Director Neeraj Pandey’s films have never been known for their music. Even though ‘Special 26’ had an album filled with several songs, only a handful of them made it to the film. Having said that, if one listens to the kind of songs the albums of his films (‘A Wednesday’, ‘Special 26’ and ‘Baby’) had, the director has a fairly good sense of music. As ‘M.S Dhoni – The Untold Story’, aims to give the audience an insight into the celebrated cricketer’s personal and professional life, one expects the soundtrack to carry songs of a variety of moods and genres. Amaal Mallik is, arguably, the brightest music composer (in terms of success) that has arrived on the scene in the last couple of years. The young composer has been consistently delivering hit songs and now finally, he gets a solo film to his credit.
“Besabriyaan”, the opening track, gives you a good reason to smile, as it successfully fulfills its objective of arousing emotions and works wonderfully as an inspirational tack. Designed on the similar lines as “Aashayein” from ‘Iqbal’ (the tune is completely different though), the song traces the journey of a strong willed Dhoni who is no mood to sit back and wait endlessly for his dreams to come true. The word “Besabriyaan” (restlessness) and the lyrics written by Manoj Muntashir captures the essence of the song very well.
Amaal’s heartfelt composition, Manoj Muntashir’s poignant lyrics and Palak Muchhal’s saccharine voice contribute equally towards creating a highly melodious song in the form of “Kaun Tujhe” that communicates the feelings of the character played by Disha Patani towards Dhoni (Sushant Singh Rajput). The song, in parts, is reminiscent of the kind of melodies the legendary M.M Kreem (who incidentally had collaborated with Neeraj Pandey on his last two films) is known for.
“Jab Tak”, a love song filmed (supposedly) on Sushant and Kiara Advani, boasts of a fairly simple tune which strides along with Armaan Malik’s voice. Unlike the first two songs, this one does not make an impression in the first listening. Armaan’s voice was quite apt for a teenage Dhoni in “Besabriyaan” but here, his voice seems too thin or immature for a full grown man. Also, he needs to keep his anglicised accent in check while singing a Hindi song. The track is far from being bad but not memorable either. The alternate version “Jab Tak (Redux)” is characterised by a faster pace and an additional layer of pads.
Amaal skillfully brings out a sense of nostalgia and melancholy in “Phir Kabhi” which, on the surface, is a romantic number. Manoj Muntashir, with lines like “Tujhmein Khoya Rahun Main, Mujhmein Khoya Rahe Tu, Khud ko Dhundh Lenge Phir Kabhi”, lends an innocuous charm and innocence to this track which makes you fall in love with it in no time. Arijit Singh does complete justice to a number, which is, perhaps the best that the album offers.
After a bunch of mellow numbers, arrives “Parwah Nahin”, a grunge-based track that is heavy on electric guitars and distorted sounds. One could visualise the song being played at multiple junctures in the film, when Dhoni is showing his prowess on the field. Siddharth Basrur sings the song with the right attitude and lends it the requisite energy. The arrangements are fine but the song is let down by a monotonous tune which does not register in your mind.
Even though the dated sound of the song puts you off in the beginning, the catchy tune of “Padhoge Likhoge” gets inside your head in a while. After listening to the track a couple of times, one realizes it bears a strong resemblance to “Chaar Shanivaar”, a song that Amaal had composed for ‘All Is Well’. Sung by child vocalists Ananya Nanda and Adithyan A.Prithviraj, the song could as well feature a child actor playing a young Dhoni. Manoj Muntashir writes some playful lines that complement the merriment nature of Amaal’s composition.
Amaal Mallik, who has made a name for himself in a very short span of time, does not disappoint with his first film as a solo composer. He has composed songs of different genres and styles in the last couple of years and with the music of ‘M.S Dhoni – An Untold Story’, he proves that he can carry the weight of an entire film album on his shoulders.