At the recently held International Film Festival of India in Goa, the Best Actress award was bagged by Parvathy Thiruvoth (star of Qarib Qarib Singlle ) for her role in this year’s Malayalam film Take Off , based on the story of Indian nurses held captive by ISIS in Iraq in 2014. The hard-hitting drama also won its director Mahesh Narayanan the Special Jury Award at the festival. The same incident has also inspired Tiger Zinda Hai (TZH) , Ali Abbas Zafar’s sequel to Ek Tha Tiger (2012). Going by the trailer though, TZH seems to have taken a far more filmi approach to the whole story, and accordingly has a full-fledged soundtrack by Vishal (Dadlani)-Shekhar (Ravjiani), who have had a quiet year otherwise.
The composer duo use Julius Packiam’s ‘Tiger’s Theme’ from Ek Tha Tiger — which also appeared in the trailer of TZH – as the basis for ‘Swag Se Swagat’ , the “swag-laden” paean to love and unity penned by Irshad Kamil. But I’m not really sure what the song’s choreography has to do with the message though. It’s an average listen that just makes the cut because of its arrangement along with Dadlani and Neha Bhasin’s vocal prowess. It’s definitely more effective than the second song that has its roots in the ‘Tiger Theme’ – ‘Zinda Hai’ that has Sukhwinder Singh and Raftaar getting behind the mic. In ‘Dil Diyan Gallan’, the composers sort of reprise a combination they employed in their previous Salman Khan project, Sultan (2016) – a folksy track with a main version sung by a Pakistani male singer and a female unplugged version. The latter in TZH is performed by Bhasin which is not as effective as ‘ Jag Ghoomeya’. However, ‘Dil Diyan Gallan’ is still a pretty charming tune – in fact, the folk aspect is accentuated here as Kamil’s lyrics are in Punjabi. While Atif Aslam does a neat job of rendering the lead version of the track, like with ‘ Jag Ghoomeya’ , here too it is the unplugged variant that works better.
Singing for Vishal-Shekhar after a long gap, Shreya Ghoshal gets the devotional ‘Daata Tu’ . The lady treats the poignant melody with a characteristically nuanced and soulful rendition, while a competent chorus supports her with some fine harmonies. The surprise shift in rhythm towards the end too is a nifty touch. The album’s best track goes to the vocal powerhouse Jyoti Nooran – a pulsating Sufi fusion piece ‘Tera Noor’ . Fabulous vocals with a groovy arrangement are only highlighted by the searing guitars and drums.
Vishal-Shekhar’s only release for the year gives the Tiger series some much needed sonic reprieve.