During last few years, there have been two subjects that have caught the fancy of filmmakers - one revolves around superheroes, the other is centered on sports based films. While Iqbal, Chak De India, Apne and Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal have been successful and made a name for them, Say Salaam India and Meerabai Not Out have gone completely unnoticed. Now comes Victory where one expects at least one chartbuster anthem track, just as was the case in Chak De India and Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, where the title track did the trick. Let's hear on the album to see if composer Anu Malik and lyricist Syed Gulrez succeed in doing so!
From a movie that has cricket as its theme, it is surprising to see a night club song at the very top of the album. 'Money Money' seems to be stuck in the 90s style of composition and one can safely assume that Anu Malik has got one of his old tunes from his backyard into Victory. Quite a worrying thought since one expected something far superior in the film's soundtrack. Thankfully, immediately arrives the 'Balla Utha Chhakka Laga', which is all set to be THE anthem track, especially in the current season when Indian cricket team is at its peak. With 'dhol' beats accompanying the song throughout a folk flavor to it, 'Balla Utha' is a chartbuster in the offering. Expect it to play not just during the cricket matches but even news channels whenever Indian cricket wins a match.
There are two more tracks that have cricket as its theme. First to come is 'We Love Kriket' that has a rustic touch to it while being set on a high pitch. Just like 'Balla Utha', this one too talks about the glory of cricket with the game being embedded into the heart, body and soul of every Indian. Yet again, the 'dhol' beats hold center stage here. The longest song of the album, 'Victory', lasts almost 8 minutes and is ferocious in nature. From the world of 'dhol', it's time for some hard rock here as Anu Malik brings in a different flavor to Victory here. A background theme piece that should come at numerous junctures in the album, it is akin to 'Badal Pe Paon Hai' from Chak De India in terms of mood and flavor though the treatment carries a far bigger punch here.
Another number which is situational and goes with the theme of the film is 'Mazaa Aa Gaya'. This one is 7 minutes long and seems to be a set in small town where a youngster (the protagonist here) has got his first big break of making it into the Indian cricket theme. It seems that the entire neighborhood comes together to be a part of this song as they congratulate the cricketer and his family but eventually the final impression of the song is just about ordinary.
However, the disappointment of 'Mazaa Aa Gaya' is diluted due to the presence of 'Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha' that has Anu Malik bringing back his vintage style. A number about the protagonist repenting the mistakes he has made in his journey towards the top, 'Aisa Toh...' starts off well only to turn better as it crosses the 100 seconds mark. Talking about vintage style, 'Tu Ne Re' is the best of the lot as it reminds of many a composition like these that Anu Malik made in the mid-90s. Does one mind that? Not at all, especially the piano piece which plays along with the song! This one clearly stands out due to an altogether different touch that it gives to Victory.
'Show Me The Money, Take The Honey' are the words that kick start in 'Money Money'. Even otherwise the lyrics remain pedestrian to say the least throughout the song's duration which does make one wonder about the quality of Syed Gulrez's lyrics in songs to come. However, the lyricist gets into his own with 'Balla Utha Chhakka Laga', title track Victory and 'We Love Kriket' where the spirit of winning and every Indian's fascination for the game makes it's mark in a big way. While 'Tu Ne Re' brings back the memories of the kind of songs that were written for Anu Malik in the 90s, 'Mazaa Aa Gaya' is strictly ordinary, as is the requirement of the situation. Guest composer Amitabh Verma writes 'Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha' and he gets the pensive mood of the protagonist right for screen.
Anushka Manchanda may have been forced to sing a track like 'Money Money' because otherwise she is quite choosy in the work that she does. With Krishna in tow, she sleeps walks through the song and would have certainly forgotten all about it after returning from the studio. It is not everyday that Sukhwinder Singh and Daler Mehndi come together. However, the impossible happens with 'Balla Utha Chhakka Laga', the best track of the album. They get their combined experience together to churn out a track which has the potential to be remembered for a long time. Kailash Kher gets to sing the solo 'We Love Kriket' and he goes ahead full steam with his spirited rendition here. It is nice to see him having fun yet again after 'S.I.D.H.U' (Chandni Chowk To China).
Dibendu gets a big break for himself as he gets to sing the title song Victory. In a full throated voice, he makes sure that boredom doesn't set in in spite of the track being 8 minutes long. 'Mazaa A Gaya' has a plethora of singers including Suresh Wadkar, Sudesh Bhosle, Altaaf Raja, Sumitra Iyyer and Mahalaxmi Iyer though it is Sonu Nigam who holds the center stage. Sudesh Bhonsle does well in imitating Anupam Kher though Altaaf Raja clearly irritates. One wonders who thought of encouraging his comeback to the playback singing world.
Comparatively, ever so dependable K.K. does well again in 'Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha' even though it isn't really the kind of number that has made his voice as one of the most recognizable today in Hindi movies. On the other hand Shaan gets to sing the only romantic track of the album, 'Tu Ne Re', and does quite well yet again.
After a false start with 'Money Money', one almost looses all hopes with Victory. However, 'Balla Utha' turns out to be a victorious song followed by the theme track Victory which goes with the spirit of the film. However, to bring some variety into the proceedings, 'Tu Ne Re' and 'Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha' make for a good listening as well. In any case, regardless of any other number in the album, if Victory would be remembered, it would be for 'Bala Utha', a number that is all set to be the next anthem track for the Indian cricket team after Chak De India!
'Balla Utha', 'Tu Ne Re', 'Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha'