CHAK DE INDIA, a path-breaker by all standards, opened gates for 'sport-centric' cinema and as expected there are many to follow this trend. Ajitpal Mangat's VICTORY promises triumphant show in this genre that showcases 'Cricket' as its centre-stage, where a bunch of international cricket stars makes their guest appearances. Like its lead man Harman Baweja, VICTORY goes special for Anu Malik who suffers from series of disasters and hopes for a big bang with this album. After the debacle of LOVE STORY 2050 and booty-shaking UGLY AUR PAGLI, things look grim and fidgety for him. Can VICTORY be victorious fare for him? Will year 2009 be resurrecting year for both Harman Baweja and Anu Malik? Let's get straight for the first volley as things looks really interesting for this cricket fanatic flick...
Pritam had a 'hard-rock' blast with Rupam Islam's 'Jannat Jahan' (JANNAT) and the similar madcap fervor of riches meeting media-savvy cricketer makes another racy outburst in 'Money Money'. Anushka Manchanda sings out like a crooner with higher electronic notes as its flashy backdrop with an upbeat feel of disco-floors. Syed Gulrez's mish-mash wordings makes snazzy undertones of lavish lifestyle and fluctuating fortunes in simplistic verbal flows, but the soundtrack shapes out to be pompously loud background number. Anu Malik’s overdo of electronic beats and the extra jarring orchestrations makes it even ear-splitting. Anushka has another ace in this thriving pulsating number while Krishna booming back-up vocals supports the spirits to its best.
Anu Malik gets an opportunity to deliver out 'Cricket-anthem' and the much anticipated musical piece for this sport-centric flick comes in the form of cheering cum 'bhangra' flavors in 'Balla Utha Chakka Lagga'. Daler Mehndi along with Sukhwinder Singh makes all boisterously hitherto efforts in making it 'Chak De Cricket' with racing 'dhol' beats along with cheering leading the show. Syed Gulrez's passionately fluid words have rigorous punches and it matches in tandem with impressive sounding composition. It's the racy splurge along with cricket enthusiast listeners that are likely to making this number, a 'feel-sporty' massy track. It lacks the impulsive tinge of recently heard 'Jai Ho' (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) but aesthetically shot choreographic moves can well be big boosting factor in making it a massy hit number.
KK gets a soothing maneuver delivered in the form of 'viraah' song with an archetypical 90's romantic feel with folksy touches in 'Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha'. KK sparkles out well with his varying pitching and voice modulations in successfully carrying out melodramatically profound emotions. The composition could have been composed in trendy set of arrangements while lyrical works (Amitabh Verma) lack the 'novelty factor' that could easily have made it an arresting somber number. Do hear it again and again for KK's brilliant vocal rendition that has an expressively touching affixation attached to it with its every rhythm and beat.
'Gully' cricket comes out from dusty rustic backdrop of suburbs to the fore and this 'kriket' (yes, 'Cricket' is called 'Kriket' in local lingo) fever comes out loud and clear with 'bhangra' beat culture in 'We Love Kriket'. Kailash Kher's resonating loud vocals comes with 'cheer' mode and elates out 'Cricket' as the most celebrated festive occasion of the nation. It's a strictly average situational soundtrack that should be enlightening out cricketing spirits in engrossing moments or end titles of the flick.
If 'Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha' had KK written all over it then the austerely charming lovable number 'Tu Ne Re' speaks volumes about Shaan's prolific somber singing. Anu Malik strikes pure gold this time with tender romantic emotions getting embarked with supple piano and guitar notes, slender violin works and soft drums. Syed Gulrez's supple romantic wording makes the maximum impact with mushy 'easy-on-ears' feel. Despite its 90's romantic feel (similar to 'Badalon Mein Chup Raha Chand Kyon' (PHIR TERI KAHANI YAAD AAYI) in sluggish tempo); it has that desired captivating charm to lure listeners. After recently 'Kuch Kum' (DOSTANA), Shaan has another remarkable soft rock ballad in the form of 'Tu Ne Re' that will surely be adding bright sparkle for both composer and singer. Charming!!!
VICTORY gets into top-most gear melodic mood and the ferocious feel of 'wounded tiger' makes all thumping moves in the title track 'Victory'. Anu Malik tries to rejuvenate the sporty feel of 'Eye of the Tiger' (Hollywood's ROCKY) in this 'hard-rock' attired number but the composition is unimposing and the lyrics are clichéd. Upcoming talent Dibyendu races out his vocal chords to the highest volume to deliver 'killer feel' but the infectiously thunderous feel is strictly situational and serves to the occasion in the flick.
After mixed and matched flavors of varied genres, old-fashioned Bollywood musical feel comes out as the last attribute, where an array of singers collaborate out to deliver out congratulatory feel for the protagonist in 'Maaza Aa Gaaya'. It's more like 'Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman' (RAJU BAN GAYA GENTLE MAN) type of situational number where talents like Sonu Nigam, Suresh Wadkar, Sudesh Bhosle, Altaf Raja, Mahalakshmi Iyer and Sumitra Iyer sings in tandem. Anu Malik makes this offering special for 'interiors' listeners who still prefer 'filmi' sounds more than upbeat orchestrations.
VICTORY comes with no big surprises and neither makes itself triumphant enough to make any substantial impact. Anu Malik has another 'decent-hear' album that can work well with the 'sport-centric' feel of the film. It's all singers like Shaan, KK and Anushka Manchanda who prop up as the real 'heroes' of the album. The high points of VICTORY are soundtracks like 'Tu Ne Re', 'Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha' and 'Money Money', that makes it commercially safe and sound affair. Do expect 'Balla Utha Chakka Laga' to be running loud in cricket seasons as it comes close to similar sounding and immensely successful sporty cheerful tracks like 'Chak De India' (CHAK DE INDIA) and 'Dhan Dhana Dhan' (DHAN DHANA DHAN...GOAL).