FANAA, DHOKA, BLACK FRIDAY…and now BLACK & WHITE! Terrorism is proving to be next big forum for meaningful cinema and the occasion is big when showman Subhash Ghai takes a bow with his ambitious BLACK & WHITE. The conglomerate of Subhash Ghai and Sukhwinder Singh has been award winning in “Ramta Jogi” (TAAL) but thereafter it has been low key affair. After socially relevant HALLA BOL, Sukhwinder Singh moves to few extra miles with couple of engrossing soundtracks but still there’s nothing chartbusting or ground-breaking to talk about in BLACK & WHITE.
The soulful outcry of a reformist or fighter gets into temper of isolation with spirit to fight-back with vengeance in thematically conceived “Main Chala”. Sukhwinder Singh impresses with his sonorous vocal modes with sauntering marching impact of bagpiper, feminine “alaaps” and thriving percussive elements. Ibraham Ashq’s wordings signify the desolation of a loner supported with overtly dark emotions in making it a meaningful situational track. Shreya Ghoshal’s mellifluous modulations combined with picturesque charms of natural delights create an aura of ecstasy embellished in emotions of solitude and seclusion in impressive “Main Chali”. Shreya’s mystical charm is listening delight where echoing and variations in “antaras” gives it extra edges over male version. If shot aesthetically, it’s likely to be creating a metaphor for the protagonist’s emotional outburst.
“Peer Manava” unravels the customary path of Laxmikant Pyarelal’s 80’s “bhangra” lingo orchestrations where festivity takes loud folksy route and thus epitomizing emotions of ecstasy and delight. The track by gruffly voiced Sukhwinder Singh and shrill Shraddha Pandit is about marriage celebrations (“Mehndi” song) by vociferous fellow beings in chorals with support of thumping orchestrations and customary “boliyan”, similar to popularly sung “Nit Khair Manga Tere”. It’s enthralling in its traditional folksy tunes but lacks the “novelty” factor that can really set floors on fire. “Peer Manavan (remix)” is loaded with westernized orchestrations to infuse modernity and thrill with accelerated tempo and can be decent hear in flashy marriage celebrations.
Anand Bakshi’s pertinent affixation with word “Jogi” relives another life through Ibrahim Ashq’s modest wordings in subtle and average sounding “Jogi Aaya”. Sukhwinder Singh along with Sadhna Sargam emotes out this “come-back” friendly track but the obligatory outdated arrangements and routine lyrical flows makes it’s an ordinary affair. It’s a meek comparison to Anand Bakshi-Sukhwinder Singh magical work in “Ramta Jogi” and its lukewarm impact will certainly be disappointing factor for album and film prospects. It’s lowest possible on musical aesthetics to expect anything flashy or hip-shaking out from a melancholic and devout track like “Jogi Aaya” in its “club” remix version. The “lounge” remixing with sluggish relaxed arrangements in its backdrop could certainly be better option to create an extra serene feel for lifting prospects for this poignant love track.
“Haq Allah”, a spiritual and devout track about God Almighty (“Allah”) comes in traditional Sufi-Qawalli singing decorum with traditionally penned lyrics and modest arrangements in its backdrop. Sukhwinder Singh along with Hans Raj Hans delivers this singing tribute to “Hazrat Nizzamuddin Auliya”, situational devotional track that will certainly be adding substance to the subject. The second version by Sukhwinder Singh is well suited for grueling climax where one anticipates an enthralling finale with accelerated “alaaps” and loud percussive elements adding to the show.
In terms of composition and presentation, “Yeh Hindustan Hai”, a patriotic number about showcasing India’s secular and cultural affluence shows some promise and resistance to survive. The impressive electronic flute depicting landscaped peripheries of mother-land in its prelude is sheer delight that is followed amiably with synchronized vocal flows of Udit Narayan as lead soloist. This “school-prayer” stylized jingoist track has strong shades from Reshammiya’s composed “Tala Tum” (AITRAAZ) in its principal rhythmical patterns followed by synchronized choral flows similar to “Mera Karma Tu” (KARMA) with conventional patriotic wordings. Jagjit Singh’s poignantly sonorous version brings memories of “Maa Tujhe Salaam” (KHALNAYAK) with almost similar wordings in a decelerated tempo but the engrossing feel of patriotism is strikingly missing.
BLACK & WHITE proves to be weakest musical exhibit from directorial works of Subhash Ghai and unfortunately there isn’t a single commercially resounding track that can boast film’s credentials at the box office. The disappointing phase of musical failures that was last experienced in his last home productions KHANNA & IYER and BOMBAY TO BANGKOK continues with experimental and thought-provoking BLACK & WHITE.