Shooting film songs

Picture the song: The eyes have it in ‘Achcha Ji Main Haari’ from ‘Kalapani’

The song from Raj Khosla’s ‘Kalapani’ works on playful looks and sighs.

Madhubala has her back to the camera, her head down. Her pleas have fallen on dead ears, or so she thinks. Dev Anand does a slow pirouette around her. There is a playful look in his eyes, that endearing goofiness that made us overlook every movie he inflicted on us since Heera Panna. He is enjoying her predicament. But, at that moment, we also know that her words have had their effect; reconciliation is round the corner.

She, of course, does not know this yet. As he exits the frame, she slowly, very slowly, turns around. A lock of hair lies fallen across her luminous face. There is sadness in those eyes. And then she lets out a sigh.

And so do we.

In a 1988 interview with author and documentary filmmaker Nasreen Munni Kabir, Raj Khosla acknowledged that it was from his mentor Guru Dutt that he learnt the art and craft of filmmaking, including the nuances of shooting a song:

“The use of the face and the eyes more than the body movements in songs…I follow him in using more of the close ups, more of the eyes, they tell the main story…”

No song sequence better illustrates this than Achcha Ji Main Haari from Khosla’s Kalapani (1958).

The song is in the roothna-manana tradition, with the usual roles reversed – it is the hero who is sulking and the heroine is out to placate him. It has its own dramatic arc, but an overall air of playfulness pervades. Apart from the frequent use of close-ups, one can also see Guru Dutt’s influence on Khosla in his use of the dolly.

While Achcha Ji showcases Khosla’s penchant for directing songs, it would be criminal to forget the song’s chorographer, or dance director as they were called then. The credits mention two names: Lachchu Maharaj and Satya Narayan. The former was an exponent of the kathak form and would more likely have been involved in the sequences involving Nalini Jaywant, who plays a courtesan in the film. So Satyanarayan (as he was usually credited) is our man, the one who would have worked out the nitty-gritties of the actors’ movements.

Achcha Ji does not have the scale of Ghar Aaaya Mera Pardesi (Aawara, 1951) nor the in-your-face brilliance of Waqt Ne Kiya (Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959). But Khosla and Satyanarayan, aided and abetted by the charisma of the lead pair and a brilliant song, have taken a staple situation and, with little, deft touches, forged something quite magical.

Play
Achcha Ji Main Haari from Kalapani (1958).
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content  BY 

These GIFs show you what it means to miss breakfast

That monstrous roar is your empty stomach.

Let’s take a glance at your every day morning routine. You crawl out of bed, go for a quick shower, pull out and wear your neatly ironed clothes at the speed of light and then rush out of the house, making sure you have your keys and wallet in place.

Giphy
Giphy

You walk into office, relieved because you have made it to work on time. Stifling yawns and checking emails, you wonder how your colleagues are charged up and buzzing with energy. “What is wrong with these people” you mumble to yourself.

Giphy
Giphy

Slowly, you start to change. You start snapping at colleagues and start arguing with your computer. You take out your frustration on anything or anyone in sight.

To add to the aggressive behaviour, you’ve completely lost your focus. After some time, you simply forget what you were doing.

Giphy
Giphy

Unable to bear the hunger pangs, you go for a mid-morning snack. It is only when a colleague asks you for a bite do you realize that you have developed into a fully formed, hunger fueled, monster. Try not to look at yourself in the mirror.

Giphy
Giphy

If only you had spared not even twenty or ten but just 5 minutes in the morning and not skipped breakfast, your story would look completely different - as you will see in this video.

Play

The fast dip in your mood and lack of focus is because your body has missed its most important meal of the day – breakfast. Research has shown that skipping a meal, especially in the morning, worsens the mood because there is a drop in the blood sugar. This in turn affects the levels of serotonin and dopamine, the chemicals produced in the brain that control our moods and feelings. In simpler English, not having breakfast is going to make you really cranky and confused!

Morning is also when the body needs maximum nutrition to function efficiently through the day as you’ve just woken up from a full 7 hours of no food (and if you’re sleeping less than that, that’s a whole other article).

So in short, having a breakfast could make you go from looking like the earlier GIFs to this:

Giphy
Giphy

But with changing lifestyles and most people hard pressed for time, a healthy breakfast is taking the backseat. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. MTR has come up with a range of widely loved Indian delicacies like Poha, Upma and Halwa which can be made in (hold you breath) just 3 minutes! All you have to do is add hot water and wait for 3 minutes to get a delicious and filling breakfast.

Giphy
Giphy

These amazing and delicious breakfasts can be made in a jiffy and consumed with the least hassle, even in the midst of your frenetic morning routine. So grab your #MTRbreakfastin3 to start the day on an awesome note.

Click here to make breakfast a part of your morning routine.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of MTR and not by the Scroll editorial team.