Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bachna Ae Haseeno - Music Review

So after failing Aditya Chopra badly in Tashan I mean, No wedding song, No Punjabi numbers, no disco beats, what kind of a Yash Raj soundtrack was that. Who wants to hear rock-bhojpuri anymore. Nothing doing. YRF demands and gets a typical YRF album and that’s all what “Bachna Ae Haseeno” is . So here goes -

Khuda Jaane – A typical Vishal-Shekhar number with Pritam style vocal flourishes from KK. Shilpa Rao has an interesting voice and compliments KK on this one, but but the tune is nothing to write home about and somehow keeps reminding you of “My Heart Goes Hmm” from Salaam Namaste.

Lucky Boy – The lyrics are tacky, corny even and V&S seriously move into Pritam territory and take a leaf out of Himesh’s book and create an entire song based on just one hook. But boy! is that one catchy hook. It keeps reverberating in your head long after you have left the song and after my first hearing of the album it was this one song I could seriously recall. It is ultimately the required Disco /Item number. . The song also features the voice of Hard Kaur and Raja Hassan, whom I seriously couldn’t make out to be his.

Ahista Ahista – OK now this is one hell of an interesting song. If I had heard this song in isolation I would have thought it to be a Rahman composition. Or maybe it’s just Lucky Ali. Coz the way V&S have used Lucky instantly reminds you of “Anjaana” form Yuva. The same wo-oo-oo’s all over the place and again the Pritam influence is present in form of the flamenco guitars at the beginning of the song. But in my opinion the most well constructed song in the entire album.

Jogi Mahi – The compulsory wedding number. It is so generic that I bet V&S composed it in their sleep and then got Sukhwinder to sing over the difficult parts in the morning and then got Himani Kapoor to provide the female foil. The lyrics are predictable with the same Mahi, Heer, Ranjhna, Sajna and all that crap. The song does have a heart-tugging chorus line and rises to a rousing crescendo at the and but only just.

Small Town Girl – OK Wedding Song. Check. Disco Number. Check. So what’s left. Oh yeah the Punjabi number. Can’t find a tune . No problem recycle some of Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s. Take a bit of “Pretty Woman” from Kal Ho Na Ho and “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” title track and give it a nice mix with your own "Nachle Vefrom Ta Ra Rum Pum. OMG. Who’s gotta sing it?. Sukhwinder’s refused. He say’s the song reeks of Shankar Mahadevan. Vishal Says to Shekhar. No problem Shankar’s a friend. So Shankar comes and sings a re-hash of his own songs. What’s he gotta lose. He’s getting paid !

Khuda Jaane (Revisited) – If there was any doubt that this song is Pritam inspired, the remix clears all that.

Bachna Ae Haseeno – Vishal and Shekhar have made no bones about their RD Burman fascination and they finally legally get to do what they must have been wanting to all along. Remix a Kishore-RD song. And then get Kishoreda’s son to sing it. Sumit Kumar that is. Whose voice actually gets drowned in the beats and whn his Dad’s voice come in to the picture the drum vanish. Oh Yes and the trumpets are intact. But is the song a patch on the crazy saxophone trumpet jamboree of the original song. No chance.

So Vishal Shekhar play safe. Or are rather made to play safe and create a generic Yash Raj movie ka music album, which I must add they fully succeed in doing and throw up interestinginsights into how their think about their music. And one genuinely interesting song. And a definite screen scorcher in Lucky Boy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Partner" Movie Review

OK...I know it's a little late.
In fact little is an understatement, it's more than a year delayed, but hey ...what the hell.
It was drafted then....and as they say...Better Late Than Never..

Partner's - In Crime

As luck would have it (or is it HBO's way of getting back!) I saw the Will Smith starrer Hitch immediately after I saw Partner. And Yes...it is a really shameless frame-by-frame copy. But really, are we actually watch Partner because of it's story! which by the way is as follows - A loser in Bhaskar (Govinda)seeks out the advise of a 'love-guru' Prem (Salman Khan in his most famous screen name) to win his rich and famous lady love (Katrina Kaif). For the rest of the 'story' I suggest watching Hitch.

But do go and watch Partner solely and solely for Salman Khan. Here is an actor, much maligned for his off-screen antics, on top of his acting abilities. In fact his act is so refined and fine-tuned that the other 'hero' is reduced to being a supporting actor. And long after the 'story' has ended, the film continues only to show more of what Salman can deliver. There has never been any question about Salman's comedy skills. Films like Judwaa and Biwi No. 1 are testimony (Both not - so - incidentally directed by David Dhawan, who wields the baton for this movie also) to that.

But here, Salman is just sitting back and enjoying himself. He makes jokes on himself, his own songs, his penchant for opening his shirt at the slightest provocation, his tendency to pick up a brawl and so on. He even pokes fun at his contemporaries like Shah Rukh ( as Chhota Don, played by Rajpla Yadav) and Aamir Khan too.

Even Govinda pitches in. After a series of indifferent roles, downright bad films and mis-starts (Salaam-e-Ishq) he is back in form, laughing at himself all the way. He has fun at the expense of his weight, his dancing style his brand of comedy and all.

Katrina and Lara Dutta look like a million bucks. Lara wowed us in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and she continues to do so here. In fact the entire Lara- single mom with kid routine (which wasn't there in Hitch) works beautifully, precocious kid and all. Katrina is magnificent and David realizes soon that as long as Kaif smiles her dazzling smile and shows off her amazing booty and doesn't mouth many lines, she's a hit..... all the way.

The music if functional and enjoyable, with the title song and "You're my love' being the pick of the lot. The film does stretch a bit, but hey the entire auditorium was in splits all through. And in the end that's all that really matters sometimes. Copy or no Copy.