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Music Review : Barfi!

Director :  Anurag Basu
Music :  Pritam Chakraborty
Lyrics :  Swanand Kirkire
Starring :  Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D' Cruz and Rupa Ganguly

August 29, 2012 05:30:59 PM IST
By Satyajit, Glamsham Editorial
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BARFI...a scrumptious Indian dessert and now a soul-stirring rom-com! Delightful eateries have finally made it to the titles of B-town flick, and BARFI promises to be one such delicacy on the entertainment platter. Anurag Basu, a name primarily associated with dark-passion oriented thrillers (MURDER, GANGSTER and KITES) with an exception of successfully conceived socially relevant saga (LIFE... IN A METRO), directs this heartrending love story that has hearing and speech impaired played by versatile Ranbir Kapoor as its lead protagonist. In the year 2006, the team-work of Pritam Chakraborty and Basu started off with great success in the edge-of-the-seat thriller GANGSTER and made history with a pack of chartbusters. It was followed by historic musical success of LIFE.. IN A METRO, a flick that was not only a unique triumph in its genre but was consequential in making "rock-music" as a major genre in Hindi film music. BARFI brings back Pritam again but this time the feel is somber and soul-enriching. Will this be the much-deserved hat-trick for him in Basu's clan? Can we expect BARFI to be another delightful feast for music lovers? Let's hear this out...

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The sweetness of BARFI is cherubic, enthralling and amusing as there is a truckload of fun-frolic and masti in its opening track 'Ala Barfi', a number that is not only jocular in mood but also a fabulous piece of slapstick comic-drama in its entire rendition. Whether its wobbly vocal throw in gibberish wordings or pensive emotional singing, Mohit Chauhan's versatility in capturing every joyously impish emotion is simply spectacular and shows his range of vocal talent. Pritam's brilliance in portraying an act of "ventriloquism" deserves applause; it's indeed a herculean effort to lend an expression with a voice to a speech-impaired character; a well etched soundtrack that not only gists out the lead character but also entertains. Light-hearted whistling with feather-touched instrumentals forms an expressive prelude to the track and later it progresses with a chirpy story-telling lyrical mode. Swanand Kirkire's optimism in modest wordings ("Kabhi na rukta re, Kabhi na thamta re, Gham jo dikha usey khusiyon ki thokar mare, Palko ki har muniya, naino ki gaa re saare, Dhadkan ki rhythm pe ye gaata jaaye gaane pyare, Bhola na shamjho yeh chaalu khiladi hai bada bada...) is a noteworthy feature that works, it also lends peculiar voices at intermittent phases, simply showcasing the zeal of Barfi in observing different aspects and objects in life. Lyricist Swanand Kirkire's earthy vocals are at the helm of affairs in its second version, a relatively mediocre sounding track this time with a situational appeal. This version can be presumed to be evocative background score material with similar sounding impressive arrangements and lyrics, overall a brilliant effort by the entire musical team in delivering out a potential title track that should be hitting big on charts. Chartbuster!!!

CHECK OUT: Anurag Basu had complete control over BARFI!

Set in 70's beautiful and aromatic hilly regions, 'Main Kya Karoon' brings out a subtle 70's rock musical feel to the fore, a genteel-pitched love ballad that has strong elements of archetypical rock instrumentals. It soothes and comforts with subtle feel of acoustic and electric guitar riffing, soft drums and percussions that goes in tandem with smoothening vocals. Nikhil Paul George, an upcoming vocalist oils his vocal chords to perfection in painting out every sensitive romantic emotion with effortless ease. Pritam capitalizes Nikhil's charming boyish tones and intermingles well with 70's old-fashioned westernized melodic feel in making this as another winner. No matter what detractors says or believe, Pritam has the tenacity of incorporating the aesthetics as well as groove in any song and it shows positively in this track; a notable piece of old-fashioned rock ballad that works in accentuating the love-chemistry in the flick. Lovable!!!

'Kyon', a soft and soul-sauntering love ballad comes like a sequel to 'Main Kya Karoon', a number that moves with a story-telling mode with a strong emotional-quotient in its lyrical settings and expressive singing. Papon's light-hearted groovy voice narrates it all in somber 70's westernized rock feel, a melodic decorum that brings the likes of Dev Anand's "black & white" romanticism to fore. Sunidhi Chauhan's impressively rendered supporting vocals are a great support in cushioning up Papon's likable voice. This time Pritam delivers a charming innocence to the romance that is beautifully epitomized in feather-touched instrumentals and genteel wind-chimes sound; once again an impressive feat that lives up to its expectations. Impressive!!!

In 70's era, "Ghazal-gayaki" was a formidable genre of singing that enamored everybody with its melodic mysticism and poetic brilliance. 'Phir Le Aaya Dil', a beautifully quoted ghazal is one great example of it. It brings back enchanting feel of poetic expression of separation and love in beautifully written recurring rhymes. Rekha Bharadwaj's folksy penetrative vocals sing out the first version that is primarily conceived on Indian classical instrumental flows, a musical feel that is familiar to every ghazal lover. Swanand Kirkire's lyrics are nurtured with strong expressive Urdu wordings (mayasaar, badastoor, musalsal) that lends a strong bridge of communication in emoting out every sensitive expression; indeed a great poetic expression. Phir Le Aaya Dil (reprise) is simply fabulous and a great form of improvisation that adds classic western jazz musical feel to the subtle "ghazal-gayaki" and the end result is simply melodious. Arijit Singh (Raabta (AGENT VINOD), a finalist of Fame Gurukul (2005)) delivers his finest vocal performance so far in this version, a number that minutely showcases modulations and variations (harkat) in his prolific singing. The highlight of this version is the addition of jazz musical elements (soft drums, piano, violin, cellos) in the middle interludes that gives it an upbeat and youthful musical feel and mixes well with Arijit's remarkable soothing vocals. Pritam delivers it again and this time with sheer conviction and rejuvenates the least explored genre (ghazal) with great dexterity; a lovable feast for all every ghazal lover. 'Phir Le Aaya Dil (Redux)' by Shafaqat Ali Khan brings vivid shades of Sufism to this beautiful track. It's a gem of performance by Shafaqat, a delightful display of classically refined vocals that permeate prosperously into the serene ghazal arrangements; a delightful journey that needs to be visited again and again. Soothing!!!

view BARFI! stills
view BARFI! stills

Blossoming with childhood cute "n" chirpy antics, 'Aashiyan' transforms the listeners into a dreamland of hope and aspirations with delightful lullaby feel. In this serenely pitched number, Pritam tries to build a "castle of love" with a strong conviction of lovable voices and animated lyrical gestures. Shreya Ghoshal's saccharine-coated vocals are a big welcome in this "kiddie" feel number while Nikhil Paul George's playfully rendered voice adds the desired zest. Once again, Pritam recreates a typical 60's and 70's westernized rock feel (Johnny Cash, The Carpenters etc) in the arrangements that brings out a bygone era feel. As far as its innocent charming musical feel is concerned, 'Aashiyan' falls in the cadre of tracks like 'Choti Si Aasha' (ROJA) and 'Aawara Bhanware' (SAPNEY) and impresses with its soothing decorum. Nikhil's solo version is more like an appealing background score that should work during the gripping moments of the flick; a good voice quality that is rhythmically synchronized to perfection. Adorable!!!

CHECK OUT: Ranbir Kapoor's BARFI! act gets thumbs up

BARFI is turning out to be a promising paradigm for talented Arijit Singh and the next soundtrack 'Saawali Si Raat' justifies it to the greatest extent. This last offering comes more like a sweetly rendered lullaby where beautiful words are tenderly poised in softly delivered vocals. Arijit's soft huskier tones are delightful and so is the tranquil decorum of orchestral that makes this as another brilliant track. Swanand Kirkire's descriptively poetic lyrics ("Jhilmil taaron si aankhein teri, Khaare khaare paani ki jheelein bhare, Har dam yun hi tu hansti rahe, Har pal hai dil mein khwahishein, Khamoshi ki loriyaan sun toh raat so gayi...") deserves a extraordinary mention; a promising attribute that lifts the mood and tempo of the track. To add more promising hues, there is meaningful semblance to the title (BARFI) in words like "Barfi ke tukde sa, chanda dekho aadha hai, Dheere dheere chakhna zara, Hansne rulane ka aadha-pauna vaada hai..." and gives it an extra narrative edge. Pritam delivers a soulfully beautiful track again and makes this a promising musical feature in this emotionally enriched romantic saga. CHARMING!!!

BARFI is one of the sweetest musical delights of this year, a well nurtured and meticulously conceived album that has its heart and mind at right places. After the thunderous musical success of the recently released COCKTAIL, Pritam triumphs again with this album and shows his versatility par consistency in every soundtrack. The highlight of this album is it delivers a 100 percent quality and performance, and there is not even an iota of mediocrity. As far as commercial success is concerned, title track 'Ala Barfi' will be the flag-bearer while tracks like 'Main Kya Karoon' and 'Kyon' are expected to rise high in urbane listener's wish-list. There is soulful innocence in songs like 'Saawali Si Raat' and 'Aashiyan', two beautifully delivered gems. For all those classy listeners craving for some delightful "ghazals" in a contemporary Bollywood album, there is a huge surprise in 'Phir le aaya hai dil' (all versions); a great team-effort this time that needs to be applauded. Happy Listening!

BARFI is a delightful musical journey...Don't miss it, Go Grab It!!!

Rating - 4.5/5

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