“Shaandaar” movie poster

“Shaandaar” movie poster.

Film: Shaandaar

Label: Zee Music

Music: Amit Trivedi

Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya and Anvita Dutt

If you want a qawwali composed by the post-Sajid-Wajid-Pritam-Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy generation, then we probably get a first in the fun qawwali “Badi Hi Senti Wali Mental Hain Yeh Chhoriyaan,” ingeniously written by Amitabh Bhattacharya (note the way this first line has been penned) and composed well but a shade too placidly by Amit Trivedi. Ah well, the days of live orchestration are gone. Twenty-five or more years ago, this one would have gotten the orchestral treatment it deserved.

Despite the “Dev.D” and “Lootera” hype, Trivedi has not had a truly memorable entire album with the exception of “Queen,” and this time he scores again for the same director Vikas Bahl in his new film “Shaandaar.” Arijit Singh tries to get into Amit Kumar’s zone — quite well, we feel, while Neeti Mohan is a revelation even for someone of her talent. Swanand Kirkire and Trivedi are barely noticed in this interesting number.

Divya Kumar gets into funky mode in a colorful composition, “Raita Phal Gayaa,” which sounds like an old number I cannot place but is delightful nevertheless. The singer is back in his element after a recent spell of disappointing songs. Bhattacharya excels in the zingy number that has a masterpiece of a verse, “Dil Tehzeeb Dikha Rahaa Tha / Geet Suhane Gaa Rahaa Tha / Gulzar Ke Geeton Mein Jab Yo Yo Honey Singh Ghus Gaya/ To Raita Phail Gaya!” Speaks a lot for today’s music scene!!

Vishal Dadlani delivers “Gulaabo” in his typical way with Anusha Mani keeping functional company. This is Anvita Dutt’s only song here, and it pales before Bhattacharya’s work in the film. Knowing Dutt, however, it is quite conceivable that the song might have a situational dimension.

“Nazdeekiyaan” has a silken-voiced Neeti Mohan trying to elevate the song as co-singer Nikhil Paul George tries to pull down the twinkle-toed composition. When will composers get on to the fact that a miscasting of singers can kill a song, and, with George, it is almost always a miscasting with his flat, superficial, very Western rendition — note how irritating he gets when singing the line that begins with “Parchaiyyaan Si.”

The song has an old-world soft and soothing feel with a nice prelude (how many songs have that nowadays?). This time Bhattacharya gets into contemporary phonetics even as Trivedi caressingly dresses up the song. The violin flourishes and the concerted effort to create a lingering melody shows — but it does not register for long because of the male voice!

Trivedi shows his mastery at acoustics with the lead track “Shaam Shaandaar,” and the prelude moves into a rivetingly haunting and pulsating title track that is sung well by Trivedi himself. The lyrics are smooth, but we beg to tell Trivedi that in such a song, a KK was needed to take this catchy number with his superb beats and catchy grooves to the skies.

Rating: 3.5/5

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