Holi Special: When Holi Played A Vital Part In Bollywood Movies

Author : Grinell Jacinto


Bollywood films have for decades captured the best – and worst – of Holi on the big screen. The festival has become an important event as it forms a strong part of the screenplay. These sequences either 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.

From tragic to romantic, Bollywood films have portrayed different shades of Holi. Take a look at some of them here:

Sholay (1981)

The film’s Holi song – Holi Ke Din – came as a relief amid the high octane dacoit drama. The song showed the shameless flirting between Veeru and Basanti while playing with colours. It also let us see the silent romance between Jai and Radha. The celebration hold importance as it had Gabbar’s men attacking Ramgarh while Jai and Veeru were distracted. This Holi scene also revealed the big secret – Thakur’s has no arms.

Silsila (1981)

Silsila has given us the iconic Holi song Rang Barse. This song as much as it about the sizzling chemistry between Amit and Chandni, it’s also 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 while in another corner, Amit makes the same confession to Chandni’s husband Dr Anand.

Darr (1993)

While Holi is a time when family and friends throw colour on each other it is also a time goons and stalkers take a chance to get close to women. This was highlighted in Yash Chopra’s Darr where Rahul professes his love for ‘K-K-K-K-Kiran’. The film’s Holi song – Ang se ang lagana – is followed by a chase sequence between Rahul and Sunil.

Damini (1993)

While most of the Holi sequences in the film lead to something major, what happens here during the Holi celebration form the crux of the film. Here Damini witnesses the rape of her maid by her brother-in-law and his friends while the family is busy playing Holi. The maid dies in the hospital, the rape is covered up by the family but Damini fights for justice.

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017)

This Holi song follows after Jaya leaves Keshav and goes back to her parent’s home. Keshav returns to woo her back, only to be beaten up with sticks. The emotional story – 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.

Many more films too had Holi playing an important part in the way a film went forward.

Happy Holi Guys!

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