SOUNDTRACK can easily be classified as an experiment in creativity. It's a bold move by director Neerav Ghosh who has found willing backers in his generous producers. Not everyone gets a chance to explore the realms of his thoughts and explode on celluloid with such gay abandon as does Neerav and his protagonist Rajeev Khandelwal. With AAMIR, released three years ago, Rajeev stamped his imprint as a quality actor. In SOUNDTRACK, he further endorses that truth.
Anurag Kashyap tried his hand at this 'experimental element' in NO SMOKING. That's probably the reason why he is part of this film in a small role as someone who talks glowingly about Raunak Kaul (Rajeev Khandelwal) who is now a successful music composer, although he has turned deaf. There are others from the music industry as well, who speak about Raunak's genius. There's Anu Mallick, Salim (of Salim-Suleiman fame), Kailsah Kher apart from successful VJs and DJs. That's a novelty Neerav brings into this film as he intersperses their views on the central character as he tells the story.
Raunak is full of life. He comes to the city from a small town to make it big. He lost his father at the age of six, but does remember the 'musical times' he had with his dad. His uncle hands him some unfinished tapes of his father and Raunak adds layers to it which become an instant hit in the night club where he is the most sought-after DJ. Already high on alcohol, he takes to drugs of all sorts not to mention women. Life is actually a mess, but he perceives it as bliss. Excess takes its toll on his body and the constant loud decibel levels at the club aided by his 'wasted' lifestyle brings about a hearing disability. He turns stone deaf.
The first half is full of excesses to the point of being repulsive. Drugs, alcohol, women and what have you... But I guess, Neerav had to drive home his point. And you realize the reasoning behind this move after the break when things glide smoothly. Raunak comes to terms with his deafness, returns to civilian life and meets with Gauri (Soha Ali Khan), who is also deaf. She is his lip-reading teacher.
It is the second part that balances out the tumultuous first. Both Soha and Rajeev share a chemistry that endears you to them. Modulating her voice and aiding it with her finger movements and facial expressions, Soha is first rate. I mean this is not a movie any heroine would do. It's only the bold who will experiment with such technically difficult roles.
It's hard-hitting and creatively presented. But what could have worked in Neerav's favour is if the rest of the cast were within the confines of the parameters he had in mind for the film.
It would be tough to get in the audience (read commercial success), but those creatively inclined should definitely watch this flick.