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Banaras - A Mystic Love Story

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By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Now this is one musical score that we definitely want to check out this season. After all the composer at the helm is Himesh Reshammiya who created music for Banaras - A Mystic Love Story way before he was known as Himesh Reshammiya - THE SINGER/COMPOSER. Also, the theme of the movie is completely different from the masala/romantic flicks for which he has successfully composed in the recent past. With a mystic/spiritual context of Banaras - A Mystic Love Story, it should be a real testing ground for Reshammiya to prove his prowess when it comes to core Indian music. With lyrics by Sameer, this LC Singh movie is directed by Pankaj Parashar who himself changes lanes to direct a film that promises to bridge the gap between art and commerce. Starring Urmila Matondkar, Ashmit Patel, Dimple Kapadia, Raj Babbar and Naseeruddin Shah in principal roles, Banaras - A Mystic Love Story releases this April.

As expected, it's Reshammiya-the singer, who opens the album with 'Kitna Pyar Kartein Hain'. Sound of piano that comes in the very beginning reminds of the signature background piece from 'Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin' and makes for a good start. A surprise is in store as you will hear a completely different Reshammiya in this love song with a good classical base. He sings the number in a low pitch, which is in complete contrast to what we have been used to hearing of him. A slow moving number, it also turns out to be quite similar to Adnan Sami's 'Tera Chehra' at number of places. Nevertheless, in totality 'Kitna Pyaar Kartein Hai' is easy on ears and makes for a decent hearing. After Reshammiya, its Alka Yagnik's turn to come behind the mike for her own version and as expected does quite well.

Next to come is a soothing love song 'Ishq Mein Dilko', which is in the same mould as Himesh Reshammiya songs from around a couple of years back. If you feel that it has been an overdose of the likes of Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Aksar and 'Aap Ka Surroor' from the composer-singer then its time to hit nostalgia with 'Ishq Mein Dilko' that brings to you the Reshammiya of the past. The soft number is repeated twice in the vocals of Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan and you don't really mind it due to its melodious feel. Nothing overtly exceptional so far but good old Bollywood mush and romance!

There haven't been many Holi numbers in the past with just a handful actually turning out to be popular. Though the film Banaras - A Mystic Love Story is releasing a few weeks after Holi has gone by, one checks on 'Rang Dalo' to check how far can it go? The song does have an old world feel to it and does make you tap your feet at places, but that's about it. The song has a folksy flavor to it and you actually get to hear the folk version too after a gap. While the earlier version had Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal teaming up, the folk version brings together Sonu along with female singer Sailesh. An okay number, its presence should be restricted to the theatres where it is screened but won't go the distance to register itself in the list of all time popular songs.

A song that appears to be the introduction song of Urmila, 'Purab Se' is a song about sunrise and the prayers that go along with it. Shreya Ghoshal sings this song with a classical base, while Sameer's lyrics bring the feel of this devotional song fine too but its audiences would be restricted to those who truly appreciate and understand the nuances of such songs. From appreciating sunrise to singing praises about the city 'Banaras' comes a song in quick succession 'Yeh Hai Shaan Banaras Ki'. From 'Om Namaha Shivay' as a part of 'Purab Se' to cheers of 'Har Har Mahadev' in 'Yeh Hai Shaam Banaras Ki', it is a second situational theme number in a row, with singer 'Sanjeev Abhyankar' crooning the track this time around. There is a fusion element to the track too but overall the effect is just about fine rather than being exceptional.

Towards the end comes a 'shuddh' classical number 'Bajooband Khul Khul Jaye', which appears to be a 'mujra' being played somewhere in the lanes of 'Banaras'. Sung by Pranab Kumar who definitely seems to be proficient in classical singing, 'Bajooband' is an extremely short track that may do well on screen for the situation but isn't something that would really catch fancy of a music lover who may have picked up Banaras - A Mystic Love Story with different expectations altogether.

As mentioned earlier, if you look forward to hearing some compositions by Reshammiya that are in complete contrast to what you have been hearing of him for around an year now, then Banaras - A Mystic Love Story may just be the right pick. For an average listener, there are a couple of songs [Kitna Pyar Kartein Hain, Ishq Mein Dilko] in the beginning but rest of the tracks are mainly situational or of the type that would be appreciated mainly by students and followers of Indian classical music. 

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