Lately Indian Cinema has seen a steady flow of movies about sports such as Lagaan, Chak De India, Salaam India, and Goal. Victory is one such film and its sport of choice is India’s favourite sport, cricket.
Victory stars the industry’s newest member Harman Baweja (Love Story 2050) and Amrita Rao (Vivah) in pivotal roles with Anupam Kher, Gulshan Grover and Dilip Tahil in supporting roles. Accompanying them is an array of cricketers from India, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Made under the banner of WalkWater Media and Victory Moving Pictures, Victory is written and directed by debutante Ajitpal Mangat. Music has been directed by Anu Malik while lyrics have been penned by Amitabh Verma (Life in a Metro) and Syed Gulrez. The album has seven songs with a long list of singers comprising of Anushka Manchanda, Sukwinder Singh, Daler Mehndi, K.K., Kailash Kher, Sudesh Bhosle, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Shaan, Altaf Raja and Sonu Nigam amongst others.
Whether Harman Baweja emerges victorious after his second venture is a fate to be decided when the film hits the cinemas on 30th January 2009. Meanwhile, let’s find out whether the music of Victory stays true to its name.
Victory jump starts with Money Money Money, a racey dance number sung by a vivacious Anushka Manchanda. The track is doomed from the word go, rather the words “show me the money, hey take the honey.” The overdone techno beats do not help and it ends up sounding like noise. The lyrics by Syed Gulrez do get better as the song progresses. However, the rapid repetition of “Money, Money Money, Money” does get annoying. While Anushka’s hyped up and energetic vocals are the saving grace of the track, her partner Krishna is quite the opposite. His vocals are overly pretentious and the sheer screaming at end writes this singer off completely.
What is a movie about sports without a war-cry song? A song that is supposed to be full of passion and confidence urging the players to march on and claim victory. Songs like ‘Chak De India’ (Chak De India) and ‘Chale Chalo’ (Lagaan) come into mind with blazing dhols, uplifting lyrics and vocals oozing vigor and strength. The next track, Bhala Utha Chaka Laga, sets out to do exactly that. It has the blazing dhols, the uplifting lyrics (Syed Gulrez) and the strong vocals (Sukwinder Singh and Daler Mehndi) but still lacks the oomph to become a crowd pleaser. Unlike Sukwinder’s latest offering, ‘Jai Ho’ (Slumdog Millionaire), his rendition does not pack a punch. The same can be said about Mehndi. The same lyrics are repeated throughout the song and it lacks a tune or melody as most of the words are merely communicated without some sort of musical touch. The music is the same old, loud and fast Punjabi beats with nothing new and fresh to offer. Fortunately, it is situational track, so a strong picturisation with a wild crowd and an engaging game sequence will win the track some points.
The fun and games stop with Aisa Toh Socha Na Tha, an emotional number sung by the immensely talented K.K. Apart from K.K’s emotionally charged rendition, the track suffers from poor composition by Anu Malik and clich