Pretty woman – Shankar Mahadevan – Shankar-Ehsan-Loy – Shah Rukh Khan | Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)


Movie: This song appeared in 2003 Dharma Productions’ critically acclaimed and super hit romantic drama Kal Ho Na Ho (Tomorrow May Never Arrive) directed by Nikkhil Advani (debut) and produced by late Yash Johar and Karan Johar. The movie starred Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Jaya Bhaduri, Lilette Dubey, late Reema Lagoo, late Dara Singh, Sushma Seth, Delnaaz Paul, etc. The movie won 2 National Awards and 8 Filmfare Awards. An 8-minute video named Lebe Jetzt was released in the German Embassy in India to pay tribute to the movie. Kal Ho Na Ho was remade in Telugu as Chakram.

Naina Catherine Kapur (Preity Zinta) is a pessimistic MBA student living in New York City with her widowed mother Jennifer Kapur aka Jenny (Jaya Bhaduri) and 2 younger siblings – her biological differently-abled brother Shiv and adopted sister Gia. Jenny runs an unsuccessful café with her neighbor Jaswinder Kapoor aka Jazz (Lilette Dubey) to make 2 ends meet. Jenny’s mother-in-law (MIL) Lajjo (Sushma Seth) always puts Jenny and Gia down in front of other people and otherwise. Naina has 2 best friends Rohit Patel (Saif Ali Khan) and neighbor Jaspreet Kapoor aka Sweetu (Delnaz Paul). Naina’s life is dull and is shadowed by her father’s death until Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan) comes to stay with his uncle (Dara Singh) and his mother (Reema Lagoo). The bubbly happy-go-lucky man sings this song when he sees Naina for the first time.

Song: The music of this song was scored by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (SEL) and the lyrics were penned by Javed Akhtar. The international copyrights of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman were officially brought before making this song.

The man says, “The girl, I have seen just now is, who is she? The number of times, I see her, I think, can I tell her? Is she a bud or some sunray? She is a pretty woman.”

Video: Cinematography is by Anil Mehta. Dance choreography is by Farah Khan.

The video opens with Shah Rukh Khan beginning the song in the streets and Preity Zinta covering her face with her course book. Shah Rukh Khan sings to the little girl playing Gia and Shiv. Someone plays the dhol in tune with the music of the song, which has begun. Lilette Dubey and Delnaz Paul shake a few legs.

Reema Lagoo, Dara Singh, Sushma Seth and Jaya Bhaduri join the spectators. Shah Rukh Khan sings with a mike, which has come out of nowhere. Preity Zinta is irritated. Several young people join Shah Rukh Khan in the dance. Little kids are also dancing in front of him. The young people show some acrobatics. Lilette Dubey joins them and throws away her stole.

Dara Singh tells Sushma Seth that he is crazy about her and she blushes! Preity Zinta has come to the street and Shah Rukh Khan sings to her. He goes toward Reema Lagoo and kisses her cheek. Then, he is seen dancing with kids. Kamini Khanna and Shoma Anand also join in the dance. Some choir singers also join them in the dance.

Sushma Seth is shocked and Kamini Khanna and Shoma Anand take her back inside their home. The song rises to a crescendo and the video ends with Shah Rukh Khan sitting with the other dancers on a cab.

Artists: The playback of this song has been sung by Shankar Mahadevan and the onscreen performances are by Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Lilette Dubey, Delnaz Paul, Reema Lagoo, Dara Singh, Sushma Seth, Jaya Bhaduri, Reema Lagoo, Kamini Khanna, Shoma Anand and others.

Cultural Influence: I love the Bhangra music by SEL and the choreography by Farah Khan. This is one of the best choreographies of Farah Khan. The song and the artists are fantastic. The video is watchable for the same.


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