The first track from the upcoming film, Dil Bechara, has dropped on the internet. The title track has been composed and crooned by Academy award winner AR Rahman. The fans of Sushant Singh Rajput are ecstatic to see him dancing and prancing in his last film. The actor died by suicide in June 2020. The smooth jazz-like number is a hit already. What is just as impressive as the music is the striking choreography by Farah Khan. If you have not noticed, "Dil Bechara" is one long single shot - there are no cuts in the video. Dil Bechara Choreographer Farah Khan: 'I Knew Sushant Singh Rajput Would Be Able to Do It Perfectly'.
The hard work and dedication that goes into making a continuous shot are commendable. But Dil Bechara won't be the first time Bollywood has produced a single shot song.
The history of long shots dates back to as much as 1967's Jewel Thief, which was not a single shot song but was comprised of many long single shots. In 1965, the music video for Bob Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' had attempted the single-shot technique.
Long shots can add layers to the narrative. In some songs, the technique is used to add to the tension, helping its crescendo. Sometimes, it helps the energy of the song to become infectious.
Dil Bechara (2020)
In this one, the plot of the film will help us further understand why the filmmaker picked a single shot for the song. But for now, we can say that we get to see the liveliness of the character in a single-shot. It tells us how Sushant's character wants an uninterrupted life full of joy.
Roop Tera Mastana - Aradhna (1969)
The slow, simmering sexual tension between Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna is perfectly displayed with no cuts. With no edits to give you a breather, you feel the heat just as much as the two main characters.
Gallan Goodiyaan - Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)
The energy of this song is palpable. If you watch this video from start to end, the beats get to you. The crazy choreography will make you tap your feet. And, of course, Zoya's decision to make it a single shot adds to vibe.
Zara Bach Ke - Cash (2007)
This was a promotional song for the Anubhav Sinha film, Cash. The song is very quirky and the choreography maintains the vibe. The set is beautiful. Not a bunch of great dancers on the screen, but the song will manage to make a mark.
Raabta - Agent Vinod (2012)
This might have been the trickiest video of the lot. The number is not a dance choreography per se, but an entire action sequence takes place in one shot on a romantic number. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor's chemistry hits the right notes.
I Want To Make Love To You - Aitraaz (2004)
This racy number featured Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar. The title is enough to give you an idea about the song. The passion that the two actors bring to the table, to the floor, to the walls is impressive. A cut in the video would have been like missing a beat and would have broken the trance.
Barson Ke Baad Aayi Mujhko Yaad - Anjaam (1994)
We remember this movie for Madhuri Dixit's moves on Chane Ke Khet Mein. This other song from the film gets overlooked sometimes. Shot in one single take, Madhuri looks beautiful in a yellow saree. Not the best song in the lot, but the choreography must have been tough to remember for the actress while all that Shah Rukh Khan had to do was sit there.
There are many other songs that almost attempt the single-shot method. As already mentioned, Jewel Thief's "Hothon Pe Aisi Baat" is made up of multiple long shots. Then there is also "Chale Jaise Hawayein" from Main Hoon Na, which is two continuous shots which are interrupted only by Shah Rukh Khan's scene. Also, "Jag Mag" from Qaidi Band is made up of only two shots. An opportunity missed. "Haule Haule" from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is made of multiple long shots. "Zarurat" from Ek Villain and "Oo Sathi Re" from Omkara, both, have single-shot opening sequences.