The absolutely wonderful Kay from the blog TotallyFilmi.com has organized a theme week for Bollybloggers all about the amazing, one and only Govinda, and I for one am very excited to celebrate this unsung hero of Hindi cinema. My intro to Govinda was the 1987 discofabulous flick Pyar Karke Dekho. My mom wanted to see it because she heard he was a great dancer, and my sister and I laughed our way through the entire movie. I don't remember much about the movie except for the songs, which were amazingly memorable.
Songs are DEFINITELY the best part about watching Govinda movies. He has the most incredibly fun style ... no one in Hindi can match it ... I can only compare him to Prabhudeva and Lawrence from Tamil movies ... they have this way of doing tiny, subtle moves and awe-inspiring facial expressions (and I'm a Bharatanatyam dancer saying this). I love the way he makes me laugh in his song sequences.
So to kick off Govinda Week, I'm going to list my favorite Govinda songs. Bear in mind that I haven't seen a lot of the latest movies. I've even had the DVD of Partner since Christmas and haven't watched it yet. And I skipped a lot of the David Dhawan-Govinda comedies in between as well, so this will be a relatively short list, but I hope to catch up on a number of his films, particularly all the No. 1 titles.
So without further adieu, here is my humble list of Govinda faves:
1. O Miss De De Kiss - Love '86 (1986)
This was even ridiculous when it came out in 1986, but Govinda's style cannot be denied. Love the fluffy 80s hair, and I completely forgot about the other pair of Rohan Kapoor and Farah! Remember Farah? I'm slightly disturbed by her white overalls in the first sequence, but glad that her and Neelam went to Claire's together to buy their matching white sunglasses. Neelam is AWESOME too. She's another one that deserved much more stardom than she got. She is 80s cuteness personified. She's like the Bollywood version of Kelly Kupowski from Saved by the Bell. But back to Govinda, his dance skills are already eclipsing everyone else on-screen here.
2. Aap Ke Aajane Se - Khudgarz (1986)
How cute are Govinda & Neelam in this? He is so rocking the tight pants/baggy sweatshirt combo. Really like the dream sequence set with the giant necklaces everywhere, and the freakish background girls that gather carrying large necklaces.
3. Jo Muskurahat - Dadagiri (1987)
Ok, it feels really weird to be saying this, but I think this song may be the one and only time I ever found Govinda to actually be sexy. And it couldn't have been easy being so intense and romantic, what with Padmini Kohlapuri looking freaking ridiculous wearing that fugly wig with the bangs and a multitude of "party frocks". The one with the silver sparkly belt reminds me of an outfit one of my Barbies had. THAT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT. He kinda matches her fug with his sleeveless red & black cow print top when they're being all shady together in the cave. But this song is beautiful, and dare I say, makes me want to sort of cozy up with Govinda. I can't believe I just admitted that. I totally would make him burn the red cow shirt though.
4. Jabse Tujhe Dekha - Pyar Karke Dekho (1987)
Hmm, maybe Govinda DID get me all romantical more than I remembered. When I saw Pyar Karke Dekho, I had a blast making fun of crazy songs like Haki Petai Lakamma and the craptastic It's My Challenge dance-off. I carefully hid my total obsession with this song ... I seriously remember thinking it was SO beautiful. Clearly, it would have been a much better song if they had thought of better lyrics than "Oh My Sweetheart". And Mandakini is really freakish looking in this. Not that our darling Govinda is much better in his wacky shirts and neck scarves. I didn't remember there being so much gratuitous kissing in this song, but I do remember it being the first time I ever saw lips actually touch in a Bollywood movie. I kept referencing this movie when everyone made such a big deal about the full-on kiss between Manisha Koirala and Anil Kapoor in 1942: A Love Story, and no one knew what I was talking about. Le Sigh. Love the bit at 2:18 when her hand sweeps down his face. I was thinking, why did he get such a fancy manicure? Oh, and I would TOTES wear the blue churidar she wears in that last verse. His orange and red striped blazer with the sleeves rolled up leaves something to be desired though.
5. Tu Mera Superman - Dariya Dil (1988)
When Superman and Spidergirl are blended and marinated with Govinda, this amazingness results. Nuff said. Super Super Super Super Super Maaaaaan!
6. Johnny D'Mello - Taaqatwaar (1989)
I used to hate this song for wanting so badly to be an amalgamation of My Name is Anthony Gonsalves and John Jani Janardhan and failing so spectacularly, but I have to give Govinda credit here, he really gave it his all. That striped jacket looks awfully familiar ... and the two wannabe Playboy kittens(?) are also an interesting choice on the director's part. But the Santa Claus and the Skirtkerchief outfit? What does it all mean?!?!
7. Aa Bahon Mein Aa - Maha Sangram (1990)
Wow I didn't realize I liked so many hot & steamy Govinda numbers! This one is one of my favorites from the early 90s ... it struck me right from the first time I saw the trailers for this movie. Such a pretty song! Unfortunately the video has been pulled from youtube and I couldn't find it anywhere online, but the video wasn't all that exciting anyway. If you get a chance definitely give this song a listen, and you can imagine Govinda singing it to you with those intense looks from Jo Muskurahat. Except you might be haunted by Padmini's bangs. Gahhh.
8. Sanam Mere Sanam - Hum (1991)
Stupid Sexy Govinda. That was a quote from The Simpsons btw. But yeah, when this movie came out, Jhumma Chumma was THE hit, but I always loved this song. He was already started to get comical looking here, but he and Shilpa Shirodkar were supposed to be the "young" couple of this film. Love how she almost drowns him within the first minute of the song. And at 1:16 WHO IS DRAGGING HER OFF IN THE SAND??? Fail, Director-Saab. That was just plain weird. Check out the next scene in the airport where Govinda has a designer jacket with a matching motif on his jeans. And Shilpa APPEARS TO HAVE BORROWED PADMINI KOHLAPURI'S HIDEOUS WIG. Govinda decides to don his shortie-shorts after that when they go a-sailing. Director-Saab seems to still be pissed at Shilpa because he drops her in a hole at 3:16. Poor Shilps.
9. Gori Gori Baanki Chori - Shola Aur Shabnam (1992)
WOW. Where do I begin. I mean, the very fact that he can move like that in pants THAT tight. I liked Divya Bharati and all but, those white ribbons & pants with the rainbow shirt looks like something I would have worn for my 2nd grade school picture. And will someone confirm for me, I thought I remembered that Govinda sang this song himself? Our ChiChi beta is so multi-talented. Oh! And Dole Dole from this movie should have TOTALLY been on my disco list.
10. Teri Payal Mere Geet - title song (1993)
There is something totally off about SPB's voice for Govinda, but I'm always excited about anything even slightly classical, so when this came out we were all mentally choreographing it in our heads. Meenakshi has done a pretty good job in this, though I get annoyed with "filmi Bharatanatyam" for being just plain weird sometimes. But she looks BEAUTIFUL and is dancing pretty well for having all that hair piled up on top of her head. Govinda just looks so joyous, which I love.
11. Banna Mera Aaya Hariyala - Radha Ka Sangam (1993)
For such an awful movie, this movie had some lovely songs. "Oh Radha Tere Bina", "Dol Bol Kehke" and the title song were all really great, but for some reason I was super obsessed with this little medley within the movie. Govinda and Juhi were a great combo - they are both wonderfully bubbly and sweet together. Govinda has such a sweet smile and has a lot of subtle expressions in this one.
12. Traffic Jam - Rock Dancer (1995)
Um, what can I possibly say about this? Govinda has been romancing the Goris LONG before Salaam-E-Ishq. He's trying so hard to be a BA in this, it's adorable. And inconceivable in those sparkly outfits and matchy-matchy hats. Samantha Fox is rocking the 90s look with the flowered babydoll dress & boots in one of these scenes. How in the world did she do this with a straight face? BTW, Jam is one of my least favorite Michael Jackson songs, even if I DO love Michael Jordan.
13. Husn Hai Suhana - Coolie No. 1 (1995)
Ok, I was sorta enjoying the Tabu-looking chick when she up and turned into Karishma!!! ACK! But this song is super fun and I've actually never watched the video before now. I'm not a huge Karishma fan in general, but I guess if we're going to just be silly then they make a great team. I'll give her that she's a good dancer too. In the first verse when Karishma is wearing the black tutu, I'm very glad her silver helmet thingy has a hole to pull her ponytail through, it's very useful. Love the bandanas on Govinda's knees in the pirates scene.
14. Ek Chumma To Mujhko - Chhote Sarkar (1996)
THIS is a good team, I like Shilpa Shetty. I know a lot of people have issues with her plastic-face, but I think she's gorgeous and more-over an amazing dancer. She did a tamil movie with Prabhudeva called Mr. Romeo in which I was bowled over by her skillz. I've never seen any actress able to keep up with the Prabhster, but she was great. I've loved her ever since.
So I never saw this movie either, but one of my audio cassette tapes, Khuda Gawah I think, had an audio trailer of this movie songs. Anyone else remember when you had to listen to audio trailers on cassette tapes?
I wonder if anyone has ever strung together a compilation of videos of Govinda chasing after some girl who looks all pissed off. That would be fun.
Are those guys in the background wearing t-shirts with UP and Bihar imprinted on them? Shilpz is resplendent in her flouncy red skirt, thigh-high boots and red & black diamond-pattern vest thingy. She looks like the Knave of Hearts.
Also notable from this movie, another tribute to Amitabh with the Khaike Paan wannabe song Ladki Patale and the pretty, romantic number Ek Naya Aasmaan.
15. Sona Kitna Sona - Hero No. 1 (1997)
YAY! A chance for Govinda to be the chasee instead of the chaser! Unfortunately the chaser is Karishma, but she is actually somewhat entertaining in this one. Govinda's mango-colored blazer over the white shirt and black vest is pretty awesome. Love all the observers in the background too.
16. O Mummy Mummy - Deewana Mastana (1997)
I haven't seen this movie either, is this the copy of the Malayalam movie The Harikrishnans? I remember seeing the trailer for this movie a MILLION times, and loving how goofy and fun Govinda was in it. Also the gorgeous Juhi Chawla is a great inspiration for his lovesickness.
17. Dulhan To Jayegi Dulhe Raja Ke Saath - Dulhe Raja (1998)
Ok, this has to be one of the funniest videos I've ever seen. The combo of Govinda and Kader Khan is to die for. I've always loved Kader Khan, and he's particularly funny in this one. Govinda's expressions are perfectly over-the-top. And credit to Raveena Tandon too, who is also I think one of the most underrated actresses in Bollywood - she has some serious acting chops as evidenced by movies like Ghulam-E-Mustafa.
18. Kisi Disco Mein Jayen - Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998)
So after all his numbers that were inspired by Amitabh, they got to work together in paired billing, WAY better than Hum! Bade Miyan Chote Miyan was a mixture of Bad Boys and Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. Anyway, I guess I wasn't the only one that loved Govinda & Raveena together. They had a string of hits together and a certain comedic chemistry that was fabulous, as evidenced by this HILARIOUS hit song.
I LOVE at 3:09 when they meet up and immediately start dancing all silly. THIS is what I wish my dates were like.
19. Dheere Dheere Hum Dono - Anari No. 1 (1999)
I actually DID see this one, and I remember virtually nothing about it except that it was hilarious, I laughed through the whole thing, and Johny Lever did this whole bit to Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi. I do remember Simran in it though, and I totally love her to bits. She's a huge star in Tamil films and is a tremendous actress - if you see her in movies like Kannathil Muthamittal you'll see what I mean. She looks incredible in this song! I can't really say that there's any chemistry between them, but she's probably half his age so that's all for the best.
Govinda's expressions get increasingly manic in this one. Perhaps he is also disturbed by romancing a girl half his age?
20. Salaam-e-Ishq - Salaam-e-Ishq (2007)
Taxiwallah Raju is my favorite Govinda role ever. He is SO sweet, innocent, funny, adorable, and sincere. His romance with Stephanie, his dream memsahib, is one of the cutest things I've seen in a long time. When I saw him in this movie, I was reminded of how much I love him! His part in this song starts at around 3:55. Despite his age, weight, etc. - he's still got it!
21. Soni De Nakhre - Partner (2007)
YES, Govinda. This shows that you understand your own appeal. Following the likes of Kevin James is a definite sign that you don't take yourself overly seriously and THAT is why we enjoy watching you on-screen. You are FUN. You are SILLY. You are a ridiculously good dancer, chunky dude that you are and all. But um, just one minor criticism. Is that a toupee?
I know that I am missing TONS of great songs here, but I'm going to stop here and hopefully check out some of the movies I've missed over the years during Govinda Week. You have to be in the mood to just let go of reality and laugh your a$$ off to watch a Govinda flick. But when you do get in that mood and let yourself enjoy it, you are most certainly in for some belly-aching laughs.
For more fabulous posts about Govinda, check out the mothership of Govinda Week - TotallyFilmi.com! Some of the best Bollybloggers out there will be sharing their thoughts on our ChiChi Bhai.
I've been watching Bollywood movies ever since my consciousness set in, which was roughly around 1981-ish. I have a lot of Bollystalgia and I just wanted to share it. I'm also a Bharata Natyam Dancer, a singer, an avid reader, and a Harry Potter freak. I wish that life had a soundtrack. You can also follow me on Twitter or check out my Tumblr account.