Director : Vishal Bhardwaj
Music : Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics : Gulzar
Starring : Saif Ali Khan, Kangana Ranaut and Shahid Kapoor By Rafat, Glamsham Editorial Well, yes, we are indeed talking about expectations from the audio of RANGOON helmed by living legend Gulzar Sahab and master film maker-composer, Vishal Bhardwaj. Especially after the award winning HAIDER, one looks forward with bated breath, the scores of RANGOON set in the pre-Independence/ British era. So let's begin!
It takes a highly polished artist like Sunidhi Chauhan to deliver this difficult to render but extremely addictive, terrific, jazz based stage show dance composition, 'Bloody Hell ' to sublime perfection. Gulzar Sahab lyrics stand out and makes one smile ('No no sorry sorry karte ishq kiya angrezi mein') and so do Kangana Ranuat's dance antics, making this one an absolutely adorable track.
Arjit Singh renders 'Yeh Ishq Hai' and he is excellent as always, albeit the tune chosen specially in the first line of the mukhda itself, 'yeh ishq hai', and also the crescendo, reminds one of Rahman's iconic 'Dil Se' title track. But maybe its coincidental as the rest of the song is trademark Vishal and so are lyrics by Gulzar.
Rekha's version is slow, dark and more sufi inclined with Hindustani musical instruments like harmonium, 'sitar', tabla for company and must say, its superb.
'Mere Miyan Gaye England' is as one can guess is a humorous parody of one of the most iconic songs of the pre-Independence era, Shamshad Begum rendered, 'Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon' (PATANGA) . And one can just say, hats off to Vishal, Gulzar Sahab and of course Rekha Bhardwaj for the extremely zany take, specially Gulzar Sahab as the lyrics talk about the territorial (but extremely funny) exploits of a married military personnel by his better half which is simply hilarious.
Remember Vishal-Gulzar's 'Chappa Chappa '? Well, the next number, 'Tippa' is on the same lines/ in the same corridor. A fun, playful situational song where the soldiers are camping together and travelling on a train. An ensemble of great artists like Sukhwinder, Rekha, Sunidhi and OS Arjun render a well arranged number and all of them get equal scope . Violins, trumpets are just great and sound of water droplets falling, chugging steam train give that British era feel. Lyrics are too zany and at times vague.
Gulzar Sahab makes it up with 'Ek Dooni Do', a fun, playful Salsa stylized club dance number where he uses mathematical tables (called pahada in Hindi) with wit and humour. Rekha renders the number with her usual gusto and rustic old era charm.
Never say goodbye, is the theme of the pathos filled song, 'Alvida', but the tune chosen is a bit too slow and makes the song morose and dull. Arjit shines in this first above average number. But lyrics are simply outstanding, philosophical and heart rendering.
A song that etch out the strong , 'bindaas', electrifying, care a damn attitude of the lead female protagonist 'Julia' with all professing their love for this out of the world girl, Julia, and praising her sky high.
The character of the female lead essayed by Kangana is said to be inspired from Fearless Nadia, the first stuntwoman of the Hindi film industry. Rock and roll, salsa and flamingo, a heady cocktail indeed. Sukhwinder, K.K, Kunal Ganjawala and the composer himself come together to render the number and need we say, they are just excellent. Lyrics are indeed unique, the use of Urdu alphabets and simple Urdu are really interesting with English, Punjabi and Hindi thrown in.
Lovely harmonica kickstarts 'Chori Chori', which takes one back to the 'Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar' and 'Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh' days. The chorus, accordion, lyrics and Rekha's singing are the highlight of the fun dance number.
'Rangoon Theme' is pure bliss, a superb instrumental with Oriental music, harmonica, guitar and a host of other instruments which encapsulates the pre Independence era.
The list ends with two totally English numbers, 'Be Still' (sung by Dominique Crejo), a soft, dreamy poetic number and 'Jimmy Shake' (sung by Vivienne Pocha), a fun rock and roll number along the same lines as Elvis Presley's 'Jailhouse Rock'. Written by Lekha Washington, composed by Vishal, the songs once again bring about the musical flavour of the forties where music was more colonially inspired.
Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Some albums are a cut above the rest and are there to be savoured as a musical delicacy. The last one was HAIDER, incidentally from the same team, and this one too is quite in that league. Kudos to VB for recreating the authentic forties era with actual musical instruments, arrangements, crooning; in a nut-shell, all songs are non-synthesized gems. Our picks- 'Bloody Hell', 'Mere Miyan Gaye England', 'Do Dooni Chaar' and 'Chori Chori'. The album has class written all over it and it's a delight to soak in its flavours (musical of course!). while waiting for the gems to translate on screen, with actors of the calibre Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut.