With the superlative success of ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI followed by RAGINI MMS, Balaji Motion Pictures have indeed cemented their position as one of the premier production house in the country. Their latest venture, THE DIRTY PICTURE, once again directed by Milan Luthria (after OUATIM), has generated a lot of curiosity despite being inspired from a lesser known starlet from down south, Silk Smitha, who made her presence felt in the seventies and eighties with quite a few appearances in Bollywood films, but her biggest claim to fame is the Kamal Haasan-Sridevi starrer SADMA.
Though this is not a biopic yet the film is in the retro mode, and the makers have indeed made a good choice by roping in Vishal-Shekhar to compose the music for the movie. The reason being that VS have shown that they have a good knowledge of the music of that period and have delivered some memorable music for Shahrukh Khan's retro drama OM SHANTI OM and not to forget the chartbusting TASHAN which too had a retro feel to it.
Coming straight to the point and in particular to the song that has caught the fancy of the music buffs ever since the first teaser of THE DIRTY PICTURE was aired; 'Ooh La la' (inspired by Bappi Lahiri's 'Ui Amma' from MAWAALI - 1983)! It's a wonderful surprise to see that it's our irrepressible composer-cum-singer Bappi Lahiri, once again lending his voice for a Milan Luthria film. Not many will remember that Milan had roped in the services of Bappi da for his TAXI NO. 9211 and the song in question, 'Bombay Nagaria'. That song was not much of a success however 'Ooh La La' is a chartbuster all the way. The overall packaging of the song is such that it stays in the mind and one continues to unconsciously hum it. The reason is the extremely catchy rhythm and it's tonality that is not just sensual but naughty as well and never over the top (except for those sighs!), the superb lyrics (by writer Rajat Arora) that range from seductive to cheesy to classy and the perfect pairing of Bappi da and Shreya Ghoshal who manage to keep up the fun tempo with a improvised and highly entertaining and excellent renditions.
'The Dhol Mix' keeps the fun, masti and seductive aura intact and the inclusion of a whole range of Hindustani arrangements and instruments add to the mood, albeit the added rhythm does act as a dampener and one still prefers the original.
Picturized on music's very own lucky mascot, Emraan Hashmi and the second most publicized song after 'Ooh La La' is 'Ishq Sufiyana'. The 'Pee Loon' mood seems to continue here as well though VS have tried to just retain the flavour and the similarity ends there. The infusion of 'sufi' in this composition makes this one more classy as opposed to 'Pee Loon', which was more mass oriented. Kamaal Khan's singing is professional and very good but one still misses Rahat here. Rajat Arora's lyrics are excellent and the similes to love are innovative and reflect upon the writer's knowledge and hold over the language. The layman may not be able to understand the meaning of word, 'Ishq Sufiyana' which means complete surrender and total devotion to the all powerful. 'Tere waaste mera ishq sufiyana'. The all Hindustani arrangements are another plus and though the song starts with a serene piano piece, instruments like 'tabla', harmonium and 'sitar' make this all the more exhilarating. Definitely Emraan has another ace up his sleeve and another hit number to his credit in form of 'Ishq Sufiyana'. The second version of 'Ishq Sufiyana' is rendered quite well by Sunidhi Chauhan although the male version is much better.
The next number 'Honeymoon Ki Raat' harks back to the nightclubs of the seventies and eighties. Keeping in view the subject of the film and the demand of the script, it's an item number, though with a difference, having more western influences and lots of disco, jazz and peppy, light musical arrangements. Sunidhi sails through the number in her characteristic lovable style. A song that would be lapped up by front benchers, aagey ke chaar row, as per Emraan Hashmi in the promos of THE DIRTY PICTURE!
Next up 'Twinkle Twinkle' may not sound exactly like the item number one was expecting from a film which is based on the life of Silk Smitha but as one hears the whole song one cannot help but salute the composers and lyricist Rajat Arora who have come up with such an 'out of the box' dance number. VS have drawn inspiration from popular dance numbers like 'De de pyaar de' and 'Pyaar do, Pyaar Lo'. Rajat especially deserves praise for weaving up a seductive song around popular nursery rhymes. The lyrics may sound cheesy and suggestive to some but they are innovative as well as laden with humour and are quite subjective- 'Twinkle twinkle main little star ban gayee, Jack and Jill ko bhi dekho mere naam ki chadh gayi, Humpty ghayal hua, Dumpty pagal hua'. Shreya Ghoshal with her excellent rendition and her voice modulations is just perfect, and her choice is quite novel. A fitting finale indeed!
To sum up, Vishal-Shekhar may have started 2011 on a sedate note with BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP but with RA.ONE still ruling the hearts and charts they can now look forward to dominate the year on a high with the music of THE DIRTY PICTURE. With just the right kind of promotion that the album is enjoying, and the curiosity factor working largely, one can safely predict another winner in hands for Balaji Motion Pictures and Milan Luthria.