Sriram Raghavan’s debut venture ‘Ek Haseena Thi’ was a songless thriller but his next two films carried some experimental yet commercial music that went on to become very popular. Producer Dinesh Vijan has a good ear for music which is evident by the music of the films produced (under Illuminati Films and Maddock Films) by him. Badlapur is a revenge drama that has Varun Dhawan playing Raghu who seeks to avenge the death of his family. One expects Sachin-Jigar to deliver a raw, edgy and experimental soundtrack for the film.
The soundtrack opens with “Jee Karda”, a promotional track that was released much before the actors started promoting the movie actively. The song, in a way, kick started the promotional activities. After listening to the song, one realizes that the makers’ confidence in the song was completely justified. The track starts with some brilliant electric guitar riffs, and expectedly, turns into a rock number as drums, bass, synth kick in. And then, one hears a beautiful shehnai piece which leads to a somber (2:39 – 3:07) interlude that is evocative and haunting. The song successfully conveys the pain, anguish and sorrow that Raghu (Varun Dhawan) has bottled in his heart for long. Divya Kumar puts his heart into singing the track and the sincerity shows. The lyrics (Priya Saraiya and Dinesh Vijan) are simple but heartfelt.
I was surprised to see Atif Aslam being credited as the vocalist of “Jeena Jeena” as the singer had signed a contract with record label Tips which forbade him from singing for other music companies. The last film Atif sung for, the music of which was not marketed by Tips, was ‘Kalyug’ way back in 2005! ‘Jeena Jeena’, a song that depicts the relationship shared by Raghu and his wife Misha (Yami Gautam), is far from being experimental and is reminiscent of a couple of songs sung by Atif in the past. Having said that, it’s an extremely pleasant melody backed by acoustic guitars, piano, percussions and flute. The flute pieces (Shirish Malhotra) are remarkably good. Priya Panchal’s lyrics are average as she writes some oft-repeated lines. It is hard to imagine anybody, apart from Atif, singing this song as it seems tailor-made for him.
Sachin-Jigar use the harmonium to great effect in songs you don’t expect to hear the instrument in. A case in point, being, ‘Gulabi’ (Shuddh Desi Romance). After surprising the listeners with the sarangi piece in the original, the composers incorporate harmonium to some great use in “Jee Karda (Rock Version)”. As the name suggests, the rock influence is much more evident in this version. The magic created on the electric and the bass guitar by Sanjoy Das and Kalyan Baruah deserves special mention.
“Judaai”, a song high on emotional quotient, tugs at your heartstrings and makes you shed a tear or two. The song talks about the grief of a person who has lost the love of his life. The arrangements, which include electronic beats accompanied by the sarangi, help in creating a melancholic mood for the song. Arijit Singh, with his heartfelt rendition, does complete justice to the composition. Rekha Bhardwaj sings in a very low octave and although she sings flawlessly, she does not come across as the best choice for the song. Priya Panchal borrows a line from Saint Kabir’s ‘Jhini’ and writes some poignant lines.
Jeena Jeena (Remix) is decent with some predictable arrangements. The vocal loops are very irritating though. Some piano bits have been added in the remixed version which sound nice.
With just three original songs and two alternate versions, the superlative soundtrack of Badlapur leaves you craving for more. Sachin Jigar deliver a fantastic album that stays true to the theme of the film and yet is commercial enough to score high on the popularity charts. The music is being promoted very well across different platforms and that should help the album get its due.