Holi is not just a favourite of many in real life, this festival of colours is also an important part of Bollywood. From its grandeur to vibrancy, our Hindi films have for decades captured the best of this celebration on the big screen. It is that time when nobody feels shy wearing loud costumes and even drinking ‘bhaang’. Holi on the silver screen becomes an important event too as mostly it forms a strong part of the screenplay. Either the Holi sequence add to the plot or they break the monotony of a serious line-up of things. It is done either with songs or a backstory occurring side-by-side. Whatever be it, Holi makes the canvas colourful, and even sometimes become the highpoint of the movie.
From handsome actors prancing around in white clothes to actresses giving flirtatious looks, all this combined with the scenes where they smear colours on each others’ faces is how Bollywood conceives its Holi scenes. And to this add a suspicious villain who does the planning and plotting against the protagonist in the film. From tragic to romantic, Bollywood films have portrayed different shades of Holi.
Here are 10 notable Holi sequences which either gave us some chartbuster numbers or were a turning point in their respective films.
Sholay – Dharmendra and Hema Malini
The song “Holi Ke Din” came as a relief amid the high octane dacoit drama. As Veeru and Basanti flirted with a blast of colours, it also showed the silent romance between Jai and Radha. Gabbar’s iconic dialogue “Holi kab hai” become a trademark of the festival. As part of the song sequence, Gabbar’s men attack Ramgarh, taking advantage of distracted Jai and Veeru. It also revealed Thakur’s big secret that he has no arms!
Darr – Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla
Holi also gives a lot of liberty to goons and stalkers who otherwise might not grab a chance to get close to women. And this aspect was highlighted in this Yash Chopra film when Shah Rukh Khan got a chance to smear his ‘K-K-K-K-Kiran’ with colours. The song “Ang se ang lagana” was followed by an important chase sequence between Rahul and Sunil.
Silsila – Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha
It gave us the iconic song “Rang Barse”. But in the movie the song is a build up to an intense plot. Just before Amit starts singing, Chandni tells Amit’s wife Shobha that she didn’t marry the man she fell in love with. In another corner, Amit makes the same confession to Chandni’s husband Dr Anand. And the song follows. Amitabh and Rekha’s sizzling chemistry in the song made their fans go gaga over them.
Mohabbatein – Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan
Holi is one festival which makes people forget their differences and give their relationship a fresh start. In Mohabbatein, Raj makes the perfect use of teeka of gulaal to convince the strict principal of Gurukul – Narayan Shankar to let the boys play Holi outside the school’s campus.
Baghban – Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini
Its song “Hori Khele Raghuveera” offers one of those beautiful moments in the film when Raj Malhotra’s entire family come together. Raj and Pooja Malhotra play Holi in the presence of their sons and daughter-in-laws but tease each other like any other youngster. Big B and Hema created more magic onscreen that any of the current breed.
Damini – Meenakshi Sheshadri and Rishi Kapoor
The movie revealed that Holi is not only about colourful fluff and happiness. In a pivotal scene in Damini, Meenakshi Seshadri witnesses the rape of her maid by her brother-in-law and his friends on Holi. The maid dies in the hospital, the rape is covered up by the family and Meenakshi Seshadri is the lone crusader for justice till she meets lawyer Sunny Deol.
The play with gulal often helped Bollywood in bringing out the true colours of the characters. Something similar happens in Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani when the introvert Naina breaks through her innocent image during the festival. Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) gets stunned to see such a transformation of Naina. The festival also gives Naina a chance to confess her love for Bunny.
Its title song which had the two lead actors play Holi might come in the post-credit roll, but it was a happy number that ended the film on a high note. The way Varun and Alia play Holi only makes their fans want to grab some colours and splash it at their loved ones.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha – Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar
After Jaya leaves Keshav and goes back to her parent’s home, Keshav comes and tries to woo her back, only to be beaten up with sticks. An intense emotional story around its song “Gori Tu Latth Maar” is symbolic of the Latth maar Holi where according to legend, Lord Krishna was shooed away by the female friends of Radha when he came to her village to play Holi with her.
Ram-Leela – Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone
Holi in Bollywood films provides the characters with a chance to do something which they otherwise would not have done. The perfect example is Ram (Ranveer Singh) and Leela (Deepika Padukone) of Goliyon ki Raasleela – Ram-Leela. When the lead pair of the film smears colour on each other, the ambiance becomes emotionally charged up and the two, who belong to opposing families end up getting intimate.