At the beginning of the 2012 Ashwni Dhir action comedy Son of Sardaar we are treated to an entertaining theme song that highlights the personality of our main character, Jaswinder "Jassi" Singh Randhawa (Ajay Devgn).
Theme songs reflect the nature of the character in the film - either as he sees himself or as he is seen by others. Because Bollywood deals with heroes, theme songs often portray characters who are bigger than life. They are super smart, super cool, super strong, and/or super masculine. You have no doubt when called on to defend themselves, their loved ones, or their community, they will step forward. Whether you know Hindi or not, the melodies and instrumentation are designed to give you a clear sense of character.
Sometimes film theme songs strike a chord that resonates strongly with audiences on a personal level. Here are 5 hero theme songs we wish were ours.
Film: Don: The Chase Begins Again | Released: 20 October 2006
What this theme says about Don: This is someone who is smooth, calculating, and constantly on the move. He appreciates beauty and loyalty. At the same time, he changes plans as easily as he changes partners. The lilt of the music reminds you that there is something dangerous about this man. He is full of surprises and he alone knows there is much more to his story than meets the eye.
Film: Singh is Kinng | Released: 8 August 2008
What this theme says about Happy Singh: This song epitomizes a no-worries, laid-back, in-control cool. This hero is charismatic and those around him are pleased to celebrate his rise to power. As the celebration evolves, participants can't help but smile and get their groove on while singing this song. The entertaining rap lyrics keep this chill bash going as everyone honors the recognized leader of a powerful group.
Composed by: Pritam
Sung by: Mika Singh, Neeraj Shridhar, Ashiesh Pandit, Javed Jaffrey, Hard Kaur
Picturized on: Akshay Kumar, Neha Dhupia, Om Puri, Javed Jaffrey, Sudhanshu Pandey, Manoj Pahwa, Katrina Kaif
Film: Dabanng ("Fearless") | Released: 10 September 2010
What this theme says about Chulbul "Robin Hood" Pandey: He's a strong, fearless man who is a little off-kilter and unconventional. He is supported, respected and feared in the community perhaps because he will step in and take control if he feels the need - and when he does the outcome is anyone's guess. This testosterone-laced theme song makes it clear that Chulbul Pandey is the decider and doesn't mess around.
Film: Singham ("Lion") | Released: 22 July 2011
What this theme says about Bajirao Singham: Emerging from tradition and honor, this hero is celebrated by everyone in the community. He has earned these accolades because he lives a life of honor and purpose. He basically plays by the rules but isn't meek - he isn't afraid to address problems head-on. Underlying his calm exterior is the soul of a fighter and a heart that beats a strong rhythm for truth and justice. Criminals beware! Singham will tenaciously hunt you down.
Film: Boss | Released: 16 October 2013
What this theme song says about Boss: This is someone who lives large, plays hard, and enjoys life to the fullest. Everyone knows when the Boss is in the house and he likes it like that. He travels with an entourage that follows him in lockstep and supports him unflinchingly. But this is not just a party animal. He is smart and observant. Don't worry about keeping track of him, he is keeping track of you.
The following playlist features each of these character theme songs. Which theme song resonates with you the most?
If you liked this, check out our other Friday Five posts.