Made in 2000, the Hindi movie Kya Kehna – or, in English, What to Say – walks the line between feelgood Bollywood musical and uncomfortable social drama. The bubbly heroine Priya Bakshi, who stands up for what she believes in, is played by 25-year-old Preity Zinta, who (as a real-life commentator and columnist) is also known for standing up for what she believes in.
But Priya’s problems come to her not through standing up but lying down: at college, she gets friendly with, and gets pregnant by, a bounder who then refuses to marry her. All comes right in the end, not least thanks to another, more mature young man, Ajay, played by Chandrachur Singh. He has always secretly loved her, and ultimately gets her after she’s made her stand against the system.
The sequence that most interests us comes near the start of the film, when Ajay is at the railroad station waiting to greet Priya on her return from school. He starts to daydream, whereupon… cue a musical number in which Priya, wearing a pretty little dress (and, as we intermittently glimpse, white panties) leads him around town playing hard to get. One result of this is:
Nobody is going to claim that this is one of the great cinema spanking scenes. In fact, it’s nothing more than a cute impromptu moment in a cute imaginary sequence, which turns out, when Priya eventually arrives, to be completely unlike reality. But it’s still enjoyable, and the scene is well worth watching in its entirety:
Applause, please, for pretty Preity and her firm-handed co-star!