Big B is back! Talented director Sujoy Ghosh gets the deserved and desired break of his career with ALADIN, a hi-profile classic fairy tale saga that features multifaceted Amitabh Bachchan in author backed role.
Enthused with cherubic and scintillating magical VFX effects, it packs the likes of Sanjay Dutt and Ritesh Deshmukh in pivotal characters with director's favorite Vishal-Shekhar (V-S) promising some spectacular musical show. Down the memory lane, it was Ghosh's debut film, JHAANKAR BEATS that set the ball rolling for the duo with everlasting soulful track ''Tu Aashiqui Hai'' that made history. It was followed with another musically profound offering HOME DELIVERY, with a couple of likable tracks but failing to enlighten the flick's prospects. ALADIN is hat-trick of this director-composers conglomerate and this time the grandeur is the biggest and so do the expectations. Like kid-entertainer BHOOTNATH (Big B - (V-S) offering), this classic fairy tale charters the difficult path of least explored genre of child-fiction and so the challenges are big. BHOOTNATH was average in musical departments and many among its genre were too meek to set any challenges to its contemporaries. Fuelled with immense star-power, can this V-S musical extravaganza be able to swim against the tide? Will the magical wand be working on its audio prospects? Just find this out...!
Vishal-Shekhar had success with vocal jugglery of hip-hop emceeing with Abhsishek in ''Ek Main Aur Ek Tu'' (BLUFFMASTER) and now makes Big B plays ''cool'' rapper in ''Genie Rap''. This comic book caricatured track triggers off with recurring drum-beats (similar to ''Ticket to Hollywood'' -JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM) and later zooms with sluggishly pitched hip-hop. Amitabh's sonorous voice is theatrically amusing and so Anushka Manchanda in peppy varying tones and this upbeat composition delivers the thump with rigorous sounding hip-hop buzz and electronic sounds. Decades back, Big B made rap cum reggae rage in ''Don't Worry Be Happy'' (TOOFAN -1989), again a fairy tale saga, and this one too proves enthralling in its genre. Big B enjoys this song completely but this is moreover animator-friendly track that will surely find big takers in kid audiences.
This ''Make-A-Wish'' fairy tale hip-hop gets into disco-maneuvers in ''Genie Rap (remix)'' and gives party animals enough to jive and thrive. DJ Suketu mixes up feminine chorals with traditional Punjabi ''dhol'' beat and Arabic music with medium pitched DJ spins in sluggish flows of electronic sounds to make it feasible for dance floors.
The fairy tale anecdotes should have racy pulsating chasing rhythms and magical wand sounds to commandeer the hilarious cum spectacular visual spectacles. So, it gets the needful in ''Tak Dhina Dhin'', a fun filled number serenaded by Shankar Mahadevan and Shaan, designed in stereotypically 80's ''filmi'' number attire. V-S composition is in contemporary mode this time with no great shakes, either in its cheeky wording or playful composition. This goes for 80's disco mania rigorous drum beat patterns and electronic sounds that fits into the on-screen chemistry of ''Genie'' (Amitabh Bachchan) and ''Aladin'' (Ritesh Deshmukh). It's again situational number that rests heavily on the gimmickry of actors and technocratic skills of technicians than making anything big for listeners.
Down memory lane, Amitabh Bachchan had blast with Kalyanji-Anandji in 80's concerts and ''O Re Saawariya'', a UP folksy number was one of their big attractions for the hysterical crowd. In 80's, this peppery filled ''Awadhi'' number got the treatment of Calypso (in album ''Live tonight with Amitabh Bachchan'') and now it's bandwagon of singers like Shaan, Shreya Ghosal, Sudesh Bhosle along with Big B himself taking over the centre-stage. V-S composition is like ''fusion'' of folksy-cum-pop, where sobriety comes in Shreya's mellifluous classical tones while Sudesh Bhonsle mimics Amitabh and Shaan's voice takes aerial route of hap singing. It brings out ''ventriloquism'' (type of hilarious theatrical act to thrill children's) with main foray on Big B magical acts and is likely to be fun-filled on-screen endeavor. Shreya is in great form in ''alaap'' rendition and so do Sudesh Bhonsle and there is Amitabh's ''alaap'' singing concluding in last interludes, making it fully action-packed.
DJ Suketu remix version of this number is feisty bunch of happening for concerts and tours. It punches every ingredient of ''club remix'' with accelerating beat-juggles that collage appropriately with drum rattles and funky electronic rhythms. Do expect its remix number to be flashy item number in every Bachchan's tour, feel the rollicking impulse.
After two magnificent soulful ballads like ''Khabar Nahi'' and ''Kuch Kum'' (DOSTANA -2009) this year, there was much to be expected from V-S to deliver in album's most soppy number ''You May Be''. It has soothing calm impact in its soft textures of arrangements, filled with soft guitar strums, piano drills, violin works and effective saxophones working with anthem-ic chorals, befitting it for the eternal love track in the film. Vishal and Shekhar grace the microphone and swivel their role in parts, but the penetration intensity of their previous hit ballads is missing. Shekhar has the narrative tender singing part in the latter part and excels over Vishal in making this acceptable soul track.
Shankar Mahadevan has big reputation with V-S so far with couple of fast-paced big hits and ''Bachke O Bachke'' follows the similar mood and tempo. This is feisty dancing track that makes Shankar's enthused singing loud along with Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan as affable compatriots in fun-singing. It's again an archetypical Bollywood fun-filled track that works more on routine funky electronic sounds with conventional wordings. As per the quizzically amusing situation, this situational number comes with ''wait-n-watch'' scenario with prospects shouldering on flick's on-screen magical wizardry.
Sanjay Dutt plays evil joker ''Ringmaster'' and sticking to the situational comical feel of child-fiction genre, he jesters out in squeamish tones in average sounding ''Giri Giri''. Filled with loads of jazz and pop elements, it has narrative lyrics about the evil endeavors with average sounding composition. Nothing to cheer about, another conceptually based situational number that should be enthralling for child-audiences but plain average in melodic contents.
ALADIN is an all-together Big B special magical-cum-musical show that rests on his immaculate charismatic appearance in tracks that features him in the lead. It's an average album with soundtracks like ''O Re Saawariya'' and ''Genie Rap'' showing gleam of hope of rising above in the charts.
Like BHOOTNATH, this Vishal-Shekar work caters to the situational needs and charters fantasy lands with loads of funkier beat electronic sounds and rhythms. Do enjoy this visual feast, if you are die-hard Big B fan but never hold any big expectation if you expect another as entertaining as DOSTANA or innovative as BLUFFMASTER from the musical duo.