Bollywood “Batdance”

09Oct12

Let me take you through the chain of events, so I don’t sound like a complete lunatic:

I was reading the AV Club’s write-up on the 1989 Prince album “Batman,” and it mentioned how the big hit “Bat-Dance” was still pretty great, despite being very dated and cheesy. It embraces the cheese, so it can stand a little on its own.

I vaguely remember the video (with the split-faced Prince as both Batman and Joker… NOT as Two-Face, which is really weird*), so I thought I’d look it up.

“To YouTube!” I exclaimed to my computer via my typing fingers, but it’s not there. Or it’s at least very buried. Remember, this is Prince we’re talking about; he has serious control issues with his music, so he’s probably had most unlicensed versions** of his music removed, hidden away in his Prince vaults.

But not ALL the unlicensed tracks. My search pulled up the intriguing title of “Bollywood Batdance,” and that leads to this video. Watch and believe.

Here are a couple other thoughts on it:

1.) I kind of don’t trust the subtitles. Not 100%. The subtitle “Something epic that defies translation,” while funny, tipped me off. They might be leading me down a campy path. I hope they are accurate. The truth is funnier.

2.) That being said, there’s no denying that the Bollywood actors are lip syncing the words to “Batdance,” a feat that does in fact defies any and all translations.

3.) Floating hats. Nothing says “Batman,” “Prince” or “Bar Fight” like floating hats.

4.) I applaud the filmmakers for not going with the obvious choice of “Beat It.” They have a gang-fight set-up, they want to dance, their hero is wearing a red leather-ish jacket and hat… seems like “Beat It” is right there. Maybe they mistyped “Beat It” and Google said “Did you mean ‘Batdance?'” and they went with it. Either way, the left-of-center choice makes this all the more amazing. Who would have thought to set a dance scene to a mild-but-forgetable hit — which is tied 100% to another very successful movie?!

5.) My absolute favorite part of “Batdance” is the reference to the other Prince-Batman song “Electric Chair.” It sounds better than the actual song. I don’t know if it’s just the key change or what, but I love it.

*Further down the rabbit hole, the “Batdance” video — or that image of Prince — would kind of work as the perfect visual representation of “The Dark Knight.” Except for the fact that it’s Prince.

**For good measure, here is the original “Official” video, from Vimeo.

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