, the song was set in a single room and picturised on Priyanka and Akshay. The visualization did not attempt any choreography and was focused more on close-ups of its stars.

4 'Zara bach ke' Cash (2007)

Directed by Anubhav Sinha, Cash (2007) is an action thriller set in Cape Town, South Africa. One of the songs, 'Zara bach ke', composed by Vishal-Shekhar, was filmed in a funky maze-like set on Zayed Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Esha Deol, Dia Mirza and Shamita Shetty. 'Zara bach ke' was choreographed by Rajeev Goswami.

5 'Raabta' Agent Vinod (2012)

A remake of the Rajshri hit Agent Vinod (1977), Agent Vinod directed by Sriram Raghavan featured the uniquely shot love song, 'Raabta'. The nearly four-minute video combines an action sequence and growing affections between Vinod and Iram (played by real-life couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan), two different arcs from the film, into one. Raghavan was inspired to combine the single-take song sequence after recalling a song, 'Mile mile do badan' from Vijay Anand's Black Mail (1973). Shot by cinematographer CK Muraleedharan, a large set of a European hotel was constructed in Mumbai especially for the shoot which lasted over four days.

6 'Gallan goodiyaan' Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)

'Gallan goodiyaan', choreographed by Bosco-Caesar, used most of the cast from Dil Dhadakne Do. Cinematographer Carlos Catalan weaved the camera in and around the dance floor of a cruise ship as Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar and others grooved to the tune of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Reportedly, after rehearsals and intricate planning, the shot was canned in under five minutes. Bosco-Caesar were nominated for the innovative dances for the song, but lost out to Pandit Birju Maharaj for the classical number, 'Mohe rang do laal' from Bajirao Mastani (2015).