Chak De India

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Yashraj’s latest offering, Shimit Amin’s Chak De India, starring their favourite boy Shahrukh Khan hits theatres later this week. A different theme as its core, the film revolves around sports, namely (women’s) hockey. The soundtracks of Yashraj’s recent projects Ta Ra Rum Pum and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom have been huge successes respectively, and in turn, one has high expectations from the musical score of Chak De India too. So does it live up to YRF standards? Let’s find out.

With lyrics penned by Jaideep Sahni and music given by Salim-Sulaiman (of Kaal fame), the soundtrack of Chak De India doesn’t have much to offer, barring just two or three songs.

The album opens with the title track Chak De India which is brilliantly sung by Sukhwinder Singh who is in top form. The song boasts of ‘dhol’ beats and it is safe to say that it instills a certain patriotic feeling within the listener. Salim Merchant and Marianne Dcruz provide the backing vocals. Yashraj has released the video of this catchy track where Shahrukh Khan can be seen doing his thing at a sports stadium. The song can also be heard in most of the short promos of the film which are on air.

After a long hiatus, we get to hear the sweet sounding Hema Sardesai on the next track. Undoubtedly the worst song of the album, Badal Pe Paon Hain is as corny as it can get. The number sounds like something out of an 80’s children’s movie and will probably appeal only to 12 year old girls. In the age of progressive music and after hearing so many different tunes churned out by Bollywood music directors lately, it is quite a nightmarish experience to hear such a cheesy song.

Ek Hockey Doongi Rakh Ke is the third and best track on the album. It has the hockey team’s coach Kabir Khan (Shahrukh Khan) introduce his girls. As Shahrukh narrates and gives us a mini-insight into the player’s profiles, the girls sing the peppy and upbeat chorus which goes something like ‘Chal zara zara sa zara zara sa zara zara sa hatke, chal dara dara sa dara dara sa dara dara sa bachke, chak de chak de ek hockey doongi rakh ke’. You can’t help but sing along this high-spirited chorus. The last 30 seconds or so of the song has a role reversal of sorts with the hockey team introducing their coach Kabir Khan, and that’s when we finally get to hear KK’s soulful voice singing the only line he has and that is ‘Chak De…Chak De…Chak De India…’. One wishes to hear more of KK on this number but nonetheless, it’s the best one on the album! ‘Ek Hockey Doongi Rakh Ke’ is also the promotional video of this sports-oriented film which is on air these days and is becoming increasingly popular amongst the youngsters! The Hockey Remix by the Medival Punditz (Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj) appears later on the album and is only a faster version of the original with added electronic dance beats. It’s not as impressive as it was probably made out to be. I’d stick with the original!

Having come a long way from her ‘Viva’ days, Anushka Manchanda has tasted success in Bollywood with the title track of Golmaal and the recently released ‘Naughty Naughty’ from Cash. She now renders a song called Bad Bad Girls from the soundtrack of Chak De India. At first, the track doesn’t seem to sound so great but if given a few more listens, the song tends to grow on you. Anushka’s vocals are once again fantastic, she never fails to impress! The only downside of the song would be its lyrics which are hardly comprehendible. Otherwise, the fast-paced rhythm of ‘Bad Bad Girls’ is a sure-shot winner.

Maula Mere Le Le Meri Jaan is probably the most unexpected song of the album. If the title track signifies power, glory and patriotism, then ‘Maula Mere’ takes a 180-degree turn and represents sadness, loss and depression. Although this slow-paced song is beautifully rendered by Krishna and Salim Merchant, it will only appeal to a small section of people, who are into these kinds of tunes.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the soundtrack draws to a close with not a song, but a 2 minute soliloquy by Shahrukh Khan titled Sattar Minute. In this monologue, we hear the doting coach motivating his 14 girls to give it their best shot at the game without caring about the outcome. We repeatedly hear the words ‘Sattar Minute’ and Shahrukh’s distinctive voice and excellent dialogue delivery definitely leaves an impact on us. The soft background music is good too.

Overall, the musical score of Chak De India is extremely average and certainly not up to Yashraj standards. One expects much more from them considering they’re one of India’s biggest and best production houses. The soundtrack may or may not pick up after the release of the film but nevertheless, it does house a couple of good songs with great beats and is worth listening to atleast once, if not again and again.

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