Friday, August 27, 2010

Aashayein - Movie Review

Read more! Cast :: John Abraham, Anaitha Nair, Sonal Seghal & Farida Jalal

Rahul Sharma (John Abraham) is all set to marry girlfriend Nafisa ( Sonal Sehgal) after amassing a huge sum in gambling. Life seems to be on song, until he discovers he has cancer. How does Rahul cope with the threat of death round the corner? Does he crumble and give up or does he manage to rediscover life in what's left of it....

The film may have been lying in limbo for over two years now, but this does not detract from the quality of this small and sensitive film that takes a look at terminal illness in a totally non-filmy fashion. Okay, the theme may be depressing: the big bad C-word and the attendant fears that go with it. But Kukunoor chooses to look at it from the other side of midnight.... From a vantage point where fear and despair are replaced by a life-sustaining desire to wrench out all the beauty from the world before curtain call by a bunch of death row patients.

When Rahul learns about his debilitated state, he runs away from his devoted girlfriend (Sonal) and ends up in a home for terminal patients. He hopes to hide his pain away from the people he loves and longs for. But the home literally turns out to be a home away from home where the hopeless man rediscovers new hope, new friends, unbound happiness, a lightness of being and a new purpose in life. But more than all this, he gets a chance to live out his favourite fantasy: playing Indiana Jones in a veritable temple of doom, complete with hat and whip. His job is wish fulfillment... a valiant attempt to ensure the inmates die with a smile on their lips.

But more than all this, it is the new relationship he strikes with the 17-year-old, tantrum-throwing Padma (Anaitha Nair) that adds a zing to the proceedings. Rahul and Padma kick up some fine chemistry with their unusual pairing which defies traditional definitions. Like true soul mates, they learn to share and respect each other's pain and grief, even as they revel in fun and games on the picturesque beach resort with its odd assortment of sad-and-happy inmates.

Don't go looking for popcorn stuff and Aashayein is sure to hold your attention with its gentle grace and dignity. Also, watch out for heart-warming performances by John Abraham and Anaitha Nair who lend credibility to the role of terminal patients celebrating life before the final salute.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lafangey Parindey - Movie Review

Read more! Cast :: Neil Nitin Mukesh & Deepika Padukone

Sometimes, your reputation precedes you. Pradeep Sarkar carries the reputation of making women-centric movies. Films like PARINEETA and LAAGA CHUNARI MEIN DAAG prove it. Who would've ever thought Sarkar would do a 360 degree turn in his third film by calling it LAFANGEY PARINDEY, set it in a chawl and make his characters speak tapori lingo? Hard to digest, isn't it? Frankly, the skilled storyteller takes you on a trip least expected from him.

When you attempt something you haven't attempted earlier or ventured into before, you either fall flat on your face or walk with your chin up in air. Sarkar doesn't slip, although LAFANGEY PARINDEY does have its share of hiccups that show up intermittently. Unlike PARINEETA and LAAGA CHUNARI MEIN DAAG, Sarkar narrates a simple story this time around and though it has nothing to do with the Rajesh Khanna - Mumtaz - Meena Kumari starrer DUSHMUN, you can't help but draw parallels with it, which, frankly, could be a coincidence as well. Yet, to be fair to Sarkar, he ventures in an unknown territory like a seasoned player.

On the flipside, the film has a major flaw and that dilutes the impact to an extent: Casting Neil Nitin Mukesh as a tapori. He just doesn't look like one. Even if he tries very hard to get into the skin of the character, you just can't connect with him since the suave and dashing demeanor makes him look like a Harvard returned, not someone from the streets or wadis of Mumbai definitely.

Final word? Sure, it has its share of shortcomings, but is an engaging watch nonethess.

LAFANGEY PARINDEY is about a group of youngsters living in the backstreets of Mumbai. It is the love story of Nandu [Neil Nitin Mukesh] and Pinky [Deepika Padukone].

One-Shot Nandu takes boxing to a new level by knocking down his opponents - blindfolded. Needless to say, One-Shot lives life on his own terms and is a local hero amongst his friends. But all that changes when he meets Pinky.

Pinky works at a mall, but is a kickass dancer on skates. Strong-headed, talented and fiercely ambitious, she aspires to rise above all the 'losers' living in her locality and carve a niche for herself. Two different personalities. Two different lives. Destined to meet.

LAFANGEY PARINDEY starts with gusto! Also, it moves on a singular path, without diversifying into unwanted sub-plots and superfluous characters. In fact, the story takes off at the commencement of the film itself and how Neil and Deepika's lives get intertwined makes for interesting viewing.

The film has some truly engaging moments and most of them are in its first hour. Sequences between Neil and Deepika after the accident are wonderful and keep you hooked. However, things begin to slacken in the post-interval portions, when the love story takes over and Neil and Deepika realize that they share a deeper bond. Just when things are about to go downhill, the climax happens and LAFANGEY PARINDEY is back on track. In fact, the drama in the finale - when Deepika and Neil have to perform the final act for a television show - is the highpoint of this film. The skating sequences and choreography are stunning and awe-inspiring.

Blemishes? Oh yes! The love story is conventional and dreary. Also, the investigating officer's track is half-baked and looks like an add-on. Besides, the film is embellished with a mediocre musical score [R. Anandh]. Also, the Bambaiya Hindi has its limitations.

Like I pointed out earlier, Neil is the wrong choice for this part. Also, he lacks the fire to carry off the role with flourish. LAFANGEY PARINDEY clearly belongs to Deepika Padukone, who suits the character and enacts it with such competence that it leaves you amazed. The pretty lass is only getting better with every film. Piyush Mishra is first-rate. Kay Kay Menon is okay in a brief role. The friends, each them, leave a mark. Especially Namit Das, who's wonderful. Shiamak Davar, Juhi Chawla and Javed Jafferi feature in brief roles.

On the whole, LAFANGEY PARINDEY may be predictable, but is engaging and entertaining nonetheless. A decent watch!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anjaana Anjaani - Music review

Read more! Cast :: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra & Zayed Khan

The very first on Anjaana Anjaani. After IHLS I was somehow expecting pretty high from the album, but Vishal-Shekhar go beyond my expectations. It’s certainly worth a listen.

The album starts with Anjaana Anjaani ki Kahani which is already there on televisions for quite sometime. While the short promo of the song rocks, the song, sung by Monali and Nikhil D’Souza offers a bit more and you get something that is sure shot party material.

The second, Hairat, is a hairat for me. I mean, surprise. Not that I was expecting anything less with Lucky Ali there but the way he sings so lively at the age of 51 simply amazes me. And then, before I start on Lucky’s singing, another thing that amazed me in the album was Vishal Dadlani’s lyrics. He’s always been good with lyrics of kinda fun and rocking songs, but here he impresses with his poetry. As for Lucky’s singing and V-S composition, will it suffice to say that I find it difficult to move to the next song?

Anyway, I move to the next and I’m welcomed by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Aas Paas Khuda is typical and good. Something that I’m repeating about Rahat songs a lot, but then I guess Rahat is being kinda stereotyped compared to his immense talent for whatsoever reasons. Still, like most of the times, Vishal-Shekhar add some bits here and there trying to make things more interesting, and I’d say it works. In short, a typical Rahat song of the times we live in.

I have always been a fan of Vishal and Shekhar’s voices, and so the next song Tumse hi Tumse is a treat for me. As the song starts with guitar, I think for a moment if something like Bin Tere unplugged was coming, but the moment passes quickly and the song turns into what I’d say a Lucky’ish mode as soon as Shekhar starts singing. Caralisa’s quite fast English (rap?) sounds interesting to say the least, but the hero of this one is Shekhar Ravjiani. He’s going to get more people saying, ‘This is for you Shekhar!’ Oh, btw, the end of the song has some nice effects on Caralisa’s voice. This simple but beautiful one is a must listen.

As far as I remember, while the world was (and is) standing in queue outside Mohit Chauhan’s home, Vishal-Shekhar were doing it pretty fine without the guy and now that they make him sing a composition of theirs, he gets more than what you can say a typical Mohit Chauhan song. This time Mohit comes with a sad song, Tujhe Bhula Diya. The best part of the song though, for me, was Shruti Pathak’s wonderful start where she sings with near-zero background music. From here on Mohit picks up and where he comes to a still, Shekhar comes with an entry somewhat like Jogi Mahi, with the difference that here things don’t get high like that. Anyway, the point is that the song sounds good from the very first time and the more you hear it, the more you like it.

The next song, I Feel Good, goes on the well-known rock abilities of Vishal and equally unknown rock abilities of Shilpa Rao. Vishal starts singing the song in his soft voice in a way that for once can sound like Shankar Mahadevan’s voice. And then Vishal and Shilpa both completely rock me with the song. The interesting thing is that while the song is something normal for Vishal, it’s strange how Shilpa Rao never (with an exception of Woh Ajnabee, to some extent I guess) sang such a song and was kept to soft numbers with (her) heavy voice. I hope to see her to get more rocking numbers now.

Even more interestingly, the next song, which is the title, Anjaana Anjaani, again has Vishal and Shilpa, this time in a bit different mood. It’s not exactly rock but falls somewhere nearby, something like Sadka Kiya. I never had doubts about Vishal’s abilities as singer but the way he goes singing such wonderful songs, I’m bound to say he’s more a complete musician rather than a composer.

The next track happens to be the remix of Tujhe bhula diya. The track doesn’t impress me, but strangely, it strengthens my belief in the original track. Never mind.

And after a noisy sounding remix, the end comes as a beautiful unplugged version of Aas Paas hai Khuda by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shruti Pathak. Strange to see an extra name in an unplugged version, but then, nobody questions a miracle. Though, for some reason unknown to me too, I didn’t find this one as great and superb and marvelous as Shekhar’s version of bin tere in IHLS. Maybe I’m too fascinated by his voice.

Overall, Anjaana Anjaani is a superb soundtrack. V-S align a bit towards rock, and on the negative side, there are a few things that sound repetitive from them (like one inside Tujhe Bhula Diya) but the overall end result is something that you can rock yourself on, dance to, or simply cherish in a relaxing mood, in short, a perfect soundtrack. As I said, more than I expected.

My favorites (as of now): Hairat, I feel good, Anjaana Anjaani (Vishal-Shilpa), Aas Paas Khuda unplugged, Tumse hi Tumse. And the best part, it’s not easy to decide.

Download Anjaana Anjaani MP3 Songs
01 - Anjaana Anjaani Ki
02 -
03 - Aas Pass
04 - Tumse Hi
05 - Tujhe Bhula
06 - I Feel
07 - Anjaana
08 - Tujhe Bhula Diya (The Dance To Forget Mix)
09 - Aas Paas Khuda (Unplugged)

01 - Anjaana Anjaani Ki
02 -
03 - Aas Pass
04 - Tumse Hi
05 - Tujhe Bhula
06 - I Feel
07 - Anjaana
08 - Tujhe Bhula Diya (The Dance To Forget Mix)
09 - Aas Paas Khuda (Unplugged)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peepli [Live] - Movie Review

Read more! Cast :: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghuveer Yadav & Malaika Shenoy

When Aamir Khan produces a film, or is associated with any film in the capacity of an actor, be prepared for the unpredictable. Films like TAARE ZAMEEN PAR and 3 IDIOTS took pot shots at the education system in India and PEEPLI [LIVE], directed by Anusha Rizvi, is a tongue-in-cheek satire on the farmers' suicides and the role of vote-hungry politicians and the over-enthusiastic, TRP-seeking desperate electronic media jostling for eyeballs.

Come to think of it, the concept [farmers' suicides] would instinctively translate into a serious, thought-provoking film. But PEEPLI [LIVE] takes a grim and solemn issue, turns it into a satire, garnishes it with populist sentiment and makes a far greater impact than a mere documentary, had it tackled the burning issue. In fact, like all Aamir Khan films, PEEPLI [LIVE] marries realism with a winning box-office formula most brilliantly.

A sad fact of our society is that bad news attracts instant attention. In PEEPLI [LIVE], an impoverished man offers to commit suicide so that his family can benefit from a government grant - a dark subject matter which is dealt with in a delightfully humorous manner. In fact, it's a terrific satire about a troubled India, the shining India, the industrialised India that's rarely depicted on the Hindi screen.

PEEPLI [LIVE] focuses on the poorest of the poor in India and it not only highlights the plight of a farmer in a tiny corner of a giant country, but also throws light on the varied people who exploit the situation to their advantage, right from the politicians to the bureaucrats to the television reporters to the local people. In fact, PEEPLI [LIVE] makes a scathing attack on the functioning of media in India and how media persons, depicted as vultures, generally stoop to the lowest levels to increase the ratings of their television channel/show.

The best part is that at no point does the film gets preachy or starts offering solutions to the grave issue. It's a mere tool that the makers have used to discuss bureaucracy, the rural and urban divide and lack of concern of the administration.

Natha [Omkar Das Manikpuri], a poor farmer from Peepli village in the heart of rural India, is about to lose his plot of land due to an unpaid government loan. A quick fix to the problem is the government's program that aids the families of indebted farmers who have committed suicide. As a means of survival, Natha chooses to die. His brother [Raghubur Yadav] is happy to push him towards this unique honour.

Local elections are around the corner and what might've been another unnoticed event turns into a cause célèbre, with everyone wanting a piece of the action. Political bigwigs, high-ranking bureaucrats, local henchmen and the ever-zealous media descend upon sleepy Peepli to stake their claim. Natha's mother [Farrukh Jaffer] screams at his wife [Shalini Vatsa], while his young son urges papa to go through with the suicide so he can use the money to become a policeman.

One TV journalist, in a desperate search for a new angle, tries to examine Natha's faeces to determine his emotional state. Nobody seems to care how Natha really feels.

PEEPLI [LIVE] tells the story of today: Rural society, the games politicians play, the bureaucracy and the manipulative electronic media. It's a well penned and well executed film that deals with a serious issue in a witty and entertaining manner. Although very real, it creates a world full of vivid characters and incidents and keeps the viewer engrossed throughout.

First-time director Anusha Rizvi handles the subject material like a veteran. Her script is tight and witty and her handling of a difficult subject deserves kudos. What really sets the film apart is that it is unlike a typical Bollywood film. In fact, you can't draw parallels with any film, past or present. And that's what goes in favour of this film, since virgin subjects handled with utmost sensitivity and maturity is the order of the day. Even the finale is most appropriate and absolutely befitting the content of the film. In a nutshell, Anusha scores a sixer in her debut.

The music, composed by multiple artists, is Indian to the core and borrows heavily from folk music. The hugely popular - 'Mehangayee Daayan' - is the pick of the lot, without doubt. Cinematography is appropriate. Dialogue, laced with expletives, are truly fantastic and most importantly, real.

Manikpuri is brilliant as Natha. Raghubir Yadav shines as the opportunist brother. Malaika Shenoy [as the television reporter] is exceptional. Shalini Vatsa [as Natha's wife] is outstanding. Ditto for Farrukh Jaffer [Natha's bed-ridden mother]. In fact, the constant tu-tu-main-main between the saas-bahu is thoroughly enjoyable. Nawazuddin Siddiqui [as Rakesh, the local journalist] is natural. Vishal Sharma [as Kumar Deepak, the rival journalist] is top notch. Naseeruddin Shah is first-rate as the conniving, shrewd politician. The remaining cast - there're lots of actors in the film - pitch in believable performances.

On the whole, PEEPLI [LIVE] is sure to ride initially on the strength and credibility of its iconic actor/producer Aamir Khan and once that is achieved, the powerful content is sure to speak for itself. PEEPLI [LIVE] is a film that would not only appeal to Indians, but is sure to reach out to audiences beyond India. Simply brilliant!

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Help - Music Review

Read more! Cast :: Bobby Deol & Mugdha Godse

Remember that sweet movie called Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar aka MP3? There was this awesome title track sung by KK and some more beautiful songs, composed by Ashu-Dhruv, Ashutosh Phatak and Dhruv Ghanekar if you explain. The two guys also worked with Kailash Kher on summertime rocks and are well known for their Blue Frog in Mumbai.

Anyway, out of this Dhruv-Ashu/Ashu-Dhruv, Dhruv Ghanekar had given music for Drona almost two years ago. And now, Ashutosh Phatak is coming with his composed album for this horror movie called Help. And I like this one. Here is a review.

The album starts with Kehna hai. And as the music plays, you know why Dhruv and Ashu are/were together, as the song starts quite similar to Teri Bandagi, the best one from Drona. Though, as you move forward into the song, the songs go on different lines. This one is sung by Joi Barua, the man who is known for his songs with Amit Trivedi, along with Suzanne D’Mello. Good one.

The second song, kyun Gum Hain Khushiyaan is a different piece. I don’t think this one is for those who love only the old typical model of Hindi movie songs, but if you welcome change, this might well be your thing. The song with a good rock base, and kind of away from the typical Mukhda-Antara thing, the song is not short and gets even repetitive inside as gum hain khushiyaan khushiyan gum hain keeps going on and on and on. But somehow it’s addictive and you grow to love it. At least I did. In love with this one. The new thing for sure.

The next song is the title track, Help, sung by Rana Majumder, a Pritam regular this time. With him comes a Barkha who is interesting to hear to. Made on the old beat model, the song has heavy beats, giving you a DJ feel but somehow this one is done pretty well and even with the typical and so-heard-type beats, the song is likable and a good hear, from the first time. Quite electronic a song, but at the end of the day, it sounds good and that is what matters.

The last thing from the album is a two minute piece called Incubated, and its the one full of rock. I’m not deep into rock but my guess is that lovers of Hard Rock will love this one, and will surely welcome this type of thing coming to Bollywood.

Overall, Help is a small, but good, and quite appreciably, new album. Must hear if you like to experiment with your music or love those who do experiment with theirs.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Aisha - Movie Review

Read more! Cast :: Abhay Deol & Sonam Kapoor

Recall the age-old adage: Marriages are made in heaven. Consummated on earth. But haven't we encountered lots of people in real life who try to set things up between friends/acquaintances? In fact, they take upon themselves to make matches and meddle in other people's affairs. That, in a nutshell, is the plotline of AISHA.

Let's get one thing straight. You are not exploring virgin territory with AISHA. 'Emma', the Jane Austen novel, has been adapted on film and television in the past. Although first published in 1815, almost 200 years ago, director Rajshree Ojha and writer Devika Bhagat transport the characters from this novel to present-day New Delhi. But the essence remains the same: A simple plot and an equally simplistic love story.

Unlike most love stories that we’ve witnessed on Hindi screen, there’s no heavy-duty dramebaazi in AISHA, no major hurdles to cross, no parental opposition to encounter, no major conflicts to solve. The director and writer remain faithful to the novel, which prompts you to ponder, wish the relationships were so uncomplicated in today’s times.

But there's a flipside as well. The film runs a little longer [although the running time is 2 hours] and gets painfully slow in some portions. Besides, AISHA lacks the depth of passion and that could be because the makers were trying to make something lighter and breezier. Sweeping the minor complaints aside, AISHA is watchable for two factors mainly: Neat performances, especially by Sonam Kapoor and Amit Trivedi’s super musical score.

Aisha [Sonam Kapoor] is a girl with a simple diktat -- everyone's business is her business. Arjun [Abhay Deol] is a boy with even a simpler set of beliefs -- Aisha should mind her own business. Caught in the Delhi upper class world with its own set of social rules, Aisha navigates her world with a great sense of style and even greater optimism.

Caught in her web are her best friend Pinky [Ira Dubey], the small-town girl Shefali [Amrita Puri], the West Delhi boy Randhir [Cyrus Sahukar] and the hunk Dhruv [Arunoday Singh]. Aisha will make sure everyone dances to her tune. And all Arjun wants to do is disentangle that web and get Aisha out of an impending sticky mess.

Director Rajshree Ojha and writer Devika Bhagat introduce the principal characters at the very outset and within minutes, you know their traits as well. The entire first hour is filled with the assorted characters interacting with one another and technically speaking, there's hardly any movement in the story. In fact, the first hour is more of a collage of incidents and moments put together on a beautiful canvas.

But the wheels start moving towards the post-interval portions, when the lead characters [Abhay, Sonam] suffer from pangs of jealousy and the remaining characters find themselves at crossroads as far as relationships are concerned. From this point onwards, AISHA gets more and more engaging. Note the confrontation sequence between Sonam and Amrita, which leads to a bitter outburst by the latter. Note the sequence when Sonam professes love for Abhay at a marriage reception, only to realise later that she had walked into a wrong venue. Note the finale, which is very Mills & Boon type of culmination. Well penned and well executed sequences!

Director Rajshree Ojha has handled several moments well, but how one wishes she would've spruced up the proceedings by coming straight to the point, instead of depicting Abhay and Sonam in sulking moods in several sequences of the second hour. Also, from the writing point of view, Cyrus and Ira Dubey suddenly realise that they are made for each other. Why this sudden pyaar? Didn’t they detest each other? Loving the same musician doesn't imply you are made for each other! There had to be a scene or two to indicate that they are drawn towards each other.

The production design [Shruti Gupte] is impressive. The film bears a striking look all through. The styling of all characters is up to the mark. The costume designers [Pernia Qureshi and Kunal Rawal] deserve full marks for choosing/making the trendy outfits. Diego Rodriguez’s cinematography is appealing. Music composer Amit Trivedi is in form, displaying his versatility in various numbers such as ‘Shaam’, ‘Suno Aisha’ and ‘Gal Mitthi Mitthi Bol’.

AISHA is sure to open eyes to the talent of its leading lady Sonam Kapoor, who gives face, form and expression to Aisha. She displays the essential characteristic of an actress who has the ability to shift quickly and effectively from one emotion to another. She can cry, look wistful and deliver a biting line with equal believability. Abhay Deol is a complete natural and the fact comes to the fore yet again as you watch AISHA. Although Sonam has an author-backed role, Abhay underplays his part well and registers a strong impact in several scenes.

The film is supported by a fine [read talented] cast. Also, one of the delights of the film is the cleverly written supporting roles. Ira Dubey is spunky, a damn good actor. Amrita Puri is a revelation, a powerhouse of talent. Cyrus Sahukar is first-rate. Arunoday Singh acts his part well. Lisa Haydon [as Aarti] is underused in a small role. Anuradha Singh is classy. M.K. Raina [Aisha’s father] is efficient. Anand Tiwari [as Saurabh] is competent. Sameer Malhotra and Vidhushi Mehra [Aisha’s brother-in-law and sister, respectively] have nothing substantial to do.

On the whole, AISHA holds appeal for the youth mainly and there’s a strong likelihood that this segment of movie-going audience will fall for its charms. From the business point of view, the makers have recovered a big chunk of their investment from the sale of Satellite Rights and Music Rights and recovering the balance amount from India theatrical, Overseas and Home Video should be a cakewalk.

Download Aisha MP3 Songs
01 - Aisha - Suno
02 - Aisha - Gal Mitthi
03 - Aisha -
04 - Aisha - Behke
05 - Aisha -
06 - Aisha - By The
07 - Aisha - Gal Mitthi Mitthi (The Bombay Bounce Dhol Mix)
08 - Aisha - Lehrein (The Bombay Bounce Lounge Mix)

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dabangg - Music Review

Read more! Cast :: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan, Vinod Khanna, Dimple Kapadia, Om Puri, Anupam Kher, Tinnu Anand, Mahesh Manjrekar

Well, it can now be comfortably said that Salman Khan and his composer duo of Sajid and Wajid are definitely a team. One look at the last few films of Salman and the declaration does come with a strong standing. Wanted, Main Aurr Mrs Khanna, Veer and now Dabangg - Film after film it is the same team which is coming together to get the music in place. Add to this the fact that this combination along with lyricist Jalees Sherwani has invariably delivered and you know that Dabangg too is in safe hands. What does one expect? Well, a mix of all genre of songs, something that was also the case with Salman's last masala action entertainer - Wanted.

Dabangg begins on a highly positive note with 'Tere Mast Mast Do Nain' which is written by guest lyricist Faaiz Anwaar. This track easily sits amidst the best of what Sajid-Wajid have offered in their musical career so far. Easy on ears, extremely melodious, good pace and instantly catchy, 'Tere Mast Mast Do Nain' has a Sufi base to it which is elevated to further heights due to one man - Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. His name spells quality and it is no different in case of 'Tere Mast Mast Do Nain' which is all set to be a chartbuster and has en evergreen appeal to it. No wonder, not just it arrives at the very beginning of the album, it is also repeated in a duet version with Shreya Ghoshal (good again) and a 'remix version' (not really the preferred version).

An attempt to recreate the flavour of 'Beedi Jalaile Le' turns out to be just a good - not extraordinary - outing in the form of 'Munni Badnaam'. Lalit Pandit is the guest composer and lyricist of this song which has a UP-Bihar setting to it (which goes in synch with the backdrop of the film as well) and is sung in a rustic style by Mamta Sharma and Aishwarya. The lyrics, though definitely not vulgar, cater mainly to the gentry, what with references to Bipasha Basu as well as Bebo (Kareena Kapoor). A foot tapping (as is the 'remix version'), a lot will depend upon how it is picturised on Malaika Arora Khan because in isolation, it is not the kind that has in it to cover a huge distance all by itself.

Well, if one thought that 'Don't Say Alvida' was the best that Sajid-Wajid, Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal had to offer to Salman in Main Aurr Mrs Khanna then watch out for 'Chori Kiya Re Jiya'. Boasting of simple lyrics by Jalees Sherwani (who takes over the scene from this point on), 'Chori Kiya Re Jiya' is yet another winner that Dabangg can guarantee for itself. Melodious, sweet sounding and instantly bringing a smile on your face, 'Chori Kiya Re Jiya' is the kind of number that ensures a comfortable hearing as well as viewing due to an intrinsic innocent appeal.

What is not so innocent though is 'Udd Udd Dabangg' which is the kind of title song that is totally on the same lines as the one heard in title track of Omkara. What is also common is Sukhwinder Singh who was vociferous in Omkara but is hauntingly subdued yet powerful in Dabangg. It takes a couple of listening to grasp the mood of 'Udd Udd Dabangg' and though it is not the one to be sung around, it makes for a good inclusion in the background score of the film's narrative. Wajid too joins Sukhwinder for this rustic number that should auger well with Salman's fans.

Just a few months back, music lovers were offered an energetic 'drunken song' in the form of 'Taali Maar' [Veer]. In fact it was one under rated number that deserved to cover a bigger distance. An effort is made to create a song on the same lines, 'Humka Peeni Hai', with Salman as the centre of attraction yet again. However, the results aren't as exciting as 'Taali' with 'Humka Peeni Hai' turning out to be just about average. Wajid, Master Salim and Shabab Sabri come together to get the energy into the proceedings but somehow the tune by itself doesn't excite a listener enough to play it over and over again, despite the arrival of a 'remix version' a little later.

The album ends on a high note though with 'Dabangg Theme', which just like the 'Most Wanted' track in Wanted comes with good enough ammunition to keep the listener hooked. Chances are that you have gone through the theatrical promo of Dabangg already. If so, there is good news because the same promo is heard in 'Dabangg Theme' with even the dialogues being kept intact. For the fans and followers of Salman Khan, it is a much cherished added bonus to listen to some powerful dialoguebaazi.

Dabangg delivers what it promised. One expected a masala soundtrack and this is what one gets with a couple of item song sequences, a couple of theme tracks and two love songs which are actually the highlight of the film. A soundtrack that has something in store for mass (Munni Badnaam, Humka Peeni Hai) as well as class (Tere Mast Mast Do Nain, Chori Kiya Re Jiya), Dabangg should see good response at the music stands.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

We Are Family - Music Review

Read more! Cast :: Arjun Rampal, Kajol, Kareena Kapoor

Another much awaited album from the stable of Karan Johar. Another wonderful listen from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Oh, did I forget Jailhouse rock?

We are Family starts with SEL at their romantic best, as they come up with a typical romantic Aankhon mein neendein sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shreya Ghoshal along with Shankar Mahadevan. Irshad Kamil does no breakthrough to lyrics but adds a few beautiful touches to his words here and there. Lovable. A song for the long run.

If you haven’t heard the album yet, reduce the volume a bit before the second song starts. As Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy-KJo-Sid make Kajol kill Elvis with Dil Khol ke let’s rock, it’s clear that the song is definitely not the best thing for a music lover, but the song is certainly a tongue-sticker. Taking the video into account, I’d say Anushka does a wonderful job at being carefree while Akriti is good as a support and singer. The rocker Suraj Jagan sings this one also really well, though the negative point of the same is that he doesn’t sound casual unlike Anushka. Last word, you are anyway not likely to love it the first time, and if you’re an Elvis fan, there is no way at all. But even after all this, the song is going to be a hit, a superhit. After all, it’s Elvis’ music, and recreated by none less than SEL.

Next is the Best. Vishal Dadlani and Shankar Mahadevan come together for a wonderful Reham-O-Karam and the song just rocks. Reham-O-Karam starts with a casual solo rendering by Shankar and then suddenly it all gets rocking. From the on Vishal and Shankar sing Irshad Kamil’s lyrics to the wonderful tune of SEL and it’s Magik. Oops, magic.

Next song happens to be Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal’s Hamesha and Forever, which is kind of typical with nothing new but just some sweetness that both Sonu and Shreya have in plenty. A soft, slow number that will stick itself with the story of the movie and will keep walking at its own pace. Another one for long runs, but ma take some time to take off. As the name says, Hamesha and Forever.

The last song of the album is Sun le dua yeh aasmaan. The song is pretty slow, even from Karan and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s standards and Shreya Ghoshal does a good and pretty tough job as she moves the song alone. As a matter of fact, it’s almost a theme.

The end of the album is, of course, with a theme and this time Karan keeps the privilege for the trio again after MNIK where he had given the theme alone to Strings. It’s a typical, what do I say.

Overall, We Are Family is a predictably good and sweet album from Karan Johar and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Believe me I’m keeping Karan first because that matters more here. And yes, all the three words (predictable-sweet-good) don’t fit with JailHouse Rock. Still, I’m humming it.

Download MP3 Songs
01 - Ankhon Mein
02 - Dil Khol Ke Let's
03 - Reham O
04 - Hamesha &
05 - Sun le Dua Yeh Aasman (Theme Slow Version)
06 - We Are Family (Theme)

01 - Ankhon Mein
02 - Dil Khol Ke Let's
03 - Reham O
04 - Hamesha &
05 - Sun le Dua Yeh Aasman (Theme Slow Version)
06 - We Are Family (Theme)

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