Ajay Devgn’s first film as a director, ‘U Me Aur Hum’, had some fairly hummable music courtesy Vishal Bhardwaj. ‘Shivaay’, his second venture as a director, arrives eight years after his directorial debut which happened to be a romantic drama. The action thriller, as evident from the promos, has been mounted on a huge scale and one expects Mithoon to deliver a soundtrack that befits the scale of the film. Despite showing tremendous promise in his earlier films, Mithoon has mostly been relegated to composing one or two tracks in films most of which adhere to the now redundant template which the composer chooses (or forced to?) to restrict himself to. Having said that, he has delivered some sparkling tunes (“Sanam Re”) in the recent past and has also put together a few good albums (‘3G’, ‘Traffic’) as a solo composer.
I was a little put off by the title track “Bolo Har Har Har” when I saw the promo being aired on television as it seemed to have an overdose of rap performed by Badshah. I was not sure about liking the track but my apprehensions were put to rest after I heard the full audio track. Mithoon gets together four singers and gives each of them ample space to shine. Mohit Chauhan’s haunting lines, Sukhwinder Singh’s aggression, Megha Sriram Dalton’s chants and Badshah’s rap have been coalesced together in right proportions too.
It is heartening to see Mithoon, who has often been accused of recycling his own tunes, coming up with a romantic number like “Darkhaast” which bears no resemblance to any of his compositions. Arijit Singh matches note to note with the much experienced Sunidhi Chauhan and together, they lend an incredible amount of adroitness to the song. The song has a contemporary flavour but also ends up reminding one of the kind of love songs picturised on big stars a decade back.
“Raatein”, composed by Jasleen Royal, seems to bear testimony to the limited range the young composer seems to have. The song has a similar sound and feel as that of a “Preet” (‘Khoobsurat’) or a “Kho Gaye Hum Kahan” (‘Baar Baar Dekho’). To her credit, the song does have a more imaginative orchestral structure than her earlier compositions but the sense of déjà vu is hard to be missed. It is a pleasant song but one would like Jasleen to surprise us the way she did with “Nachde Ne Saare” (‘Baar Baar Dekho’) more often. The reprise version, which has some dramatic sounds, should work well within the context of the situation it is played in.
“Tere Naal Ishqa” sees Mithoon and Kailash Kher collaborating for the first time and the result is not as spectacular as you would expect it to be. With the kind of lyrics the song has and the mood it brings in, one has an inkling of the song being used in a critical juncture in the film. A pathos filled number that has some simple and heartfelt lyrics by Sayeed Quadri, “Tere Naal Ishqa” manages to move you as a listener but is not the kind of track that would, perhaps, stay with you for a long time.
‘Shivaay’ has two songs (“Bolo Har Har Har” and “Darkhaast”) whose popularity would go beyond the theatrical run of the film. The rest of the three tracks, though not chartbuster material, are decent enough and should make more of an impact when one sees them on the screen. Unlike the kind of hugely templatized songs he has composed recently, the three songs in Shivaay prove that with the right director, Mithoon can create a soundtrack that is original and stays true to the narrative of the film.