Controversy and intrigue have surrounded Pankh since the beginning – not only does it star the sexiest woman in Bollywood (recently awarded by Maxim India) in the smoldering role of a seductress but the gender-bending theme of the film has stirred up massive interest in the film. Written and directed by Sudipto Chattopadhyaya, Maradona Rebello plays Jerry, a man who is suffering from a mental breakdown due to the fact that he was a child film star – a female child film star. Bipasha is the sultry figment of his fantasies who torments him. The film follows Jerry’s attempts to begin a film career as a man. Although trailers of the film have been circulating for months, Pankh will finally be hitting the screens of a cinema near you!
Raju Singh, who composed the music for Pankh, had a hit earlier this year with “Soniyo” from Razz: The Mystery Continues. “Soniyo” was a beautiful, if conventional, ballad that showcased the velvety voice of Sonu Nigam. The songs from Pankh are just as beautiful but anything but conventional. The soundtrack has two vocal numbers and an instrumental theme.
Like any smart music director, Raju Singh understands that even an art house film needs at least one song with the potential to become a hit on its own, much as ‘Phook De’, picturized on Bipasha Basu, was for No Smoking. For Pankh that song is Ji Jala. Sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, ‘Ji Jala’ is a seductive ballad that is appropriately going to be picturized on Bipasha Basu. Unlike the loud and raucous songs that Sunidhi is usually called upon to sing, ‘Ji Jala’ utilizes the slightly raspy tone of her voice in the lower registers to give a bit of a dangerous edge to the melody – transcends it to a wistful release when she soars higher in the wordless vocal runs of the bridge. ‘Ji Jala’ is a beautiful song that deserves wide distribution.
The second vocal track on the soundtrack is an English language song called Mamma. Combining an acoustic guitar with touches of traditional English choral music, ‘Mamma’ reminds me of the neo-folk perfected by bands like the now defunct Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci from Wales. The pure tone of the guitar combined with the background choral lends an eerie gothic quality to the track and makes the cries for redemption from ‘Mamma’ seem almost religious in nature.
Lastly, we have the theme from Pankh, which is an exercise in grandiose instrumentation. If you enjoy elaborate progressive rock (Yes, Rush, etc.) then this is the song for you! Not having seen this picturized, I can only guess at what the theme will be lending itself to but the soaring choral track and the Brit-rock guitar solo already put me in the mood for an epic climax of some sort. It begins fairly slow but just wait for when the huge drum kit sound kicks in – if you are like me, you will have a strong desire to punch your fist in the air.
All in all, I wish there were more songs to review since I think Raju Singh has done a phenomenal job with these three – giving us one seductive hit, one acoustic ballad, and a rocking theme. My score would have been higher if there had been more tracks.