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Filmmaker Shonali Bose’s last film ‘Margarita With A Straw’ (2014) had a very good and largely innovative soundtrack by Mikey McCleary (music) and Prasoon Joshi (lyrics). For her new film ‘The Sky Is Pink’, which boasts of quite a stellar cast comprising of Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim and Rohit Saraf, she has brought together the team of music director Pritam and lyricist Gulzar after a hiatus. The two of them had earlier worked on films like ‘Just Married’ (2007) and ‘Billu’ (2009). As the film explores the emotions of the members of a family who are undergoing a personal crisis, one expects an emotionally charged score consisting of songs of different moods.
The album opens with the very melodious and hummable “Dil Hi Toh Hai”, sung by Arijit Singh and Antara Mitra. This is the kind of song Pritam belted out quite frequently in his early days. Actually, those who are familiar with the kind of sound Pritam likes to create and the type of imagery Gulzar likes to play around with, they will instantly recognize that this song is created by the two of them. This is signature Pritam melody, vintage Gulzar poetry. This also means it brings in a sense of familiarity and does not offer much novelty. But, sometimes, comfort lies in a familiar feeling. The song has a reprised version in which Sreerama Chandra replaces Arijit Singh as the male vocalist. Sreerama does a very good behind the mic and makes one wonder why one does not get to hear him more often in Hindi films.
“Nadaaniyaan”, too, has the kind of sound one associated with Pritam in his early days. Gulzar uses oft-repeated words to form phrases that one might not have heard before. Guess, that is what seperates legends from commoners. Arjun Kanungo, whose voice has mostly been heard in pop numbers, gives a very good account of herself. Lisa Mishra, too, sings well. Pritam’s tune, though nice, does not stay with you for long. This is a song that should make a better impression with visuals.
“Zindagi tune kaisa toss khela hai, raat bhaari hai kabhi toh din akela hai” – as soon as you hear these lines, you know it is Gulzar at work here. Pritam’s composition is simple and nice; it acts as a good foil to Gulzar’s words and Arijit’s subliminal rendition. “Zindagi” is wrapped in a thick layer of melancholy and one expects it to be heard at a crucial juncture in the film. Though it is not as memorable as a “Ghar” (‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ (2017)), this is effective enough to heighten the emotions when it is played on the screen.
Gulzar’s lyrics are the highlight in “Pink Gulaabi Sky”, a jazz-based number in which the family, whom the story revolves around, is shown to be having a good time. While the jazz influence is prevalent throughout the song, if you listen carefully to the choral section, it will bring back memories of some of Pritam’s earlier compositions. To compare the song in a Hindi film context, it is in the zone of a “Girls Like To Swing” (‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ (2015)) or a “Calcutta Kiss” (‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy’ (2015)). Shashwat Singh and Jonita Gandhi do a good job as vocalists and bring a sense of verve to the song with their rendition.
‘The Sky Is Pink’ is reminiscent of the sensibilities of Pritam when he had just started out. This is a good album but with Gulzar and him collaborating on a film after a decade, one had definitely expected more.