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Music Review : Well Done Abba

 Well Done Abba
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :

Starring :
 Shyam Benegal
 Shantanu Moitra
 Ashok Mishra , Ila Arun and Swanand Kirkere
 Boman Irani, Minissha Lamba, Ila Arun, Ravi Kissan, Sonali Kulkarni and Sameer Dattani

By Abid, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend

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view WELL DONE ABBA videos

Director par excellence Shyam Benegal's films and music need no introduction to those seeking entertainment with a message. Ever since he started his own brand of cinema, now popularly termed as middle cinema, which is a masterly fusion of commercial and off beat cinema, the music of his films too have undergone a sea change.

From the music wizard A.R Rahman's super classy ZUBEIDAA and the iconic period music in BOSE - THE FORGOTTEN HERO, Shyam Babu has shifted his preference to Shantanu Moitra, the music director of PARINEETA, LAGE RAHO MUNNA BHAI and of course, now 3 IDIOTS. Their last venture, WELCOME TO SAJJANPUR, saw music composer, Shantanu, his ever faithful lyricist, the multi-faceted Swanand Kirkere, and also Ashok Mishra teaming up to give us the heartwarming music with quite a few hummable songs. In his next venture, the master director once again calls upon his faithful commanders Shantanu Moitra, Swanand Kirkere and Ashok Mishra to regale us with their craft and entertain and enlighten us music buffs. So, lets get , set and go and see whether or not, its well done Shantanu, Swanand and Ashok!


The album commences on a note of celebration with a wedding song, 'Meri Banno Hoshiyar', based on Lata Mangeshkar's classic number 'Saiyyan Jhooton Ka Bada Sartaj Nikla' from V. Shantaram's iconic DO AANKHEIN BARAH HAATH and our childhood song, always a favourite with students, 'Teacher Aap Ki Kasam.'. Well, this is no co-incidence, nor is the tune lifted. Point to be noted here is that in most cases wedding songs in quite a few parts of India, especially North, are based on popular old film numbers and words are substituted to fit in with the situation. The song is not a quintessential marriage composition, as the film being a satire on the system, the song itself is a satire and the lyrics, rather than praising the bride, seem to pull her legs more often than not, as suggested from words penned by Ila Arun herself - 'Meri banno hoshiyar, Cycle per sawar, Chali jaati cinema dekhne ko'. The lyrics are hilarious and one is sure that this song being entirely situational will definitely provide loads of entertaining moments and will appeal to women folk in particular. The accomplished and experienced folk singer, Ila Arun(who also enacts an important character in the film) along with Daniel George, spices up the situation with her rustic, earthy and near perfect rendition. The Telugu words in the background add to the song their own subtle and unique charm and are well embedded with the narrative.

Shyam Babu's way of entertaining the public, along with putting forward a social message comes through the composition, 'Hum Toh Apni Bawdi Lenge..' The tune of the song itself may not be very catchy or original, but the musical addendums in the background certainly provide the right atmosphere, thus making the song effective, still not hard on the senses. Though the choice of singer puzzles, as its the prince of romantic numbers, Mohit Chauhan, who has been handed the microphone to render this situational number. And no doubt the versatile singer Mohit does the composer proud as he innovates and modulates his soft textured vocals endearingly to render a situational, semi-philosophical song, which is not entirely up his alley Supporting him in the endeavour is the lyricist of PARINEETA, MUNNA BHAI and 3 IDIOTS fame, Swanand Kirkere, who showcases his vocal prowess here, rather than his writing abilities, something that he has done well in previous movies too. The lyrics department here is handled by Ashok Mishra and the words that he chooses are apt and in demand with the script and dishes up a very relevant message that in a democracy like India, we should raise our voice and fight against any injustice and stand for our rights. The lyricist Ashok Mishra can take a bow, the manner in which he has put forward the lead protagonists claim over something as commonplace as water ('bawdi' is a stepwell from which people of villages fetch water) is superb and shows that what may be common to one, may be priceless for another who is deprived of it - 'Jaan se pyara hind hamara, Democracy hai abaad, Phir bhi ladna kyon padta hai, Kyon karni padti faryaad, Sabun leker haath mein nikle, System ko hai dhona re.' What a simile! Talk about changing the system and cleansing it of corruption and its vices. After 3 IDIOTS Shantanu once again entertains and enlightens through some lovely, situational music that would definitely serve the director's purpose on screen.

view WELL DONE ABBA movie stills

view WELL DONE ABBA movie stills

The album then gets into the prerequisite romantic zone with 'Sandesa Sandesa...', an absolutely bewitching love ditty that one gets hooked on to just after a single hear. And all credit to the new nightingale of Hindi film , Shreya Ghoshal, who is simply at her melodic best with her sugary sweet vocals adding to the romance, but the song is made even better with the fresh and zealous singing of a relatively new singer, Rupankar. The chorus, 'Sandesa,' is the highlight of the track, although the tune rings a bell. The song is just not melodious but is slightly fast paced which makes it even more pleasing. The right blending of Hindustani and western instruments shows the class of the composer, delighting the senses. A number that will appeal to all die hard romantics who wish to keep things light and simple as well as convey their feelings with the desired intoxicating effect. Swanand Kirkere gets to write the lyrics this time around and comes up with some simple, heart felt words that blend with the easy flow of the delightful track.

In our school days we had read 'dohas'(poems with a social message) of the famous 'sufi' saint, Rahim and one 'doha' that had stayed in our minds is , 'Rahiman dhaga prem ka, Mat toro chatkaye, Toote se phir na jude, Jude ganth pad jaye' (meaning, the bond of love should never be broken, because if we break it and then try to fix it, a lump remains). This beautiful 'doha' becomes the inspiration for the next number, 'Rahiman Ishq Ka Dhaga Re', a soft, slightly slow paced number that is totally 'sufi' in nature . Realty show winner, Raja Hasan's soulfully delightful vocals add as catalyst to make the song a treat and is helped adequately in his endeavour by another talented vocalist, Raghav. The song naturally takes the routine 'qawwali' mode, as is the norm with most compositions that are 'sufi' based. However, its the beautiful musical arrangements that need a pat on the back for its soothing effect. The background chorus, 'tana dhina' seem to be inspired by R.D.Burman's classic, 1942-A LOVE STORY. Lyricist Ashok Mishra does a good job of weaving a song out of a 'doha' and thereby making the composition very appealing as well as an enriching experience. He makes us nostalgic as we remember Rajshri's heart appealing and evergreen 'ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHOIN SE' 'Dohavali' number by Ravindra Jain.

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Water once again forms the crux of the matter in the concluding part of the album with the situational 'Paani Ko Tarsate..' where the trio, Raja Hasan, Ashok Mishra and Shantanu make a comeback. Experienced singer Krishna Beura too joins them in their effort. We have had a lot of songs where people pray for rain and the one that come to mind instantly is, 'Ghanan Ghanan' from Rahman's LAGAAN . The song may not exactly land up right there with the iconic number, but it certainly conveys the message of water conservation and how important it is in our daily life and what a good monsoon means to the poor and the farmers in India. The number is slow paced and makes the proceedings a bit tedious but the catchy chorus which is folk based (North) compensates for it. Once again Rahim with his wise saying through 'doha' finds a mention in this all situational number. The use of harmonium, sitar and dholak is refreshing!

In a nutshell, we can certainly say, 'well done Shantanu, Swanand and Ashok.' The compositions of WELL DONE ABBA are interwoven with the script of the film and the songs fit in like a hand in glove, much similar to Shantanu's earlier works in PARINEETA , MUNNA BHAI and 3 IDIOTS. The songs have the potential to become popular, especially 'Sandesa Sandesa..' and 'Meri Banno Hoshiyar,' and once the film endears itself to the audience (which it surely will!), there will be no looking back and the album will surely achieve the desired and deserved success.

Rating - 3.5/5

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