Music

Packs a musical punch

Anurag Kashyap’s sports drama starring Vineet Kumar Singh and Zoya Hussain releases next week.

Anurag Kashyap’s sports drama starring Vineet Kumar Singh and Zoya Hussain releases next week.  

Anurag Kashyap’s sports drama up for release next week, Mukkabaaz gets a soundtrack that is as punchy as the film is. For starters, Nucleya’s guest composition ‘Paintra’ works perfectly as a theme song for the sport film. While the arrangement goes through familiar motions instantly identifiable as belonging to the musician – the motley percussion-heavy mix – but still makes for a heady listen thanks to Divine’s impassioned rapping. The song gets even better in its ‘extended version’ (which strangely is the exact same length as the original version) which features timely incorporation of Vineet Kumar Singh’s quotes.

Singh, who has co-written the movie, turns composer-cum-lyricist with the soulful folksy piece ‘Adhura Main’. With a minimal arrangement comprised of just a harmonium, the song depends almost entirely on Deepak Thakur’s vocal skills, and he delivers splendidly (it appears that Thakur is the same singer credited as Deepak Kumar in Gangs of Wasseypur’s ‘Humni Ke Chhodi’, a song that incidentally had a similar setting).

Enter lead composer Rachita Arora, who handles the remaining five songs. The first of the five has her producing an incredibly trippy folk-based song out of Dr. Sunil Jogi’s poem ‘Mushkil Hai Apna Meil Priye’ where he presents the familiar poor guy-rich girl divide theme in hilariously analogy-ridden detail. Jogi’s poem seems to be old (I found a blogpost that dates the poem to early 2000s) but it has undergone some contemporary modifications – “Tum Tendulkar ka shatak priye, main follow-on ki paari hoon” for instance has become “Tum Kohli ka Virat shatak”. Brijesh Shandilya is in top form behind the mic as well, striking a fine balance between exuberance and wackiness.

Eight-song soundtrack

The number, ‘Bahut Hua Sammaa’ has a mellow prelude that belies the rage that characterises the rest of the song. Hussain Haidry, who pens the second half of the eight-song soundtrack, conveys the rebellious emotion in a fabulous fashion, and Swaroop Khan does an equally splendid job leading the vocals. Arora’s melody and arrangement here — along with the song’s general vibe — took me back occasionally to Pritam-Amitabh Bhattacharya’s ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’ (Dangal). It’s an engaging song, nevertheless. Haidry rewrites a traditional piece for ‘Saade Teen Baje’ which Arora sets to a regular folk arrangement — the song belongs to Khushbu Raj and her backing vocalists. ‘Chhipkali’ and ‘Bohot Dukha Mann’ are where Arora delivers her best as composer. The former, which once again features superbly written lines, has the composer go retro with the melody while the quirky arrangement goes through some brilliant turns, ending on a jazzy note. And ‘Bohot Dukha Mann’ has a dark, haunting classical-flavoured melody (Puriya Dhanasri/Hamsanandi raga-based, presumably) that Arora delivers beautifully alongside Dev Arijit.

Kashyap extracts another fabulous soundtrack out of yet an offbeat composer. For Arora who showed potential in the Newton number, ‘Chal Tu Apna Kar’ this album proves a winner with the able support of the lyricists.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2020 11:52:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/packs-a-musical-punch/article22370257.ece

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