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War Music Review

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Composers duo Vishal and Shekhar have done some of their best work with filmmaker Siddharth Anand. Out of all the good work they have done with him, ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ (2010) continues to remain the best. They team up again with Anand for ‘War’, one of the most anticipated films of the year featuring two of the biggest action heroes of our times, Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff. As Vishal and Shekhar have consistently delivered good music for Siddharth’s directorials, one has good expectations from the soundtrack of this action thriller as well.

First things first, the word is “ghunghroo” and not “ghungroo” as stated here. A few lines from “Ghungroo” are inspired from a song written by poet-lyricist Qateel Shifai for the 1969 Pakistani film ‘Mala’ but the late poet-lyricist’s name does not find a mention anywhere on the credits. The prelude music is similar to the title track of ‘Bang Bang’ which had the same team of composers and music producer (Abhijit Nalani). After a familiar prelude, the song comes into its own what with Vishal and Shekhar weaving a wonderfully addictive tune around some breezy lines written by Kumaar (and Qateel Shifai). Arijit Singh and Shilpa Rao make a fantastic singing pair. The way Shilpa sings the lines “Ishq Hai…” (3:15) reminds one of her beautiful rendition of “Aaj Jaane Ki Zid” from ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ (2016).

The much talked dance face-off between Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff is good but, both aurally and visually, not the kind of dhamaka one had expected it to be. When you think of “Jai Jai Shivshankar” and holi, you are constantly reminded of another holi number with the same title from the Rajesh Khanna – Mumtaz starrer ‘Aap Ki Kasam’ (1974). The holi and the title remains the same but this is a completely different song from the ’70s chartbuster. The tune is nice and grows on you with repeated hearings. The track benefits from a fantastic rhythm and percussion section arranged and conducted by Dipesh Varma, which is the highlight of the track. The percussions have been played equally well by Dipesh, Keyur Barve, Omkar Salunkhe, Shikhar Naad Qureshi, Satyajit Jamsandekar  Vishal Dadlani and Benny Dayal lend the requisite energy to the song with their thumping vocals.

Apart from two original tracks, the album has three ‘theme’ tracks composed and produced by Sanchit Balhara. Out of the three theme songs (“War Theme”, “Kabir’s Theme” and “Khalid’s Theme”), the one which makes the most lasting impression is “Kabir’s Theme” largely because of the innovative electronically produced sounds we get to hear in it. Also, Vishal renders the song (and writes the English lyrics) rather well. The “War Theme”, which is expected to be hear at multiple junctures in the film, is good but not the kind that lingers in your mind for a long time.

‘War’ is a good album by Vishal and Shekhar and is another addition to the good music they have produced for Siddharth Anand. Given the scale of the film and their past track record, one had higher expectations but keeping the expectations aside, this is a consistently engaging album that does not make you hit the forward button at any point of time. If we do not count the theme tracks, there are just two original numbers in the album. While that might disappoint some, some might feel this is a good thing as the film is an action thriller and the kind where would not want songs to act as an aberration.

Rating: 3/5

A.R. Rahman to perform live at the Busan International Film Festival for his upcoming film 99 Songs

War Movie Review