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Anwar - Music Review

By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Monday, November 27, 2006
What makes Anwar special? Apart from the fact that it is the second film of Manish Jha who made a hammer strong debut with thought provoking 'Matrubhumi' a few years back, another important aspect is the name of Mithoon on the credits for the music of the film. Though he composes only 2 songs in the film, Pankaj Awasthi as the other composer also makes you look forward to the album since one can expect a quality outing. Starring Siddharth Koirala in the title role of Anwar, this social also stars Manisha Koirala, Hiten Tejwani and Nauheed Cyrusi as other important characters in the film.

One expects the album to be a new experience altogether. But in the end expect for a couple of tracks, Anwar turns out to be completely different from what one had expected.

Mithoon, Sayeed Quadri and Roop Kumar Rathod. Now this indeed makes for a thrilling combination since one expects a soulful melody to be created. That indeed is the case as Mithoon takes his own time in setting up the base for 'Maula Mere' by bringing together an array of instruments in a subtle manner. The chant of 'Maula Mere' followed by Roop Kumar Rathod's crooning of 'Aankhen Teri Kitni Haseen' makes sure that this romantic Sufi number would be heard for quite some time to come. Intoxicating to the core, this song hooks you in such a way that it is difficult to get off from it. Not just the 'mukhda' but even the 'antara' of the song is a unique experience in itself that makes this easy-on-instruments and high-on-quality as one of the best romantic numbers heard this year.

For those who want music in Bollywood films to be different, listen to 'Dilbar Mera' that fuses the elements of pop to contemporary film music and creates an impact that is so different from what one hears from a regular love song. Written by Shyam Ravindran, this Pankaj Awasthi sung and composed song conveys the message of pain after one's beloved has left him in despair. The pace of the song brings to fore the intensity as required by the theme of the song and though it is not of the kind that you would find yourself humming around after a few hears, it is a new sound nonetheless.

Mithoon introduces two new singers Kshitij and Shilpa Rao for 'Tose Naina Lagey' (titled 'Javeda Zindagi') which turns out to be even a step ahead of 'Maula Mere'. Another good number that comes with an extremely haunting appeal, it also works due to the fact that the two singers sing in a style that is so very different from contemporary singing. Mithoon fuses the classical aspects in his music very well to make it integrate seamlessly with the song and stand out of the crowd. Yet another beautiful number with some good lyrics by Hassan Kamaal.

One hopes that Manish Jha knows what he is doing in his film since he adds on a song titled 'Bangla Khula' to his narrative. A track that comes from the heartland of UP-Bihar and belongs to the genre of numbers that are played to the gallery, it has the kind of lyrics that would be a critic's delight since it has all to thrash them left, right and center. Picture some gem of the words that go as "Le Lo Le Lo Hawa Mazedar Bangla Khulla Khulla, Na Jharoka Na Koyi Hai Kiwaad Hai Bangla Khula Khula'. There are more of such priceless gems in the song but then one may rather leave it to be heard than be put on print here! Written by Dharam Sarthi and composed by Ghunghroo with recreation by Mithoon, it also comes in a remix version by Vishvjeet that has all the moans, groans and the works as required by the song of this genre.

From hereon it is Pankaj Awasthi's show all the way with him being roped in for as many as four more tracks. First to come is Anwar's Dream (A Symphony In Blue) ' which is an instrumental musical piece. An amalgamation of different instruments make for a fine hear but strictly for the narration in the film. In comparison, instrumental 'Into The Black' which takes a different route though by taking a western approach can be heard as a standalone piece, though there would be a majority that may not really be kicked by Pankaj Awasthi rooted classical aalap in the latter half.

Next to come is 'Jo Maine Aas Lagayi' which could as well be termed as a follow up to 'Tose Naina Laage Re'. A track where Pankaj Awasthi pitches in as a singer and a lyricist as well, 'Jo Maine' is a very short number about a man who is in pain due to his love not being around him. Situational! Last of such tracks is 'Mela (Shadow Of Sunlight) ' but by this time one is somehow put off by such a genre of music and in fact there is a sigh of relief when this short track actually gets over.

The first thought that comes to mind after hearing Anwar is - "What would have been the album's chances on the stands if Mithoon wouldn't have been roped in for 'Maula Mere' and 'Tose Naina Laage'?" Expect for these two numbers, there is just nothing for a man on the street whereas even for those with classical tastes, the album doesn't really offer much. Just play on the album for the aforementioned two songs and put them in the repeat mode without thinking about the rest.

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