Helen preserve us—this blog is now ten years old!
In honor of all the films, friends, and fun—the best decade of my life, actually—here are my ten favorite songs set in villain lairs.
• Huge and spectacular set (flames, rock walls, gold throne, mural of tigers, oddly placed library near the throne).
• So much is happening!
• Classic villain (Kulbhushan Kharbanda as faux Bloefeld in faux military type clothes).
• Classic plot: the musical number is a ruse by our heroes to distract the villain while a colleague continues the mission elsewhere (there are shots of Shatrugan Sinha stalking around other parts of the lair).
• At the end, the villain does a slow clap and says "very good, wonderful."
2. "Zalim Duniya Ham Pe" from Wardaat (1981)
3. "Aye Naujawan Hai Sab" from Apradh (1972)
4. "Dekha Sahib O Sahib" from Chor Sipahee (1977)
5. "Shamma Jale Yana Jale" from Paapi (1977) (another film not nearly enough people have seen)
6. "Mujhe Maar Daalo Main" from Geeta Mera Naam (1974)
I haven't seen this movie because I can never find it with subtitles, but from what I've read this is the lair. It also has masala trademarks like baddies restraining the hero who protests while a good girl acts bad (I assume under duress or for a higher, possibly self-sacrificing cause?). Helen has a crazy wig and headpiece and is dancing in pink bubbles with an unfortunately attired guy who is actually a choreographer. Whip cracks punctuate the song in an unexpectedly S&M sort of way. Fun camera angles. Garish colors and seemingly randomly placed furniture. That black and white wall hanging of cats appears in film after film. Sunil Dutt watches (presides?) from the sidelines in a black leather coat, though unfortunately not clutching the stuffed toy monkey that he often has in this film.
7. "Kisne Dekha Hai Kal/Aaja Mere Pyar Aaja Ab To Raha Nahi Jaaye" from Heeralal Pannalal (1978)
8. "Jali Hai Nafrat Ki Aag Dil Mein" from Ganga Aur Suraj (1980)
9. "Jhoom Jhoom Ta Tu" from Players (2012)
10. "Main Hoon Don" from Don: The Chase Begins Again (2006)
I can think of no greater cinematic joy than that. Here's to many, many more.