Music director Pritam Chakraborty and lyricist make a formidable pair, what with their last collaboration giving us a superlative soundtrack in the form of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.’ The two of them coming together for a film that stars Aamir Khan in one of the principal roles is a god enough reason for one to get excited. But then, when you realize ‘Dangal’ does not have a romantic track and the theme of the film is such that it does not leave much of a scope for music. With the kind of names that are attached to the soundtrack, one expects at least a decent soundtrack filled with situational songs that would eventually compliment the narrative of the film.
The first track of the album “Haanikarak Bapu” describes the plight of the two little girls being put through rigorous training by their father. The song suffers from an oft-repeated tune that seems to have its origins in a folk based track. Despite the largely unexciting tune, the song turns out to be fairly engaging as Pritam spruces up the song well with some indigenous arrangements and Amitabh Bhattacharya writes some quirky lines (‘tujhse behtar apni hindi filmon ke khalnayak hain’) that make you smile. Sarwar Khan and Sartaz Khan Barna, the two child vocalists do a brilliant job at lending a great deal of exuberance to the song.
“Dhaakad”, sung by Raftaar, is primarily a hip-hop in which the rustic element comes from Amitabh Bhattacharya’s machismo oozing lyrics. The composition, like the last song, is strictly functional and the song leaves some sort of an impression because of the way it is presented. One imagines the song to do work much better with visuals. The alternate version works better simply because Aamir Khan sings it and brings some novelty value to the track.
Jonita Gandhi, who was a part of two super popular dance numbers (“Sau Tarah Ke” – Dishoom and ‘The Breakup Song” – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) this year is back to singing softer numbers. Amitabh Bhattacharya uses a rather interesting metaphor (“Gilehriyan”, lit: squirrels) to describe the feelings of a young woman who sets out of her village for the first time and finds immense joy in what the city life offers her. “Gilehriyan” has the kind of structure you would expect to come across in an Amit Trivedi composition. The song has a simple and likeable tune that grows on you in some time.
“Dangal” (the title song), which is the best track on the album, is bound to enjoy a longer shelf life than the other songs on the album. The infectious tune by Pritam, Amitabh Bhattacharya’s sinewy words and Daler Mehndi’s booming voice wonderfully encapsulate the spirit of the sport the film is based on. The electric guitar riffs which eventually merge with the roaring sound of the percussion instruments compliment the energy of Daler Mehndi’s spirited rendition. One could expect this track to play at points where the narrative reaches a high.
The initial portions of the Arijit Singh sung “Naina” makes you wonder whether it was one of the songs Pritam had pitched to Karan Johar for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. As the song moves forward, you realize that though it has a sombre feel to it, there is no trace of romance. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics play an important role in bringing out the pathos in the song. The song has certain similarities to “Channa Mereya” but unlike the latter, it will need the film’s success to become popular.
The rustic flavour is back with “Idiot Banna”, a song in which, presumably, some playful banter takes place between the bride-to-be and her friends. The mood of the song is similar to Baari Barsi” (Band Baaja Baaraat). While this track is not as spunky as the Salim-Sulaiman composed number, it makes for a fun listening courtesy some lively arrangements and a nice rendition by Jyoti Nooran and Sultana Nooran.
One understands that composing for a film which does not give you the opportunity to place conventional songs at different points in the film but after listening to the album, one feels that Pritam got a fairly big palette and some interesting situations to compose songs around. The songs might just work well for the kind of story that is being told here but the popularity of the album, as a whole, would be heavily dependent on the fate of the film at the box-office.