If there’s a debate hotter than which council hosts the better fashion week in Pakistan, then it’s who rocks the dance floor better in Bollywood…Munni or Sheila? Munni of course being the uber-popular Malaika Arora from ‘Munni Badnam Hui’ and Sheila being Katrina Kaif, cast in entirely new skin (or body) in ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ from the upcoming Tees Maar Khan. There has never been a better ‘teaser’ in recent film history! Munni became an overnight hit when Salman Khan’s Dabangg released to a full house and was declared one of the biggest blockbusters earlier this year. Munni became a mantra but then Sheila became every man’s dream one-night stand when she was hit (on) by over a million people on YouTube as soon as the video was launched. So, who deserves the crown of being item number one…Munni or Sheila?
Malaika ‘Munni’ Arora Khan returned as an item girl almost five years after winning peoples’ hearts with her moves in ‘Kaal Dhamaal’ (Kaal) and earlier, ‘Chaiyyan Chaiyyan’ (Dil Se). We can never forget her atop a train with Shah Rukh Khan. Once an item girl always an item girl, dance moves are Malaika’s claim to fame and she returned in Salman Khan’s Dabangg as a village dancer, as raunchy as ever.
Katrina ‘Sheila’ Kaif has always struggled with steam and her limited attempts (remember the disastrous ‘Zara Zara Kiss Me’ from Race?) bombed against her Barbie-doll image. ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ – from Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan, to be released on December 24 this year – comes as a pleasant reminder that she is actually human. Apparently Kats even sprained a couple of tummy muscles while practicing her belly dance moves. But that also furthers that dancing isn’t exactly Katrina’s true calling. She may have toned up to have the best bod in Bollywood (better than both Kareena and Priyanka put together) but I feel that her innocent charm is what has made her a favourite amongst the masses, not her sex appeal.
No one would disagree on both Munni and Sheila being tremendously catchy numbers. The songs are catchy, danceable and they top the charts as putting women out as sizzling hot commodities for men to ogle. Feminist alert! In fact as teasers they compete with Pamela Anderson’s item dance to the popular Madhuri Dixit track ‘Dhak Dhak Karney Laga’ on Big Boss 4. The frustrated and desperate may seek it on YouTube for extra kicks though beware Veena buzz-kill Malik who also shares the screen much to most peoples’ distaste. Anyway, ‘SKJ’ most certainly is the stronger song as far as melody goes but its video is too heavily influenced by different genres to have impact. It’s more Chicago meets Bhojpur with a sizzling Katrina changing costumes between a bed sheet, a half sari and half a suit. You can guess which half. One can imagine this track playing in discos and nightclubs in India and all Sheilas in the house getting free drinks. As for Pakistan, I really don’t think girls would be audacious enough to do the mehndi drill to this track. Actually with girls these days you never know! God forbid should the bride’s mother be called Sheila.
I must say that Katrina Kaif may be beautiful but then so are porcelain dolls and dolls can’t dance. Dolls are too plastic, even when they are porcelain. And as Sheila, Kats is a bit too inspired by Shakira, Demi Moore (Strip Tease) and even Madhuri Dixit (‘Hum Ko Aaj Kal Hai Intezaar’ from Sailaab) to be credited as an original. In retrospect there is no comparison to Madhuri, the original ‘Dhak Dhak’ girl who also gave us unforgettable items like ‘Choli’ and “Chaney’.
Munni, on the other hand, is unique; the original item girl who looks just as good as she did a decade ago and her moves are totally with it. She’s one of a kind and is unabashedly sexy even when performing with her brother-in-law Salman. Cheap thrills come naturally to Malaika and thrills are what item numbers thrive on. There is a genuine, earthy and rustic feel to ‘Munni Badnam Hui’ topped off with the perfect Bollywood jhatkas.
Verdict: Sheila Kat is beautiful but more model than masala and Munni Malaika most certainly is no angel. While both items are most definitely com’bust’ible, Munni wins for being a chip off the ‘Beedi’ block!
Song: ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’
Film: Salman Khan’s Dabangg (September 2010)
Song starring: Malaika Arora Khan as Munni with Salman Khan and the adorable Sonu Sood
Extras: A group of villagers
Choreography: Farah Khan
Playback: Mamta Sharma and Aishwarya Nigam
Catchphrase: “Shilpa sa figure Bebo si adaa, Bebo si adaa. Hai mere jhatke mein filmi mazaa re filmi mazaa.”
Genre: rustic, item number for the masses
Katrina on Munni: “I feel there is no need for comparisons. Also I would like to make one correction here. I am the lead actress in the film and have done four out of the five songs while Malaika did Munni as an item song and a guest appearance. I’ve heard Munni and it’s fantastic. There’s no point comparing both.” (quote courtesy Mid Day)
Value addition: We just loved the Gillani-Jolie spoof made on this song. Award winning comedy!
Song: ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’
Film: Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan (December 2010)
Song starring: Katrina Kaif and glimpses of Akshay Kumar
Extras: Some non descript men/dancers/city boys
Choreography: Farah Khan
Playback: Sunidhi Chauhan and Vishal Dadlani
Catchphrase: “My name is Sheila, Sheila ki jawani…I know you want it but you’re never gonna get it, tere haath kabhi na aani.”
Genre: urban meets rustic, item number for the discos
Malaika on Sheila: “I can’t comment as I haven’t seen the song. Apart from both being choreographed by Farah, both are completely different songs in terms of look and music. There are no similarities otherwise. Farah has done a fantastic job on both songs. I love her work and I am a big fan of hers but Munni will always remain my favourite as it’s our song and part of Dabangg! It’s our film and I love the song to death! Nothing is better than our film and song….My loyalties go without saying (sic). It’s not just any song but the best and the audience liked it.” (quote courtesy Mid Day)
Value addition: We are intrigued by the film more than the song because the casting for Tees Maar Khan led to the Farah-Shah Rukh estrangement which then led to Farah casting Akshay in a role designed for King Khan.