Director: Anand L Rai
Actors: Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, Abhay Deol
Music Director: A R Rahman
Lyricist: Irshad Kamil
After a lacklustre previous outing, A R Rahman makes his detractors eat their words. He collaborates with lyricist Irshad Kamil once again to create a musical web called ‘Raanjhanaa‘ in which the earthiness and spiritual soul of Banaras merge with the film’s theme – pure and simple love. Kamil backs Rahman with simple, yet profound lyrics.
A lover’s song about his simple innocent love is an apt description of the title track sung by Jaswinder Singh and Shiraz Uppal. Like a wave, the song goes from a high to a low within seconds. Fabulous use of dhols, sitar, flute and sarangi mixed with guitars and violins makes the song melodious. The desi touch continues with the romantic ballad Tum Tak sung by Javed Ali, who pours the protagonist’s message through his Sufi entrenched voice – whatever he feels and thinks is for her. Proof: Chala Hoon Tum Tak, Chalunga Tum Tak, Mila Hoon Tum Tak, Milunga Tum Tak. Apart from dholaks and shehnais, it is commendable to find the manjira being played through the song.
If folk music is your preference, you will find the overwhelmingly classical yet folksy Banarasiya magnificent. Sung by Shreya Ghoshal, the song is a representative of UP’s (and also Banaras’) classical music side. Rahman raises his voice with ‘Piya Milenge’. Unfortunately, this Sufi track is not his best. Individually, each component sounds amazing; from Sukhwinder Singh to the mix of instruments like the piano and drums. But Rahman drops you near the finishing line. To cross it or not is your decision.
Rahman regulars Madhushree and Chinmayee team up for an interesting, classical jugalbandi, ‘Ay Sakhi’. A pleasing confluence where the woman talks about her lover and love, the song’s simplicity in words and composition is charming. Your smile grows wider once you listen to Rashid Ali and Neeti Mohan croon the rock love ballad ‘Nazar Laaye’ which has just the guitar, drums and loads of romance to support it.
Chances are ‘Tu Mun Shudi’ will take time before you ‘love’ it. If not the best of the lot, it ain’t a weakling either. Rahman sings the beautiful chorus, and lets his Sufi soul brother Rabbi Shergill take centrestage and add spice.
Was Rahman a Jazz-loving Frenchman in his previous birth? Aise Na Dekho is a fabulous, smooth Jazz piece which transports you to a café in Paris. With guitar, accordions, drums and a hint of harmonica, the jazz feel is very alive. And the lyrics live up to the music too! The finalé is the instrumental piece, The Land of Shiva, complete with temple bells, chants, dhols and manjiras, offering you the feel of being in the temples of Banaras, waiting to be blessed by Lord Shiva.
What Rahman salvaged through the nine songs is not just his recently falling appeal, but also the love of his followers. Again! Though not a perfect album, Raanjhanaa is going to be a hit for sure.