FINALLY!!!! The thing we have been hoping for all along, ever since Madhuri was cast as a courtesan, an actual new Madhuri dance number. And, it’s not the best. But also, not the worst!
It also took advantage of Madhuri’s athletic ability. Dance training, true dance training, is like running a marathon every day. Your body gains a lot of endurance. Look at, for instance, the section from 2:24 to 3:00. Madhuri and Prabhudeva race through a dozen different complicated movements without pause for breath, and do it perfectly. It would be like putting on make-up while running on a treadmill, a combination of physical and mental challenge.
Or look at this song. Very simple moves, I wouldn’t be surprised of Madhuri more or less choreographed it herself. But because it is Madhuri, she does these simple moves with more grace and ease than anyone else would. More impressively, no cuts! 3 and a half minutes, and she is moving the whole time. Even at the moment when she is out of frame, she pops back in from the other side, meaning she must have run over behind the camera. And she is lipsynching too!
And then let’s look at her speed in actual Kathak dancing. Kathak has a lot of spins, and a lot of a footwork, combined with hand gestures. In classical dance, the dancer is like another musician, the drummer gives her a beat and she builds on it with her “ghungroo” (the dance bells around her ankles). When a dancer builds up speed, their hands and face and spins are as fast as the jingle of the bells on their feet, it’s like tap in that way, it sounds better and is more effective at a faster pace. Because of Madhuri’s training, she had crazy speed when she needed it.
So, those are the three things to look for, complexity and variety of movement, endurance (length of each set of moves) and speed of the moves. And this new song just isn’t what it used to be. Extremely short edits, the same moves repeated over and over again, and a slow pace.
But it’s still way better than any other Hindi actress can do! The sequence in the middle when she hits the floor for a complicated series of moves, and the ending, that takes real skill and training to pull off. Makes sense that it would use Madhuri so well, it was choreographed by Saroj Khan, Madhuri’s first choreographer back when she was 20 and Soraj wasn’t much older.
Okay, that’s all my big thoughts. You ready for the small thing that is distracting me like crazy? WHAT IS UP WITH THAT CHANDELIER????? Why is it SO BIG, and why does it look like it is on the ground in some shots (which makes no sense, you would only lower something like that to light it, and then raise it again) and up by the ceiling in others? And does it even seem to be a source of light? No, right? The room is kind of weirdly dark except for this glowing ineffective chandelier. Oh well, maybe it will be a plot point, the big stupid chandelier one of Madhuri’s admirers gave her, a symbol of empty useless wealth.