It's time to celebrate, rejoice and look forward to a memorable musical experience for all the music aficionados as such great names, living legends Yash Chopra, Gulzar and maestro A.R. Rahman collaborate for the very first time for an epic romance, JAB TAK HAI JAAN, starring the King of romance, Shah Rukh Khan and Queen bee of Bollywood Katrina Kaif, Naturally it goes without saying that expectations are bound to be of gargantuan proportions and nothing short of extraordinary is expected, especially because JAB TAK HAI JAAN is Yash Chopra's (director of such classic films with great music - WAQT, DAAG, KABHI KABHI, DEEWAR, CHANDNI , DARR, DIL TOH PAGAL HAI and VEER ZAARA) last film.
Infectious, addictive and superlative, three words to describe the first song of the album. 'Challa'
, just the perfect start to the album, ever since the first promo of 'Challa'
(meaning mad/wandering lover) was aired on various web portals and music channels, the song has lingered on the mind and consciously or sub consciously one hums it. Yes, this is what some of the maestro's great compositions can do, and to top it all, it features SRK, whose presence adds 'chaar chaand'
to the number. Coming to the composition itself, what is exemplary is the choice of artist, Rabbi, the legendary Punjabi sufi
singer whose 'Bulla Ki Jaana'
will always remain a fav for countless fans. And so he is the perfect choice for 'Challa'
as it is slightly in the same corridor in terms of spirit. The song commences with strong addictive guitar riffs (courtesy Keba Jeremiah), and is something to savour. Additionally, the super soft, highly addictive, very easy to hum and heartwarming melody is a listener's delight, and the musical arrangements (drums- Ranjit Barot, Bass-Keith Peters and percussions by Faizan Hussain and Nishad Chandra) that adorn the song are just class apart, as expected from a Rahman composition. As always Gulzar Sahab's lyrics are just too classy, though the Punjabi lyrics are simple in parts but at times they are not very comprehensible for those who are not conversant with the language. However, overall the song is simply excellent and provides a great start.
Superb musical orchestrations comprising of high Cello notes and lovely percussions, the kind of western classical symphony last heard in YUVVRAAJ
, commence 'Saans'
. And it's the new nightingale herself, Shreya Ghoshal, the voice behind a number of award winning romantic songs who gets to croon the composition along with Mohit Chauhan. And she is simply brilliant, although it appears that the song was tailor made for the original nightingale Lata Mageshkar herself. Mohit does well but one misses Sonu here, and even Udit Narayan would have done more justice to the track. An intense, passionate, love song that may at first hearing appear to be inspired from Rahman's previous love ditties, but given a hear or two one does capture a hint from 'Do Pal'
from Yash Chopra's last outing VEER-ZAARA
. The brilliant flute piece by Rahman's favourite Naveen Kumar is a testimony to the fact. But overall it's a typical Yash Chopra love song, the use of Hindustani instruments that finds fusion with Rahman's excellent western musical orchestrations and strings (Chennai Strings Orchestra), and this is what makes it brilliant and a treat for all those die hard romantics were pining for something more than 'sufi'
pops/rock. Those who thought that Gulzar Sahab can only write abstract lyrics, 'Saans'
is indeed an eye opener and can provide a tutorial for all those lyricists who cannot rise above the routine, mundane where it comes to romantic situations, as 'saans'
is romance personified , the height of romanticism and passion conveyed through some outstanding but simple lyrics- 'Saans mein teri saans mili to, Mujhe saans aayi, Mujhe saans aayi, Rooh ne chhooli jism ki khushboo, Tu jo paas aayi, Tu jo paas aayi'
. Simple, yet elegant and intense as well as so very effective. CHECK OUT: Will it be a double blast this Diwali with SON OF SARDAAR & JAB TAK HAI JAAN?
Reprise' by Shreya Ghoshal is brief , sans any heavy musical instruments, just some lovely percussions by Sanket Naik, Darshan Doshi and Arun Solanki and hinges solely on Shreya's honey sweet vocals, and she is just brilliant here.
Gulzar and Rahman have done it before with 'Maiya Maiya'
(GURU), and 'Ishq Shava'
is another such highly groovy dance track that has Middle Eastern (read Arabic) flavor to it in parts. And the artists chosen to render this rhythmic dance number are Raghav Mathur and the versatile Shilpa Rao, who have contrasting vocals, which suit and complement each other. The use of plenty of string instruments like Mandolin and Saz
(Tapas Roy) and scintillating guitar strumming (Joel Shearer) and not to forget, the excellent Oud piece (Tapas Roy) that adds the Arabic flavors to the song makes this a nice composition. The song does have the zing and pep to charm and some good and adept choreography should go a long way in making this number a chartbuster.
Next up is 'Heer'
, sung by Harshdeep Kaur in her all soulful, emotive vocals, and one does expect the song to play in the background during the sorrowful and painful times of separation. The entirely situational song is all traditional, and the old school charm of Punjabi folk song has been heard after a long hiatus, which is nice, although some nice guitaring in the background by Keba Jeremiah does lends it that contemporary touch as well. The superb lyrics by Gulzar convey the feelings well, though the all Punjabi lyrics are a bit difficult for all to comprehend.
Samar is forced to return to India. In retaliation, he joins the Indian Army and embraces death at every given opportunity.
Akira, a student learning the ropes of television journalism, who he had saved, gets to spend two weeks with his camp and here is when she does a Samar on him. Meaning: she expresses her love for him just as Samar had done with Meera at a London station - at a time least expected. But for Samar, there cannot be another Meera.
Akira's documentary on Samar gets her a ticket to Discovery Channel, but for that she has to get Samar to London. He agrees after first refusing. Once in London, things go wrong for Samar again.
Meera's help has to be sought as Akira goes in search of her. It's 10 years now since he last met Meera. What would the situation be like?
The styling of the film is super. No efforts are lacking in making it look and feel grand. The Music By A R Rahman, though not ranking among his best, does get you grooving. The choreography is splendid, especially the dance track where Meera lets her hair down with Samar. Awesome.
Shah Rukh Khan is back to his basic form - that of a lover boy. He essays his character effortlessly; carrying the weight of someone who can be dumped with bravado and then brooding over his lost love with aplomb. He balances the shift in roles with ease and even handles the advances of an enthusiastic and optimistic Akira with maturity.
Katrina Kaif is fabulous. Her transformation from a rich girl trapped in a fancy world who gets to let her hair down is fantastic. She carries off the farce while exposing who she really is on the inside is very emotional.
Yash Chopra had mentioned that this would be the last film he would direct. He has left a lasting impression with this one.
Will it be curtains now for grand romances? Only time will tell.
But for now, relish JAB TAK HAI JAAN!
PS: There is one huge flaw in the script that sends the film nose-diving. Akira making a mention of Meera to Samar in the most serious of situations. This, too, when their relationship has not yet been established. To the director's credit, he quickly submerges the flaw. But still, it does stick out like a sore thumb.
Anushka Sharma's character too is forced. Probably, if her character was done away with, the film would have been crisper.
Movie Cast & Crew
Actor: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma
Lyrics: Gulzar and Aditya Chopra
Director: Yash Chopra
Music Director: A.R.Rahman
- Release Date : 13 Nov 2012