"The message was quite loud and clear," informs a source, "In the name of item numbers, quite a few superstars and filmmakers have resorted to visuals that make for an uncomfortable viewing. Shah Rukh didn't want that for Chennai Express which is being pitched for universal audience. Fortunately for him, his director Rohit Shetty shared the same thought as well."
This means that despite South bombshell Priyamani on board, the song in question – 'One Two Three Four' – has been handled with soft gloves.
"There are 'latkas' and 'jhatkas' but there is no bosom heaving, pelvic thrusts or navel on display which is on-your-face," the source adds, "It may have made some out there wonder if the song can indeed be categorized as an item number; more so because it was much hyped as the coming together of Priyamani as an item girl opposite Shah Rukh Khan. However one must understand that not every film demands a 'Chikni Chameli' or 'Sheila' sequence. Yes, even Shah Rukh has danced along with Kareena to the tune of 'Chammak Challo' but that too didn't carry any nudity. This is something that he is very clear about."
Says a leading filmmaker on condition of anonymity, "There is an item number in my upcoming film but I don't want the word 'item' in any conversations. I would rather term it as a 'situational' outing and let audience decide it for themselves."
Rohit isn't waiting for a later date though and has kept it all clean from the very beginning. "'One Two Three Four' is a fun song and that's the way it should be looked at as. Ever since Golmaal, each of my films has catered to the family audience. There has never been a single song and dance routine where women have been treated in a derogatory manner. That's the way I intend to keep things in future too."