An item number in commercial cinema, is still one of the hottest ingredients in Hindi mass commercial cinema after the mega success of “Munni” and “Sheila”.
However in Tamil cinema, there has not been a single hit item number which had the audiences in raptures.
Recently four films with item songs released- Vedi (Sophie Chowdhary), Vellore Maavattom (Meghna Naidu), Muran (Mukthi Mohan) and Aayiram Vilakku (unknown girl), Rowthiram (unknown girl). All the songs left you cold and not even one became a chartbuster!
Are audiences bored with item numbers? A prominent director remarked: “Earlier item songs were packaged as USP of the film, today it is just filler prior to the climax. In Vedi just before the climax action scenes suddenly the Sophie Chowdhary song was thrust into narration, there was no built up or introduction to the song. In the case of Vellore Maavattom the seriousness of the plot went haywire with Meghna Naidu's crass movements, which was in your face.”
A leading choreographer said in a television interview: “ The item song has to be a hit number. Earlier the music director, lyricist, choreographer, cameraman and the director used to sit together and chart out a story board for an item number. Today after the shoot of a film is over the hero and director thinks of bringing in a Bollywood girl to do an item number, which is thrust into the film. The audiences get bored and walk out either for a puff or to the canteen.”
Another reason for the declining popularity of item girls is that the heroine or the hero himself becomes does an “item song”, which becomes a highlight. Recently Mankatha’s “Macchi open the bottle” became a rage as it was done by Ajith and co on screen. Heroines like Shriya regularly do songs which look like item numbers. Sameera Reddy herself expressed a desire to do an item number!
Now all eyes are on Osthi item number to be picturised on Mallika Sherawat, Sonu Sood and STR. Will the song sung by LR Easwari and T Rajendran and tuned by Thaman click?