Music: Rochak Kohli, Mangesh Dhakde, Ayushmann Khurrana & Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics: Vibhu Virender Puri & Mirza Ghalib
Music Label: T-Series
A period film is always a challenge of late, considering the lack of composers with a feel for the timeframe and environments of those times as well as today's fragmented audience. So we must try and be kinder to such scores.
The title-track 'Hawaizaada' (sung and composed by Rochak Kohli) is a catchy and funny take on love. It takes the route of old-world Western-meets-Goan ambience and Rochak sounds like a deeper version of Mohit Chauhan.
In the next track, Rochak actually employs the voices of Mohit with Javed Bashir in 'Daak Ticket', a song that unapologetically and incongruously travels typical Sufi territory complete with high octaves, Urdu terms and what-have-you. For some reason, there is a distinct hangover of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in the overall lyrical, musical and vocal tenor, when all that is needed is a simple song for a Marathi scientist dreaming of future glories!
Vibhu Virender Puri, also the writer-director of the film, goes the 2015 way of blending Sufi, Punjabi and assorted influences in most of his lyrics here, without sparing a thought for why such a protagonist would talk of Khuda, khudaai, harf, fakira and wazira. So, since this is a serious attempt at a biopic, these words jar.
A major malaise of the score is that the words openly tribute the school of esoteric imagery, high-end Urdu phraseology and the other extreme of gimmicky everyday Mumbai lingo like 'bun maska' to generate liveliness - in other words, they are written to impress rather than express. The need of the hour was of simply written, comprehensible lyrics and melodies that made a definite and brave attempt to recreate the right mood and ambience of the hero's environs while being commercially relevant and acceptable to 2015.
High Urdu words (mohatarmaa, waqaalat, shaamat, baraamad, tafteesh, zehmat, minnat) strangely mix with a Konkani-Goan musical ambience in 'O Maazaa My Lord', another funny take on love. Again, one simply cannot fathom this lexicon for a simple, late 19th century Maharashtrian lad raised in Mumbai and belonging to a community that was based in the island city for centuries and had no trace of the Goan-Konkani or Urdu belt! Time was when maestros like Naushad, S.D. Burman, Kalyanji-Anandji and later Laxmikant-Pyarelal made special efforts with their songwriters to replicate the feel and lingo of the region and the timeframe of their movies!
Neeti gives this Mangesh Dhakde composition more expression than it deserves, while Mohit goes his usual way with the kind of gimmicky vocals that are his USP in his lighter songs.
And pray, what is a Mirza Ghalib poem, 'Dil-E-Nadaan Tujhe Hua Kya Hai' doing in a film like this, that too in two 'modern' versions, complete with a keyboard and a rock guitar? Ayushmann Khurrana composes and sings with irreverence and heavy, often high-pitched, vocals apart from converting the placid, introspective song into a (misplaced) energy-rich pop number! To her credit, Shweta Subram delivers her few lines well in the reprise version! Ayushmann also over-pronounces his phonetic 'ta' syllable the way leading singers of today trendily (!) mispronounce it.
The wrong ambience continues with 'Udd Jaayega' (Sukhwinder Singh-Ranadeep Bhaskar) composed by Mangesh Dhakde, but a cosmetic effort is made with some ethnic instrumentation and the presence of some traditional Sanskriti verse to sound right. Sukhwinder appeals despite treating the song like one of his North Indian folk numbers. Harshdeep Kaur's brief version 'Yaadein Gathri Mein' emerges as a soulful number.
The last track (and third version) 'Teri Dua' (Wadali Brothers, Lakhwinder Wadali, Harshdeep Kaur, Ravindra Sathe, Ranadeep Bhasker, Sukhwinder Singh) once again trends Sufi-ana (this time as a qawwali ) territory.
However, the refined singing (though we can barely distinguish between the multiple male singers) makes us overlook the complete confusion in the words wherein Urdu ('Tere hawaale hue khanabadosh") meets pure Hindi ('Murchhit hai paakhi hey Hanumanta') and abstruse metaphors ('Auzaaron pe himmat piroke / Humne khwaab pe purje thoke / Saadhi si lakkad ban baithi ghummakad') in an unwholesome blend.
Vishal Bhardwaj's contribution, 'Dil Todne Ki Masheen' starts with the melange of a very contemporary guitar, an open tribute to Laxmikant-Pyarelal's iconic introductory chorus 'Tik tik tik tik' from the 1993 'Choli ke peeche' (Khal-Nayak) and then gets into Tamasha zone (the legendary Marathi theater-folk-dance form) with 'Jee jee re jee jee'.
What is actually intended is an item song, thinly disguised with this mix of incongruity. The lyrics continue to be incomprehensible. However, the rich Marathi folk base lets this tune linger at least for a while, thanks to Rekha Bhardwaj's singing as well.
'Turram Khan' brings together Papon, Ayushmann Khurrana and a GenY-like hep-sounding Monali Thakur in a fun song with a twisted, retro-Western, guitar-heavy Rochak Kohli composition. The lyrics continue in the same mode. Papon brings a whiff of Baul that adds to the (con-)fusion of too many incongruous elements on the soundtrack!
This is a disappointing album indeed, as it could have been much more ambitious, and also decidedly more respectful to the needs of the film - aesthetic as well as commercial.
'Hawaizaada Dil', 'Udd Jaayega', 'Teri Dua'