Bold, innovative and experimental cinema has ushered in unpredictable surprises and has often written an unusual history at the box-office. MIRCH (meaning "spice") by director Vinay Shukla is one such multiplex entertainer that takes bold strives into the least explored subject of gender-equality, sexual freedom and philandering with bunch of reliable actors in the lead role.
After making a smashing debut with SAAWARIYA (2007) and later disappointing with sub-standard albums, music composer Monty Sharma makes a silent but notable presence with this film. In league of low-budget films, MIRCH is one film that dares to experiment with Indian classical musical soundtracks and tries to refresh listeners with its unique classy feel. So far, low profile films have been non-starters on the musical front and expectations from MIRCH is almost nil. Can Monty Sharma deliver out the needful for this spicy melodrama with his flair of music? Does the music of MIRCH have the spice to make things hotter on big screen? Let's hear and view what's cooking for us with this MIRCH...
Hard-Metal and Indian classical musical fusion grips the centre-stage and relives the arena with vociferously piercing melodic spells in eclectically mesmerizing "Kaare Kaare Badra". This Monty Sharma rock-band composition is remarkably arranged and ricochets meticulously between these distant apart genres. The end result is simply electrifying with racy distorted guitar riffs mixing well with classically refined vocals. Shankar Mahadevan's masterly stroked classical rendition (preferably Raag "Bhairavi" sung in "thumri" style) enters into the realms of ecstasy in his brilliantly modulating tones and delivers out mystifying spells of sheer enchantment. The rollicking hard-metal musical mode at intermittent phases gels appreciably with classical "alaaps" and shows the high quality of "fusion" music. Javed Akhtar's linguistically penned wordings talks about life, aspirations and dreams and connects well with the fusion feel of this enlightening-sounding soundtrack. For its idealistically rocking overtones, this song can be presumed to be engrossing background score that should be giving razor edges in the narration of the film. As far as Monty Sharma's toil and efforts are concerned, it is really a misfortune that such quality work has not been positively promoted and its buzz will be fading out with flick's publicity. Against all odds, "Kaare Kaare Badra" is one among finest of Shankar Mahadevan's solo works of this year that will surely be lauded by all classy music listeners. Enchanting!!!
In 1984, Laxmikant-Pyarelal created historic era of "politics of sex" in UTSAV (1984), where serene sounding "Sanjh Dhale Gagan Tale" made its prominent presence. This year it is Monty Sharma composing out similar melodic feel with sweetly toned Bela Shende sizzling out sensuality in her softer tones in beautifully composed "Mann Bhi Hai". The perfect mix of sitar, sarangi and jaltarang (all stringed instruments) accentuates the sluggish sensual feel of poetry-stylized wordings that epitomizes desires and feel of wantonness. Javed Akhtar's poetry brings out historic era with aplomb and Bela's brilliant rendition ushers life into it. Monty deserves all applause for delivering a really classy number in succession and making this a worthy listening affair.
After delivering out pack full of optimism in "Sau Gram Zindagi" (GUZAARISH), Kunal Ganjawala's penetrative voice is again at the helm of affairs to deliver out another "worth-a-hear" melancholic number in "Zindagi Tu Hi Bata". Unlike the two previous numbers, this composition sounds routine with similar sounding chorals, fillers and arrangements, but overall packaging is remarkable and delivers the needful. Javed Akhtar's idealistic lyrics are somewhat analogous to "Aye Zindagi Gale Laga Le" (SADMA -1983) where the singer desires to live with his own terms and with freedom, peace and harmony. Vaishal Samanth along with Sharmistha's soft and demure feminine tones adds to the motivational affluence of the song. In a nutshell, this touching song completely belongs to the Kunal Ganjawala's singing prowess as this not only raises mantle of the song but also adds substance to the inspirational feel of the soundtrack. Touchy!!!
MIRCH - the title finally makes its spicy presence and that too in two different versions with different set of singers and arrangements in "Tikhi Tikhi Mirchi".
The first version is urbane friendly and comes in cabaret form of work with seductive vocal oomph of Akriti Kakkar as its prime performer behind the mike. It's a situational item-number type of sensuous number where one expects sparks flying on big screen. Monty delivers a mediocre fare this time and expectations are now on its traditional folk version. Kalpana Patowary's earthy folksy tones sizzle out in "Tikhi Tikhi Mirch (Folk version)" and sound more audibly friendly than its earlier version. The rustic Rajasthani "banjara" setting is evident in traditional instrumentals that give it a perfect folk-number but nothing to be cherished for long. Both versions are presumed to be catalyzing background score in compelling moments, exuding out shades of characterizations and varying circumstantial moods.
Some years back, folk singer Ila Arun created some sort of controversy when her Indi-Pop track "Nigodi Kaisi Jaawani hai" (Album- Mela -2007) made news in the musical world. The feel of eroticism and boldness rejuvenates back again as again she head-starts another folksy track that has Rajasthan folklore influences with spicy urbane-tinge in "Mora Saiyyan". It brings out a relaxing sensual "lounge" feel with Pandit Girish Chattopadhay's high-flying voice leading out the proceeding with back-up support of Charu Semwaal (Indian Idol finalist). The insatiable feel of desires and compassionate feel of being loved domineers again and connects well with the bold theme of the film. "Mora Saiyyan" can be predicted to be describing both periods, showcasing all leading female characters in one single frame and all-together it should be working positively for the narrative elements of the flick.
MIRCH comes out as sweet surprise of its kind and delivers enchanting musical experiences in a couple of finely composed soundtracks. The album goes especially for all those classy listeners who prefer fusion and hard-metal base music. Shankar Mahadevan's brilliantly rendered "Kaare Kaare Badra" is the biggest asset of the album followed by "Mann Bhi Hai" and "Zindagi Tu Hi Bata". After the initial success of SAWARIYA, composer Monty Sharma has shown his tenacity for Indian classical music and the result is relatively impressive from his last few works. Marred by poor promotion, almost zero visibility and zilch expectations, it is almost preposterous to expect anything chartbusting from any of its soundtracks. If you feel like taking a break from routine sounding hip-hop and remixes, do plug into this album and feel the difference.