Year 2009 has opened up magnanimously for maestro A R Rahman and expectations are humongous as the stage is all set for his first major Bollywood musical release- DELHI-6. It brings out another colossal combination for UTV, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and lyricist Prasoon Joshi, the team that created history with the critically acclaimed RANG DE BASANTI.
DELHI-6 holds another major significance in Bollywood as Rahman experiments out with ?Continuum Fingerboard? (a three dimensional music controller device) for the first time in many of his compositions for a contemporary Hindi film. Once again, the challenges are big and the feel is innovative as varied genres, styles and talents concoct again to create another hullabaloo of success. Does DELHI-6 have the sufficient fire to match up the high standards of RANG DE BASANTI and the internationally acclaimed SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE? Will DELHI-6 be adding up as another proud entry in the long listing of A R Rahman's successive grand successes? Let's get started with the tracks that deserve to be analyzed with full exactitude…!
After serenading out some tantalizing soft-rock ballads, Mohit Chauhan streams out in typical ''filmi'' overtones with wavering vocal modulations in ''ched-chad'' solo track ''Masakalli''. Prasoon Joshi's mischievously flowing wordings (''Zara pankh jhatak, gayi dhool atak aur lachak machak ke door bhatak…) about lovable bird (''Masakalli'') has that poetical ire (''Ghar tera saloni, badal ki colony, Dikhlade thenga in sabko jo udna na jaane…'') that epitomizes naivety, impishness in that gullible ''child-like'' character. A R Rahman's music tries to be edgy rather than syrupy in those modulating instrumental connotations that strikes rhythmical chemistry with Mohit's cheeky vocals. ''Masakalli'' is going to be raised up in volumes as well as in chartbusting listing for its rustic rawness and innovative feel and probably be catching fast for its massy appeal. Mohit Chauhan notches up his first major solo hit of this year with ''Masakalli'' and that also brings laurels to the poetical prowess of Prasoon Joshi. Chartbuster!!!
A R Rahman, a name synonymous to wide range of experimentation makes the most purist attempt at Indian classical music of our times in meticulously composed ''Bhor Bhaye''. This classically pristine number brings the most intellectual singing aspect of Shreya Ghoshal, where she almost gets tutelage as well as consistent backing of puritans like Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in its traditionalist rendition.
Amitabh Bachchan's poetical exuberance in softer notes have the austerity and grace that epitomizes the ''emotional quotient'' (EQ) of the flick in concise but impressive ''Noor''.
The divine intervention of spiritualism comes in the form of ''Aarti (Tumre Bhavan Mein)'', a modestly pleasant ''bhajan'' in the voices of Rekha Bharadwaj, Kishori Gowariker, Shraddha Pandit and Sujata Majumdar. It can be termed as simplistically softer version of emotionally enriched ''O Palanhaare'' (LAGAAN) with traditional religious verses emoted out with serenity of pious sentiments.
Rekha Bharadwaj's folksy nasal twang leads the female bandwagon of traditional ''ladies-sangeet'' where typical ''Delhi-waala'' pre-marriage celebrations takes routes of ''disco-beat'' lounges in ''Genda Phool''. It charters the traditionalism of festivity where the pairing of Shraddha Pandit and Sujata Majumdar forms effective choir singers in this sluggish ''dhin-chak'' beats arrangement soundtrack.
There's also Ali Uncle (Rishi Kapoor), who was in love with Roshan's mother, but who never mustered enough courage to tell her so. Roshan and Ali Uncle have a strong bonding and Rakeysh portrays it beautifully. In between all this there's a Hindu-Muslim clash with a Hindu fakir stating that there was a mandir in the densely populated Muslim area over 300 years ago and that's the reason why there's 'Monkey trouble' in this place. That's enough spark to light a communal fire. Roshan who is half-Hindu and half-Muslim is bewildered at the goings-on and wants to leave for America in the next flight with his Dadi, who was earlier adamant on staying put. Then, he realizes that the pull to stay in India is too strong. He has fallen in love with Bittu.
The movie has a subtle message. Its romance, which is also the heart of the film, is subtle too. Ditto the violence and the huge divide between upper and lower caste. Everything is downplayed but yet, wonderfully rings out loud.
The music by A R Rahman needs no praise. Masakali is a huge chartbuster and the performances too are top notch. Be it Tanvi Azmi in her short role or Om Puri.
Abhishek Bachchan as a first timer to Indian soil is believable, with his Americanised accent. Sonam Kapoor is absolutely adorable. The girl is a rocker. But for me the actor who stands out head and shoulders in this film is Rishi Kapoor. A rock solid performance. Sadly, it's left unexplored.
There are a lot of monkeys we are fighting with; while there are others, the politicians let loose which in the end makes a monkey out of us!
Seriously, this is no monkey business. You will come back enriched.
Rating – 3/5