Romantic item numbers in Indian cinema are par for the course. These are the moments when the wind blows and meaningful glances and gentle touches are exchanged. For the audience, these are the moments that can make or break a romantic on-screen couple. If either character doesn't convince us that they are all-consumed with love and passion for their co-star, the film is just a story, not a love story.
While Salman Khan generally adopts a tough guy persona for his on-screen characters, he has proven his romantic qualities as well. If you are new to Bollywood, here are 5 favorite romantic songs featuring Salman Khan.
The Story So Far: Nice guy Prem (Salman Khan) lives with his older brother Rajesh (Mohnish Bahl) and uncle Kailashnath (Alok Nath). Rajesh gets engaged to and marries Pooja (Renuka Shahane) who has a younger sister Nisha (Madhuri Dixit). As the families spend time more together, the sometimes mischievous but always amicable relationship between Prem and Nisha begins to turn into love.
Why I Love This Song: From one of Salman Khan's earlier films, this romantic song is playful - and a perfect complement to the nature of relationship between Prem and Nisha. While Salman's dance style is much different from Madhuri's, the choreography of the dance sequence incorporates some interesting and fun moves that keep you smiling as the song turns from playful into quiet romance.
The Story So Far: Nandini (Aishwarya Rai) is the daughter of renowned Indian classical musician Pandit Darbar (Vikram Gokhale). Into this carefree life enters Sameer (Salman Khan), a boy of Indo-Italian parentage who comes to Darbar for mentoring in music. Nandini and Sameer regularly tease and play pranks on each other - but at one of the big events hosted at Darbar's home, their frivolous flirtations begin to transform into a passionate love.
Why I Love This Song: Sameer and Nandini continually move about the room in a flirtatious and playful way as if being driven by the music of the waltz. When they meet - whether in person or through eye contact across the room - the romantic connection is tangible.
The Story So Far: Radhe Mohan (Salman Khan) is a rowdy ex-college boy who loses his heart to first year student Nirjara (Bhumika Chawla), a traditional girl. When he confesses his love and his intention to marry her, Nirjara publicly rejects him.
Why I Love This Song: This is a love song sung by a heartbroken Radhe who has discovered his love is unrequited. He cannot break free of the longing he has for Nirjara. While he respects her and keeps his distance, he cannot stop thinking about her. The impact of this has destroyed his happiness, his confidence, his ability to live his life. This song is for anyone who has experienced a lost love.
The Story So Far: Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) is assigned as Divya Rana's (Kareena Kapoor) bodyguard while she is at university. She detests having him always shadowing her and tries several times to get rid of him. Divya decides to call Lovely on his cell phone pretending to be a classmate "Chhaya" who is madly in love with him, hoping this will distract Lovely from his work. When Lovely and Divya show up at a park so he can meet "Chhaya" in person, she calls him and breaks up. Divya - who has secretly fallen in love with Lovely - is heartbroken but puts up a positive face as she and Lovely walk back to the campus.
Why I Love This Song: This dreamlike sequence offers a powerful romantic ballad that is memorable for the music, lyrics and dramatic set designs. The scene moves from darkness into bright white then pulls colors from nature. The two leads perform this love theme with a restrained passion reflective of their personalities and relationship - which makes this song particularly memorable.
The Story So Far: Sent on a mission to investigate Professor Anwar Jamaal Kidwai (Roshan Seth) who is now teaching in Ireland, RAW agent Tiger (Salman Khan) meets and becomes friends with Kidwai's part-time housekeeper, Zoya (Katrina Kaif). As Tiger gets closer to Zoya to get closer to Kidwai, he begins to fall in love with her. When Tiger uncovers a secret, he and Zoya part ways. They meet up again in Istanbul where they confirm their love for each other but realize they cannot be together.
Why I Love This Song: Major socio-political obstacles stand in the way of Salman and Katrina's love. While these issues don't matter to Tiger and Zoya when it comes to their feelings for each other, they realize these impediments may be too difficult to tackle. They must decide if their love is worth saving. What makes this song particularly romantic are the lyrics that highlight the internal struggles of Tiger and Zoya.
The following playlist features each of these songs, along with "Hangover". If you like these musical numbers, you'll love the full films!
If you liked this, check out some of our other Friday Five posts.