One may think that songs have no place in an action-thriller, especially one which is set in Kashmir with terrorism at the helm of its plotline. However, movies such as Fiza, Mission Kashmir, Dil Se, Bombay and recently released New York beg to differ, as these movies have both gained critical and mass acclaim for movie and music alike. Here’s hoping the forthcoming action-thriller Lamhaa proves to be the same. Lamhaa is directed by national award winning director of Parzania, Rahul Dholakia and stars Sanjay Dutt (The Munna Bhai series), Kunal Kapoor (Rang De Basanti and Aaja Nachle), Bipasha Basu (Jism and Dhoom 2) and Anupam Kher (A Wednesday). Music has been composed by Mithoon (The Train and Anwar) while lyrics have been penned by Saeed Quadri. The album comprises of 6 songs and features the new and upcoming talents of Chinmayee (‘Tere Bina’ – Guru), Mika (‘Mauja’ – Jab We Met), Kshitij Tarey (‘Tose Naina Lage Re’ – Anwar), Palash Sen of Euphoria and newcomers Mohd Irfan and Arun Daga. Lahmaa is being produced under the banner of G S Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and will be releasing on 16th of July 2010.
The album begins with a mesmerising Sufi number titled Madno (Hindi Translation: Sajnaa. English Translation: Beloved). It is beautifully sung by Kshitij Tarey and Chimayee who possess soul stirring vocals and create magic with Quadri’s excellently penned lyrics. Musically, Mithoon impresses with soft, melodious, traditional music which infuses divinity with its simplicity. If you liked ‘Tose Naina Laage Re’ from Anwar, you will love ‘Madno’.
Salaam Zindigi is next, which commences in the cutest way possible with young Kashmiri vocals of a group of children. Another number which can be classified as a Sufi or semi-Sufi, ‘Salaam Zindigi’ is a hopeful track with romantic undertones, sung well by newcomers Mohd Irfan (briefly heard in ‘Behne De’ from Raavan) and Arun Daga. The music a subtle mix of traditional and western which does not overpower Quadri’s powerful lyrics about hope amidst hopelessness, rather supplements it and emphasises the emotions therein.
Palaash Sen of Euphoria (‘Dhoom Pichuk Dhoom’) renders the next track, Main Kaun Hoon. Sen’s vocals soar and dive. Either way, his rendition is brilliant and probably as thought provoking as the lyrics. The song, arguably, a situational one and talks about one being a stranger in one’s own land. Quadri writes about an identity-crisis from hell, where trust, even in oneself, is a luxury. Powerful lyrics are once again supported by powerful music, well composed by Mithoon with just a hint of rock to make the song ooze that extra bit of tragedy.
Sajnaa, though on the face, is just another version of ‘Madno’, is nevertheless full of surprise. Mika Singh, who is well known for commercial dance-busters such as ‘Mauja Hi Mauja’ and ‘Dil Bole Hadippa’, does a 180 with ‘Sajnaa’, and delivers a heart-warming duet with Chimayee. That being said, Kshitij’s version of the track clearly triumphs Mika’s as Mika’s rendition is not as emotionally potent as that of Kshitij’s. Nonetheless, Mika’s change in style is highly welcome.
Kshitij makes a reappearance with Zameen-O-Asmaan, another situational number, excellently penned by Quadri. The track is essentially a plea to the creator of the earth and the sky to take a leave of absence from his daily tasks and witness the atrocities that are happening upon his creation. Kshitij gives another brilliant performance while Mithoon once again composes music to match the intensity of Quadri’s lyrics.
The album ends with a blast with Rehmat Zara, the most fast-paced track of the album. ‘Rehmat Zara’ is a rock number rendered with intensity and enthusiasm by Irfan and Mithoon. Just because the music is bordering on commercial does not mean that Quadri’s topical lyrics take the backseat. Quadri poetically depicts the unstableness of Kashmir and in some ways the song reflects the unstableness as it weaves between soft moments and then moments where it is high on energy.
Lamhaa is an action-thriller set in the unstable climates of Kashmir with terrorism as its fundamentals and if all this is to be depicted by way of lyrics and music, then this album has done that. Mithoon’s music sets the scene, Quadri’s lyrics narrates the events while the singers infuse life into the musical narration and paint a mental picture that is as tragic as it is beautiful.
While Lamhaa is arguably not commercially viable, music enthusiasts will love the lyrical genius of Saeed Quadri and Mithoon’s calm, yet strong, compositions. ‘Rehmat Zara’ is obviously the crowning glory of Lamhaa followed by ‘Madno’ (or Sajnaa) and ‘Salaam Zindagi’. At the end of the day, it is a situational album that is designed to enhance the narration of the film, rather than to climb the charts. Nonetheless, Lamhaa is a fine piece of musical expression.