Two top banners, Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt's Vishesh Films and Fox Star Studios, come together for CITYLIGHTS, the much awaited film that brings back the National Award winning team of director-actor duo, Hansal Mehta and class actor Rajkummar Rao of SHAHID fame. Music has always been a strong point of all Vishesh Films' ventures and one expects the same from the composer Jeet Gannguli, who has been a favourite with the banner. So let's check out the album that promises to be ear and soul pleasing.
It's a mesmerizing start that one encounters through 'Muskurane'
, a haunting love song (though this one is dedicated to the family of the lead) that makes an instant connect. The reasons are plenty! Pin pointing the few, superb fresh melody, crisp background arrangements comprising of bagpipes, piano etc., simple yet effective lyrics and the icing on the cake Arijit Singh's amazing vocals.
Mohammad Irfan's version of 'Muskurane'
is slightly slower (tempo) with more emphasis on vocals and is as delightful as Arjit's version and makes for a good repeat hear.
Arijit makes another entry with the thematic and situational 'Soney Do'
. Sung and composed in a 'nazam' format Arijit's superb rendition (slightly nasal and brooding) is the highlight of the track that traces its roots to veteran 'ghazal' singer Talat Aziz's style of singing. Arijit shows his versatility through this classy number and so does Jeet! The perfect fusion of western beats and Hindustani classical is outstanding and the alaaps
are alluring and so are the lyrics. One is reminded of Bhupinder Singh's evergreen 'Ek Akela Is Shahar Mein'
(GHARONDA) through this superb number. CHECK OUT: CITYLIGHTS song lyrics
Lovely string sounds (Mandolin?) commences 'Ek Charraiya'
, another situational song that is thematic and motivational in nature. The simple melody and arrangements reminiscent of S.D. Burman days of yore and not surprising as Jeet is a known name in Tollywood. Arijit renders the song like a narrative, and he keeps those rough edges deliberately, and despite slow and drawl tune the song never bores due to his superb rendition. Lyrics are apt and fit into the scheme of things.
Jeet's unplugged version of 'Ek Charraiya'
is also quite good but having said that it sounds a bit synthetic and is devoid of the emotions that Arijit throws in!
However, the film is not entirely unwatchable. The first half, though a bit slow-paced, is impressive and you are slowly drawn towards the misfortunes of the central characters. It moves you and you do feel for them.
The film is elevated to a great extent thanks to its lead pair. Rajkummar Rao delivers yet another strong performance. He gets into the skin of the character perfectly. Debutante Patralekha is excellent. She surely has a bright future ahead. Manav Kaul, who plays Vishnu, is remarkable. CHECK OUT: Thumbs up for CITYLIGHTS music album!
CITYLIGHTS shows promise but is let down by an inconsistent script. At best, you can watch it for Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha's outstanding performances.