Bunty Aur Babli Music Review
Get ready for a full-on masti session with the trio that has given us some of the best movie soundtracks in recent times , like KUCHH NA KAHO, DIL CHAHTA HAI and KAL HO NA HO.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's teaming up with the exclusive Gulzar in this dhamaka of an album is a bit of a historic event. In director Shaad Ali's previous film SAATHIYA the poet-extraordinaire had collaborated with A R Rahman for the exquisite and fragile songs.
Exquisite and fragile aren't words that apply to BUNTY AUR BABLI. As the title suggests the songs are? well bubbly and brittle! The rugged robust rhythms of North India are welded into what we can call the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy effect? The songs are rooted to folk rhythms from Uttar Pradesh but take off from there to acquire an all-embracing look feel and flavour.
My pick of the freshly-plucked lot is the Alisha Chinai - helmed Qawwalli 'Kajra Re' filmed on the two Bachchans, Amitabh and Abhishek and, hold your breath, Aishwarya Rai, this is the track that gets your body swaying unknowingly and your sole acquires a life of its own.
Alisha is a very sensuous singer. And when she combines her chords with Shankar Mahadevan there's bound to be an explosion? catch the falling shards of that explosion in 'Kajra Re'.
The Qawwalli is strategically positioned at the end of the album. For starters we have the rumbustious 'Dhadak Dhadak' Terrific arrangements with backup beats, which have you itching for a way out of the rhythmic trap? plus expert vocals by Udit Narayan and Sunidhi Chauhan.
It's regrettable that the film's deeper darker beyond-caper thrusts get drowned in the din of dusty retribution in the second half. As their blast from the past catches up with "Bunty Aur Babli" in the form of a scowling sneering cynical cop (Amitabh Bachchan) the caper kingdom of the innocuously anti-social protagonists falls apart.
It's the fun fiesta of petty crime that irrigates the strange and satirical world of Rakesh and Vimmy, also known as "Bunty and Babli". Abhik Mukhopadhyay's camera captures the dusty crusty rusty and thirsty milieu of north India in shrieking silhouettes.
In the opening song "Dhadak dhadak", we are introduced to the dreams and yearnings of the twosome with an infectious gusto. Indeed Rani Mukherjee and Abhishek Bachchan transform into the deviously self-gratifying heist-makers with a feisty passion. Their faces and body languages convey the eagerness of eagles waiting to take wing.
Rani's comic timing, specially in the sequence where, missing her parents after her runaway mirage, she wails like a baby is a delightful reminder of growing confidence as a performer who surrenders to the camera unconditionally.
In the portions where she impersonates high society women, Rani seems to miraculously mimic Sharmila Tagore and Kareena Kapoor simultaneously.
Throughout the film we hear and see references to cinema of the past. For one conning interlude, Abhishek impersonates his father gravely dialogue delivery in "Agneepath". Songs from the Amitabh Bachchan films of the 1970s are played like parodies on the soundtrack.
Abhishek Bachchan's power to hold the camera with his steady and deep gaze deepens the impact of the caper immeasurably. While Rani pulls out all stops, Abhishek gives a reined-in, often hilarious performance in a series of disguises that he flaunts without an exaggerated swagger.
As for the senior Bachchan, in how many ways has he played the cop before? And yet his surly boorish lawman's role here delights you, specially when he gets on the dance floor with his son and Aishwarya Rai for a rabble-rousing qawwalli that could possibly rank as the grandfather of item songs.
Positioned invitingly in the second-half, this item song seems to dictate a large chunk of the footage, some of it unnecessary.
You often feel Shaad Ali could have made better use of the invaluable father-son combination. The dialogues and the situations created between the two Bachchans leave you thirsting for more. The dialogues, though incisive and topical, lack the bite and impact that the narrative demanded.
Some of the shared screen space between the two Bachchans is uneasily gimmicky. For a film about protagonists who break rules and a film that breaks many rules, it's embarrassing to hear the senior Bachchan say: "You've begun to seem like my own child" to Abhishek. It's completely out of character and context.
Maybe it's the parched wasteland where the comic drama unfolds...Throughout we see Bunty and Babli as wickedly naughty wannabes trapped in a bubble that you know won't burst on them.
Does Shaad Ali approve of small town people harbouring big time dreams? On the verge of retribution, Bunty and Babli with their new-born child are virtually pulled out of the gallows by the surly cop and put back into their original milieus, and then again "rescued" out of their humdrum existence to "con happily ever after."
- Actor: Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Amitabh Bachchan, Raj Babbar, Rameshwari, Puneet Issar, Kiron Joneja
- Lyrics: Gulzar
- Director: Shaad Ali Sahgal, Shaad Ali
- Music Director: Shankar -Ehsaan- Loy, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy