This is a suggestion from BollywoodNewbie/Alisa, which I am going to steal so long as I am still hacking my lungs out and unable to do “real” posts. What are the best songs for moving along a film narrative? Helping us understand the characters and situations better, not just creating a random unrelated moment? Or, to put it another way, what are songs that make you go “I really liked that, and now I want to know what else happens in the film”. And then you watch the film and aren’t disappointed, because the song accurately described what happened during part of the movie.
I am also talking about mood songs, ones that let us feel what the characters are feeling in that moment and therefore be better able to understand and predict what they will do next in the plot. Like “Sau Dard” from Jaan-E-Mann.
Or about emotion/relationship songs that give us the background for how two characters feel about each other so we can better understand their internal conflicts. Like “Ajnabi Shehar” from Jaan-E-Mann.
But the songs I am NOT talking about are ones like “Jaaneman Jaaneman” from Kaho Na Pyar Hai, which just has Amisha dancing on a cruise ship in a sexy short skirt and could have been lifted right out of the film without losing anything from the narrative.
Hmm, where should I go from here? I think I will give you a series of examples of a variety of songs, and then you can branch off from there, either suggesting your own in the comments or picking your favorites from the ones I posted. For instance, in terms of concisely introducing a character, “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani” is maybe one of the all time best. We don’t need to know anything more about Raj Kapoor’s hero after this one song, it told us everything about who he is and how he sees the world.
Or for a song that is about a relationship turning point and things actually happening, that effect the plot, “Pardesi Pardesi”.
Expressing character’s inner emotions and shifting relationship in a way dialogue never could, “Radha” from Jab Harry Met Sejal.
Giving you the inner feelings of characters in a way dialogue never could, “Dhaakad” from Dangal.
Showing character growth, not just an introduction to the character but a change in them, through song. “Dhivara” from Bahubali.
Actually moving the plot along, through song, “Jab Tak Hain Jaan” from Sholay.
Expressing the perfect mood of the two characters in a way that changes their relationship there after without ever needing to be spoken of, “Pehle Pyar” from Hum Aapke Hain Koun.
Conveying a depth of emotion that is beyond words and cannot be conveyed in words, “Aikbareesa”
A song which actually happens diagetically in full in the film, and changes the ending, “Ek Thi Ladki”
A song which is such a powerful shared hallucination between two characters that it bonds them for ever, “Bol Na Halke”
A song which creates a mood and a theme for a whole film, setting it apart and teaching the audience how to experience it. “Bangaluru”.
Out of all of these that I have listed, which do you think is most important, most necessary to the film narrative it is within?
I vote for “Pardesi”, the whole movie would be different without it.
And what did I miss? What songs can you think of that make the narrative work, tell us about the place or the characters or move the plot along?