Posts Tagged ‘A R Rahman’

Debutante director Shefali Bhushan’s film Jugni is all set to hit the theatres this friday. Shefali has been blogging about her journey of making the first film, and her stories can be read here.

12316384_1081297298567654_5963900738397337367_n

Check out the trailer here:

Cast:

The film stars Sugandha Garg, Siddhant Behl, Sadhana Singh, Anuritta K Jha, Samir Sharma and, Chandan S Gill.

About the film:

Vibhavari (Vibs), a young free-spirited woman music director from Mumbai, is working on her first big break inthe Hindi film industry. When work and home affairs with her live-in boyfriend, Sid, hit a high tide, she hits the road with a glint of hope; to find music. The journey takes her to a village in Punjab in search of a local singer, Bibi Saroop, whose voice holds the promise that Vibs is searching for. But as the twist of fate would have it, Mastana, Bibi’s son and a proficient singer himself, is the voice and man who winds his way into Vibs’ heart.  From here on, Jugni is about striking balances, making tough decisions while trying to soften the blows and dealing with the studied dramatic turns and unpredictabilities of life and finding the place which one can call home; home of the heart, where the firefly is at her brightest.  Will Vibs find the ‘Jugni’ she longs for?


The music is by Clinton Cerejo and the makers have managed to bring A R Rahman and Vishal Bharadwaj together in this album. Listen to the songs here:

Continuing with our Year-End series, Rewind 2014, in this post our music blogger Rohwit picks up the best sounds of the year – the songs that he loved and we played in loop. In no particular order, this post includes both films and non-films music/talent/songs/album.

(More from our Rewind 2014 series : Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, Kaali Zubaan’s bollywood wrap is here, 18 Film Fanatics on 18 Films That Stayed With Them is here, Best of 2014 – Script of Queen is here, Script of Ankhon Dekhi is here)

  1. Jagave saari raina (Dedh Ishqiya) – Much has been written about this underwhelming album from Gulzar-Vishal collaboration. However, Hamri ataria and Jagave saari raina were beautiful exceptions. No, the antraa of ‘Na bolu main to’ weren’t as good as the mukhda, so I won’t include that song here. Even before the videos were released, we knew this would be the song that would capitalize on Mrs. Nene’s grace and her dancing prowess. To hear Pt. Birju Maharaj just sweetened everything that much more. Did I miss mentioning about how charming was Rekha Bhardwaj in the song? Well, you knew that already didn’t you?

  1. Fandry bird theme (Fandry) – No words should endeavor to convey what this cute little piece did to us. Give it a try here. In fact the love theme here is equally good. The use of Oudh and Cello lent a solid, raw feel to the sound and two thumbs up for that! Aloknanda Dasgupta ji, take a bow!

  1. Indian Ocean – If you have been living under a rock, then perhaps you might not have noticed the release of ‘Tandanu’ by Indian Ocean which will go down as one of the best albums by the group ever! From what could be easily termed as one of the most important films of the year, Katiyabaaz, we got the track ‘Kanpoora’, a must hear if you haven’t heard it already! (and what a delightful video!)

  1. Sooha saha (Highway) – Bollywood is running from darkness towards even more darkness when it comes to giving us songs which mothers can sing to their little ones. ARRahman took cognizance of this problem and gave us this tender piece from Highway. While Alia was rightfully showered a lot of credit for this song, we mustn’t forget AR Rahman’s ‘mixing and tuning’ and a solid Zeb who made this song what it is. Heera from this album comes a close second because it’s a  delicacy of sorts when Kabir and Rahman are credited in the same song. Here is Sooha Saha…much of the song’s impact was experienced thanks to a superlative Randeep Hooda. The World would be unfair if it doesn’t acknowledge Randeep this year for Highway.

  1. Suno na sang e marmar (Youngistaan) – Now that the well deserved nomination to Oscar has been sent, it would be criminal not to mention the blockbuster Youngistaan to the list. When Jackkkkie decided to diss Mayawati’s hardwork involving sang-e-mar-mar with a song, it gave us this hummable track. Frankly, I thought it took a lot of guts to film the song right where a lot of public money was wasted on sang-e-mar-mar (wink wink). The song was perhaps too good for the film and when Jeet Ganguly and Arijit recreated the magic for the Hindi version, they added some grandeur to the sound. Here is the Bengali version and here is the Hindi version. My favorite is the Bengali version of course!

  1. Title song (Revolver Rani) – the film might have fallen flat on its face but the title track of the film was a riot thanks to the word ‘bhasad’ and Usha Uthup! Do give it a try. Had the film done well, it would have played in a the loop on ‘popular’ charts, just the way they played vomit inducing Kicks and what not! And trust me, it is much more fun than all the garbage music of  100 crore commodities. Watch this video.

  1. Sketches of Darjeeling (Bipul Chettri) – I came across this album when it was released in the month of July, 2014 but didn’t hear it because I was quite occupied with my day job. Then one of the many ‘anonymous’ people who share music with me sent me one track from this album, and I punched myself for about 40 minutes continuously for having sat on the album for so long! Do hear my favorite track from the album titled – Ode to my father here, and then buy the album. The track is free flowing and you will hear the free flowing water as well. Is the track in Hindi? No. Does it matter? No!! So do pick it up!

  1. Ding dong (Finding Fanny) – I  couldn’t make sense of fusing this Goa film with a Punjabi title song and a messy song at that, still this one oozed out a lot of love, and we love it for that! Cliched as it might sound to some of us, but the song painted a picture of an adorable Uncle ‘Pedro’, who is liked by everyone,  singing this song near a beach, on just another day in Goa. Loved Mathias for this one!

  1. Haider (Album) – It won’t be right to pinpoint a song that was good because this album was the best from 2014. The only underwhelming part was the song by Arijit. I still feel that song was composed FVBV (For Vishal, By Vishal), and Arijit came in as an afterthought. This album is the reason we wait for Vishal and Gulzar to get together more often. All songs are here. Imagine the ‘Aao na’ opening bit and now count your goose pimples. Also, while we are on the subject…here is the Roohdaar theme from Haider.

  1. Oopar oopar renn de – Tanishk and Baba Vayu gave us a laid back anthem this year and I can openly declare with no hesitation that this was the best non-filmi song by a new band I came across in 2014. Hear the song once and tell me if you aren’t of the same opinion. I do hope they put the song on sale soon and that they don’t fizzle out after setting the bar this *high*!

  1. Mikey Mccleary – We all love everything Mikey does. Why else can you explain people sticking to networks which don’t work? May be because their ads are oh-so-musical and cute! It was no surprise that the album Mikey came out with was instantly likeable. If you haven’t heard the album yet, do hear it once! Our favorite – The world is our playground (Sung by Mikey) and Just a little crush (Sung by Shalmali). That said, Mikey’s song in Sonali cable wasn’t bad either. The entire album is available here.

Let me know if you agree with my picks of the year. And yours?

@Rohwit

what’s the best thing about 2014 so far? Well, a new A R Rahman album is already out. Hallelujah! And over to our music man Rohwit for some musing on maestro’s music.

So the periodical excite-fest for music lovers (Also known as AR Rahman’s new album release time) blessed us early this year. Lyrics are penned by Irshad ‘dependable’ kamil and Kash-Krissy

Patakha guddi – A lot of techno and synth sound accompanies the electric duo of Sultana and Jyoti Nooran who are fierce to say the least. The arrangement is not complex. As has been his habit off late, AR Rahman keeps the ‘hook’ of the song almost non existent. The song just flows and sways you in the process. The words of Irshad Kamil are no less Patakha, mind you. If you see people forming a ‘train’ on the dance floor to a 2014 film song, this would be it.

Maahi ve* – AR Rahman on the microphone again. The song gives you a feel as if it was to be (tune wise) a part of the album ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’. No doubt this is a long drive song with a simple and ‘sticky on lips’ tune. It also gives out that feeling when (no matter how fucked up things are), you want to believe, everything is fine just because the special someone is with you.

Kahaan ho main* – is sung by Jonita Gandhi. The arrangement and the overall presentation of the song (at least when you hear it) doesn’t sound like it will fit into a film that has a truck driver and a kidnapped village girl in the lead. The extensive use of keyboard lends a very hoity-toity character to the song in context of the film. Would be interesting to see how this pans out on the screen. The song is hummable in a very ‘1990s sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy’ way. Also, the overall feel has a very ‘Meena Kumari complex’ feel to it.

Wanna mash up* –  In the days when anything ‘hep’ has to include ‘kaan-faad’ dubstep, ARR avoids the overuse of the same and gives us this vrooming piece of beauty! Kash, Krissy and Suvi Suresh have jointly penned this bombshell of a song that is guaranteed to take you back to ‘You either HATE it or LOVE it’ times of AR Rahman’s music. It teases and tempts in ways we thought were never possible with A R Rahman at the helm (Lemme dominate your body! Ahem!) . Oh the calls of ‘BOY!’ Hell with the context of the film, give me this any day! All Thumbs up on the way the song ends/climaxes! No pun intended.

Sooha Saha – Zeb and Alia Bhatt jointly present this delicate song with superlative arrangement by Rahman. Don’t worry if at times you feel someone will go ‘Kya bataaaon maa kahan hu main’ from Luka chupi. Thank God that Zeb hasn’t allowed herself to be ‘Rahat-Fateh-Ali-Khan-ised’, so you can expect something new from every song she chooses for our films. At times sounding like a doting mother, Zeb lends so much depth to the song! Alia Bhatt does a good job in adding the innocence to the song. The violins towards the end is a touch of genius. A song जो सीधा कलेजे को छूता है.

Patakha Guddi (AR Rahman) –  Many a times, I have felt that AR Rahman and Sachin Tendulkar have been put under so much pressure that they stopped having fun at work. This song is where we hear AR Rahman going bezerk! Excellent Prasanna gets mad on electric guitar towards the end in a song that is layered unlike it’s female version. Don’t get fooled by the subdued start that the song has. It is explosive by the time ends! Kudos to Rahman for attempting Punjabi and double kudos for his ‘naam rab da naam sai da’ chanting. You don’t get Goosebumps, You get Goosemountains!

Implosive Silence* – is sung by Jonita Gandhi. Kash and Krissy have penned whatever there was to ‘pen’ in the song. The arrangement remains hauntingly simple. The song appears to be sung in reverse (or treated like that). Let’s accept it, we do look forward to an ‘instrumental’ piece in A R Rahman’s album. We have been treated like royalty since ‘Bombay theme’ days and this piece here does the same and goes a step forward. Top class composition and top class atmosphere. Too much feel without words, trademark Rahman!

Tu Kuja –  a traditional song sung by Sunidhi Chauhan gives out a trance like feel from the beginning that stays throughout. An old composition in which Irshad Kamil has added Hindi words to make it relatable. Arrangement wise, the song sounds cluttered, and you are left with the feeling that it should have been sung by Rahman himself. It’s not a bad song, just that in comparison to the level of the album, it pales a bit.

Heera* –  is an old writing by Saint Kabir that has been presented by Rahman in his trademark ‘grand’ style with enough Violins to make you cry with pleasure. Shweta Pandit has sung this in an almost whisper like fashion which compliments the overall feel of the song (For a second, we thought it’s Tulsi Kumar who is singing…o the horror!)

Irshad Kamil is ‘Vishal-Gulzar’-ing with A R Rahman very fast and that’s such a delight to witness.

We have always believed that an album has to compliment the overall feel of the film. While we don’t know how the ‘hoity-toity’ numbers would compliment the feel of the film, we give a thumbs up to this album!

You see the *mark ahead of songs? Those are the songs we feel are a bit hoity-toity under the context that has been set by the teaser/trailer of the film so far.

AR Rahman saar, you remind us of the worldspace tagline…There is so much to listen (when you are at the helm!)

What we couldn’t understand – What’s with the sound quality of the album? ARR is known to be very careful around the same but this album sounds just like the old fake Jai-Mata-Di-cassettes which were a cheaper alternative to HMV cassettes. We understand T-Series owner said that he doesn’t need good musicians to sell music, but, sir, are you sure of what you are selling?

If you missed our earlier post in this 2013 flashback series, here’s the list – 20 Things We Learnt At The Movies and 13 Unanswered Questions is here, Top 10 Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, and 15 Film Fanatics on 17 Terrific Films That Have Stayed With Them is here.

In this post, Rohwit looks back at some of the best bollywood tracks that we looped this year.

Amidst the 100 crore musical disasters, few albums and some songs tried to stand tall, and that wasn’t tough even for a slightly above average song because thanks to the automatic tunes that come pre-fed in some expensive keyboards owned by some music composers, the ‘average’ bar is pretty low in Hindi films these days.

Here is our pick of 14 songs (ok 16! ok 17!) that made us sit up and sway! The order below is not in a ranking form. Some of the points contain 2 songs. So what? We cannot make up our mind. Yes, we get confused. Music does that to us.

 

1. Yes, it is based on a Beethoven symphony. Yes, it has a very ‘अरे ये पहले सुना है’ feel. Still, I haven’t heard a spookier lullaby in 2013. So take a bow Kumaar for penning this superb song and take a bow Sangeet Haldipur for singing it beautifully! Yes, it is one of the best songs I have heard this year. We are indeed referring to Aaja nindiya raina beeti jaaye rey from Aatma.

 

2. Khamakha hee-Badal Uthiya (Prem Dehati version) – from Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. It took a local Harvanyvi singer (who hasn’t appeared on the again after this album by the way) Prem Dehati to mesmerize us with raw talent and touching melody. Not many songs have the longevity to survive in playlists these days but this song will be there for a long time.

In fact it was Prem Dehati’s splendid participation in Khamakha that lifted the already superb song to a level very few could match this year.

 

3. Manjha (Kai Po Che!) – Every Time A.R. Rahman’s music is about to hit the scene, there is so much anticipation and Amit Trivedi enjoys the same effect on music lovers at large. So it wasn’t a surprise when this splashed all across and we were treated to this song.

Swanand Kirkire has penned one of the best songs this year in Manjha. Simple lyrics, exquisite arrangement and we cannot get tired of Amit Trivedi’s studio singing. The other two songs were no less but somehow Manjha shall always be played before the other two.

 

4. Tum hi ho (Arijit Singh) – So it turns out that Arijit singh is turning everything into gold just by singing it! Easily a much better film to look at than it’s first part, Aashiqui 2 had this mother of a song that was overplayed to the extent of irritation. But can you dismiss it as being one of the stickiest song of 2013? No! Why is it featured on the list? Ask yourself if you don’t like humming it. We know some of you are humming it right now.

 

5. Khoon choos ley (Go Goa Gone) – There is a lot of Monday hatred (or so it seems on all social media platforms), so a Monday song was long overdue. The song in my view was wasted in the film Go Goa Gone and even the half-hearted music video wasn’t promoted well. Still, this has to be one of the best ‘I hate to wake up and go to work’ song we have heard in Hindi films. The nasal start, the ‘rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr’ part and splendid lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya makes this one a treat!

 

6. Badtameez Dil (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) – More than anything, we cannot get over the fact that Amitabh Bhattacharya used ‘dhimka falana’, ‘paan mein pudina’ and ‘moorhi bhaat’ so effortlessly! While the song belonged to RK on the screen (deservingly so), Benny Dayal is no less a rockstar to sing this with so much zest that even people with two left feet were seeing dancing at the mere mention of this song. Kudos to the brass band and Pritam for this one!

7. Raanjhnaa hua main Tum Tak (Raanjhanaa) – Yes. While many of us (including yours truly) started out disliking the million ‘tum taks’ in the song, the second half of the song, the shehnai (and the excellent use of manjeera) redeems this  song and how!

Be it the faint guitar riffs or excellent Jasvinder Singh (who made a guest appearance in the song), the title song of raanjhanaa had all going for it. More so, the emperor ARR was at his yearly best in this album as a whole.

 

8. Ghanchakkar babu (Ghanchakkar) – Amit Trivedi was heard having a ball in this one. While the album was not bad at all, this song stood out (and was on the loop for a long time) thanks to excellent arrangement and superb back up vocals. Trust Amitabh Bhattacharya to give an insightful touch to ‘Nala Sopara’! Top class song! Muuuuuuuuuuwaaaaaaah!

 

9. Monta Re (Lootera) –  The ‘chik chiki chik’ whispers by Swanand Kirkire, the quiet atmosphere, exquisite lyrics and a delicate presentation. This is easily the best song of the album that sounded more like Udaan part 2 than anything. We mean it in a good way. No. Really.

 

10. Mera Yaar – From the fantastic album Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Javed Bashir was given a song that was right up to his comfort zone and he hit it out of the park. We loved the entire album (without the ‘andar kaala bahar kaala PAR sachcha hai sala’ part) and were relieved that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are back to making good music, just like the good old days.

11. D-Day – A fantastic album overall. Be it the definitive Qawwali ‘Murshid khele holi’ or the heart breaking ‘Alvida’,  the album even made Mika tolerable when he attempted Dama dam mast kalandar. (Rekha Ji, सुन रही हैं ना आप?)

 

12. Shudh Desi Romance – Be it those tiny musical bits with Rajasthani sound or those lovely songs, Jaideep Sahni and Sachin Jigar served us a musical treat with  an adorable marriage of contemporary words and folksy-dinchik arrangement. Our pick from the album will remain ‘Tere mere beech mein kya hai’

 

13. Ram Leela – Though the album was filled with grand arrangement and excessive noise throughout, we really liked the adaptation of ‘Mor bani thangat karey’ and Lal Ishq (without the excessive noise towards the end).

 

14. Dil ki toh lag gayee (Nautanki Sala) – As an album, it had a distinct ‘townie’ sound to it (much like Bluffmaster). However, what blew the socks off the senses is Saba Azad’s super hot singing in ‘Dil ki toh lag gayee’. Ignore the horrible presentation of the song on screen though. A fantastic effort, insanely melodious at all times and very very saxxxay! Sing more Saba, we are listening!

We also enjoyed :

– Early morning (Chashme Baddoor) A lot of us debate where is Sonu Nigam and why isn’t he singing more. While we do not have anything to add to that, but we loved the way Mr. Nigam was having fun singing this wonderful song from a not so wonderful remake of a classic.

– ‘SPB ho ho!’ part from the title song of Chennai Express. There are very few occasions that compare to SP Balasubrahmanyam having fun in a song.

Ajnabi (Madras Cafe) The songs were wasted in an otherwise brilliant film but the whispering voice of Zeb left it’s mark. It’s a pity that this song went unnoticed.

 

Very Very Special Mention :

Padmanabh Gaikwad for singing Sapne rey sapna (from Ek Thi Daayan) . A fantastic voice that resonates innocence. We are way too tired of Gulzar saab doing splendid job every time he sits down to pen a song, so we won’t even stress the fact that we are in love with the ‘Bhoore bhoore baadalon ke bhaalu, Loriyaan sunaaye la ra ra ru’ part of the song. Hope to hear more from Padmanabh.

So which songs you looped this year? Let us know in the comments.

Raanjhanaa(Has SPOILERS)

Like most Bollywood films these days, Raanjhanaa is completely two different films packed in one – pre and post-interval. One is the “politics of love” and the other is “lovers in politics”, and there’s a big difference between the two. As the initial reactions and reviews started pouring in, the verdict seems to be unanimous – first half is fun, the curse of 2nd half strikes yet again. As i stepped into the theatre, i was ready for it. But as i came out of the theatre, i realised that i belong to that minority group which liked the second half more.

First half is easy, you know the tricks, you have seen it many times, love stories in small towns and galli mohalls is not new. It’s charming and easy to like. There’s no way one cannot not like it. Some might argue that it’s stalking and glorification of it, then let me say that you have never been part of any small town love story. It’s stark reality. That’s the way it happens. If you don’t know a friend who has cut his wrist or drank kerosene (sleeping tablets is for metroes), the film might seem a bit stranger to you. But what stood out for me was how ruthlessly selfish the lovers are. Sonam (Zoya) knows Dhanush (Kundan) loves her. And so she uses him in every possible way. It’s the same with Kundan, who knows that Swara (Bindiya) can do anything for him. And he uses her blatantly. It all seems fun and jovial on the surface but scratch it and you realise how cunning their acts are. It’s the politics of love. Their love might be pure but the tricks aren’t.

Some even might point out the physical equation between Kundan, Bindiya and Murari. How can you hit her? i would say this is what “camaraderie” between friends is all about, without being aware of one’s gender. And in the scene when Bindiya says kewal mere baap ke hi kapde phadega, and Kundan backs out, you know that she isn’t the shy kind. If she had protested, these guys would have backed out long back. It’s part of the game, of growing up together.

Now, the second half seems like a completely different film.  A death, and the childhood romance of Benaras moves to ambitious student politics of Delhi. Kundan doesn’t know why he is there. He is lost. He is not sure what to do with his life. He has tried every possible option. Is he still chasing Zoya? Yes. Kind of. Does he know why? No. Has he any more hopes from her? No. The simple chasing the girl routine turns into a heavy cocktail of ambitions and emotions. Let’s see how. So Zoya aspires to fulfill the ambitions of her dead lover (Abhay/Akram). But slowly it looks like all these dreams will come true only through Kundan whom she hates now, whom she holds responsible for Akram’s death. It’s a difficult choice to make. Can she accept Kundan now? And even if she does, the world will curse her for being selfish and opportunist who forgot her lover after his death. Between love, life and dreams, she is confused with no easy way out. And then comes an opportunity to turn it all over and conquer it all. She opts for it too but the guilt is too heavy to bear.

Kundan is caught in a similar situation. He is aimless, he is just tagging along and is getting lucky wherever he puts his foot, except in love. And when it all comes to the conclusion, he realises that even if he wins everything, he has lost the only thing he ever wanted from life – love. So what’s the point of living? Someone who can slash his wrist so easily, he has no fear of death. The monologue in the climax wraps it up beautifully. Lovers always claim to be ready to die in love. But only few dare to do it. And very few directors and writers dare to opt for such uncompromised end for a love story. Nothing else was possible. All credit to writer Himanshu Sharma and director Anand L Rai for going the whole hog. And this is exactly why i liked the second half more. It’s complicated,  and the makers went for the unusual choices. I think first half is easy to write, and easy to like. Second half is damn difficult to write from the point when Dhanush lands up in Delhi not knowing what to do. I could hear the writer’s voice there – what to do with this mujhe-bus-Zoya-chahiye character? He (character and writer) really doesn’t know what to do now.

Raanjhanaa2

Now, the running joke. In a scriptlab where Sriram Raghavan was our mentor, we used to joke that whenever you are stuck at any page, just put a gun in that page. Sriram will like it for sure. Here the formula is slightly different – stuck on the page, opt for the blade. Not once or twice, but three times. Woah!

Interestingly, the entire film is one long montage cut on back to back songs. You can exactly count the numbers of the scenes where the characters talk. But the flavour of the real locations and the terrific acting by Dhanush, Swara Bhaskar and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub makes it look perfectly smooth. Also, it might be a smart decision keeping Dhanush’s dialogue delivery in mind. They have justified his character, and his hindi diction is weird but it’s not jarring to ears. So a big credit must go to its music director A R Rahman. His music is the thread that holds this complicated tale of unrequited love together. Sonam seems to have improved a lot from her previous films but her dialogue delivery is still irritating. And Kumud Mishra is always quite pleasant to watch onscreen.

I never bothered to watch Rai’s earlier films. But going by Tanu Weds Manu (i like it and TERRIFIC album) and Raanjhanaa, i think Imtiaz Ali has some competition finally. Especially if it’s matters of hearts in small towns. And Dhanush, welcome to bollywood.

Watch it. And if uncomfortable, take off your “metro” shoes.

@CilemaSnob

raanjhanaa_rahman360_Arrahman

After a long wait, it’s finally out – the music of Raanjhanaa. But seems the wait was worth it. Do check out the music of Raanjhanaa. Rahman is back and how. Over to @Rohwit for its music review.

  • Raanjhanaa hua – The ever so melodious (yet not as popular as I would like him to be) Jaswinder Singh starts the song and vanishes too quickly. Anyway, the song belongs to ‘at times out of sync Shiraz Uppal’ and that’s what you will love the song for. It just doesn’t try to ‘fit in with calculated singing’. The percussion arrangement – top class, the use of Sitar – exemplary. In fact, when the song ends, the sitar doesn’t leave your mind. Go ahead, try it! A racy tune marked with excellent violins (which literally take the song to it’s peak every time they appear), the song is top class! Watch out for the faint guitar riffs throughout!

  • Banarasiya – Like the name indicates, a song that ought to remind us of Benaras. Starts quite rightly with Sarangi and flute (aided with the mandatory manjiras). Tune wise crisp, singing wise excellent, Shreya Ghoshal’s vocals! Sitar, Tabla and flute do their bit to raise the level of the song. The playful backup vocals by the hugely talented Meenal Jain and Anwesha add the right amount of playfulness and mischief to the song and you can picture the dancers in a group, exchanging glances and moving the neck and eyes in sync.The atmosphere is very ‘evening’ and the setting reminds us of the ‘Kotha’ culture.

  • Piya Milengey – The song that begins with KMMC sufi ensemble going at it along with Sukhwinder is endowed with definitive bass and faint piano notes towards the beginning part of the song. The ensemble does an excellent job without getting loud at all. A song that is likely to appear in the background as the film paces up. Thankfully a bollywood – sufi offering that leaves an impact and not screaming singers in the mind as it ends.

  • Aye Sakhi – A song that has the most delightful and talented singers around. Madhushree, Chinmayi, Vaishali and Aanchal sethi come up with a song that’s treated with sheer brilliance and arranged classically (and gives out a feel that the singers are practising kathak). In fact, the music and the feel around the ‘aye sakhi uljhan’ reminded us of ‘Jao rey jogi tum jao rey’ (from Amrapali). The ‘Tyun tyun tyun’ bit in between reminded us of the Tain tain tain song from Gangs Of Wasseypur. Still so enjoyable! The song has an element of ‘Kya dekh rahey ho tum’ from Taal in terms of feel but is vastly different tune wise. Thumbs up!

  • Nazar Laaye – With lazy guitars, simple beats and Rashid Ali who is almost sleep-singing along with Neeti Mohan, the first impression of the song is ‘JTYJN-hangover!’ A typical song that gets skipped most of the times but stays in the playlist nevertheless.

  • Tu Mun Shudi – A lot has been written and propagated about Hazrat Amir Khusro’s Persian words around which the song is created, so we won’t go there. (By the way, Tu = you, mun = mine, shudi = became, Muntu = me yours, shudam = have become). The techno start to the song with superlative A R Rahman setting the tone of the song welcomes Rabbi (No no, not the Rabbi who sang Challa, this one sings better!). The use of shehnai in the song is top class. The way it flirts with the beats, we never thought it can, and all this with a constant hip-hop like beat. There is always that song in an ARR album that evokes extreme reaction (apart from other songs which are tagged in ‘Give it time and they will grow’ category). This one belongs to the ‘extreme reaction’ category. People will either like it or completely dislike it. We? LOVED it! ARR at his innovative best (with his characteristic giggle!)

  • Aise na Dekho – A bonfire song. Starts with a frolicky mouth organ up and about with guitars. Yet another ‘JTYJN-hangover’ infected song, one might argue. Sung by ARR himself, the song scores low on words and the way they are pronounced (May be intentional?). Still the music arrangement is soothing. The whistling in between is simple and adds charm to the tune. Will I hear it again? Not now.

  • The land of shiva – Heavy chants with heavier music setting and bells marks this piece and before you realise what is happening, it gets over. With a little over 1 minute running time, the tune is clearly added to compliment the overall feel of the album and is surely going to appear in the film.

  • Tum Tak – May be it is Javed Ali who melts with the musical arrangement (The other way of looking it could be – his voice doesn’t stand out), the song is likeable only because of it’s music arrangement. The construct is too confusing, singing wise. Too many ‘Tum taks’ are irritating to say the least. The sudden change in the song on the other side of 3 minutes is bearable vocally. Kirthi and Pooja are efficient in the song. What lessens the impact of average singing is the excellent use of Manjeera and shehnai.

AR Rahman somewhere mentioned that the use of shehnai in this album is a tribute to Ustad Bismillah khan.

What we liked the most about the album is that it gives out sense of the film without being vague. The lyrics by Irshad Kamil are largely effective.

The variation that we hear in terms of tune selection and treatment is vast, the music arrangement as usual top drawer! The album exudes a lot of confidence and the feeling of ‘durability’ oozes in good measure.

Just when the promos were looking an ordinary, it is unbelievable what a brilliant music album can change it all. Now only if the film is good enough to hold it all together.

Correction for Tu man shudi explanation – Tu man shodi” means You became me and “Man tu shodam” means “I became you” not “yours”. “Man” means “I” not “mine”. “I became yours” is “Man maal-e-to shodam”. Thank you for correcting it everyone

And the “2011 Rewind” series continues. You can read our previous posts here (honest movie posters), here (Bollywood songs we looped), here (Non-bollywood hits of the year), here (exciting moments at the movies),  and here (films which dared to bend the rules). Also, we are scooping some of the best year-end lists here.

Like last year, in this post we have tried to dissect what we learnt at the movies  this year – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the questions that baffled us through out the year.

20 Things We Learnt At The Movies

1. Zoya Akhtar is a better filmmaker than Farhan Akhtar. 2/2 > 1.5/4. LBC + ZNMD > DCH + 1/2Lakshya

2. Nikhil Advani scored a dud hattrick and proved again that KHNH was indeed directed by Karan Johar. Patiala House.

3. Big B can’t sell tickets anymore. He is hit on the small screen but is a flop on the big screen.  KBC. BHTB. Even when he was in his best commercial avatar,  the excuses given were many – low budget, recovery before release, satellite rights.

4. Creative collaboration with spouses and family is not a bright idea. Dhobi Ghat. TGIYB. Mausam. Tere Mere Phere. Love Breakups Zindagi.

5. B for Bachchan. B for Bhagnani. B for Box Office. But you never know which way the last B will swing. Even Jackie B’s film can score better than Abhishek B’s film. Faltu. Game.

6. Tusshar Kapoor still can’t act. He was the odd man out even when the films scored – either critically acclaimed Shor In The City or commercial hit The Dirty Picture. His pillow dance in TDP can give nightmare to anyone.

Dear Ekta Kapoor, let him go. Even Aditya Chopra has given up on Uday Chopra.

7. You can’t calculate the target audience and then make films according to it. Otherwise Y Films’ Luv Ka The End and Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge would have been blockbusters. Pre-release claim – 60% (?) of theatre going audience is youth. Post-release – we recovered our costs.

8. Every filmmaker has one great film in him/her. Some people make their debut with that one. Tigmanshu Dhulia is done with it. Stop expecting. Shagird. Sahid Biwi Aur Gangster.

9. When it comes to Ramu, camera and dildo have the same purpose, interest and area of specialisation. NALS.

10. Prakash Jha creates political events but has no clue about political films now. Raajneeti was a joke,  and we are not sure how to describe the awful Aarakshan.

11. Imtiaz Ali will keep churning out films based on his single template of romance. He knows it but doesn’t  know what to do about it. Rockstar.

12. Himesh Reshammiya is not going to give up so soon. Let’s all pray. Damadamm! In 2012 he has more.

13. Dad + Sons > Mom + Daughter. Deols. Yamla Pagla Deewana. Tell Me O Kkhuda.

14. Remake is NOT a hit formula. Soundtrack was a mess.

15. We don’t need superheroes. Our heroes can do everything. Ra One. Zokkomon.

16. Bhai-porn is here to stay. We are still not bored. Ready. Bodyguard.

17. Indian Mens Are Hot. Courtesy Anil Kapoor. Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol.

18. Sex and Shah Rukh Khan still sells. Ra One. Murder 2. Don 2. The Dirty Picture.

19. When an actress gets into film production, it means her career is officially over. Lara Dutta. Dia Mirza, Ameesha Patel. Shilpa Shetty. 

20. We still haven’t lost A R Rahman to the west. When he delivers, he is the best. Rockstar.

10 Unanswered Questions

1. Will the real Abhinay Deo please stand up? Which one to trust – Game or Delhi Belly?

2. Who read the script of Game and approved it?

3. Who thought about changing Mimoh’s name to Mahakshay?

4. In which camera do you have the option of in-built subtitles? And for ghosts? Ragini MMS.

5. Who added extra ‘B’ in Bbuddah, extra ‘K’ In Tell Me O Kkhuda, extra ‘A’s in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge and what purpose they served?

6. Is his name Bumpy? Just Bumpy? Really? Luv Ka The End.

7. In how many more films will we see Vinay Pathak in lead role and doing the same bumbling fool act? This year he had five releases. Yes, five!

8. Can G. One fly? If so, why does he need to travel in a plane? Ra One.

9. Always Kabhi Kabhi – Who is the brain behind the weirdest title of the year?

10. Who is Nagesh Kukunoor?

And what’s your list? What all you discovered or learnt at the movies this year? And what all remains unanswered? Do let us know in comments.