Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag

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Ram Gopal Varma is no ordinary man. We have yet to see this filmmaker fall prey to conventional filmy formulas. Once again, with his next film titled Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, he dares to do the unspeakable — remake the cult classic Sholay (Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Hema Malini). After changing the setting and all the characters’ names, he claims that his film is not a remake but rather a tribute and simply inspired by the evergreen film. Everything he has done with this film so far has caused chaos, so expect the music to do the same as well!

A host of diverse music directors have taken the liberty of composing nine distinct tracks for the film. They include Ganesh Hegde (Mehbooba), Prassanna Shekhar (Jee Le, Holi), Nitin Raikwar (Cha Raha) and Amar Mohile (Ruk Jaa, Hai Aag, Dum). Similarly, lyrics are written by various artists including Sajid-Farhad (Ruk Jaa, Jee Le), Sarim Momin (Hai Aag, Dum, Holi), Nitin Raikwar (Cha Raha) and Shabbir Ahmed (Mehbooba). So, if nothing, at least expect each track to be different from the one before! Collectively, do they manage to create fire?

The first track is probably the most awaited track of the album. Mehbooba, picturised on Urmila Matondkar and Abhishek Bachchan, is by no means close to the original. With this very first track, Varma makes it clear that he is not creating a remake. Those who expected this track to be a simple remake of the original will be gravely disappointed. However, once you stop trying to compare, it grows on you quite a bit. Opening with an oddly placed rap bit, the track picks up with tunes from the original followed by Sunidhi Chauhan’s husky rendition. Sukhwinder Singh pitches in a few lines as well, and does an adequate job. Naturally, it’s Sunidhi that steals the limelight. She’s no stranger to item songs, and comes through once again. Amitabh Bachchan’s haunting voice also makes an appearance and sends chills down your spine. Shabbir Ahmed’s lyrics are nothing extraordinary, but are fit for a song of this nature. It looks like Ganesh Hegde has got a winner on his hands, though it might take a while to grow on listeners. The song also comes in a Mehbooba Remix version which almost sabotages the track, completely ruining the mood of the original.

Amar Mohile’s Ruk Jaa is next on the cards, and is sung by Vinod Rathod and Sunidhi Chauhan. This is the track currently on the air picturised on Heeroo (Ajay Devgan) and Ghungroo (Nisha Kothari). It’s basically a comical argument between the two characters with sparks of romance flying around. Musically, it’s nothing special in terms of composition, lyrics and vocals. However, the track will probably sound better on-screen because it’s a completely situational track.

Sholay would be nothing without it’s Holi track, and the same goes for RGV Ki Aag. Prasanna Shekhar puts together this track, naturally titled Holi, sung by Ravindra Upadhyaye, Shweta Pandit, Farhad Bhiwandiwala, Shreya Ghoshal and Sudesh Bhosle. It’s quite obvious we should be witnessing the entire cast come together in this track, so it better be damn good. Opening with Amitabh Bachchan screaming “Holi kab hai?!,” it launches straight into festivity mode with fast beats, dhol and the works. It’s definitely not your typical colourful track, but it’s quite catchy! All the vocalists manage to capture the mood well, though Shreya Ghoshal stands out as usual. Sarim Momin’s lyrics also deserve a mention, as they’re quite innovative in a place where it’s easy to lose originality.

Nitin Raikwar’s sole composition in the album, Cha Raha is the best track of the lot. Lyrically, vocally, and musically, it’s beyond the rest of the album. On an interesting note, this is the steamy track rumoured to be shot on Ajay and Nisha. Both Vinod Rathod and Shweta Pandit sing beautifully and add another dimension to the song. What’s nice is that this isn’t your conventional romantic track and it’s not a dance track. It’s completely different. Wonderful!

Sunidhi Chauhan returns with Hai Aag Yeh but doesn’t actually start singing until one minute into the track. Again, it’s a situational track by Amar Mohile which will probably be used to create a dark and brooding mood in the film. However, musically it’s extremely well put together and for this reason is appears again as Hai Aag Yeh Theme Music sans any vocals.

After a pleasant Holi, Prasanna Shekhar’s second track on the album is titled Jee Le which is to be picturised on the Heeroo-Raj duo (Veeru-Jai in the original). Unfortunately, it turns out to be one of the weakest tracks of the album and the lyrics by Sajid-Farhad are a let down. Not up to the mark.

The final track of the album is again composed by Amar Mohile and sung solo by Vinod Rathod. Titled Dum, it opens on a loud note with the crackling of glass followed by a great musical composition which slowly builds up by adding more instruments. Once again it seems like a situational track, though one can’t deny that musically this one is brilliant. Should work well in the film!

Together, the music team of Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag manages to create sparks and maybe even a tiny fire, but fails to scorch the entire album. However, it must be noted that almost all the tracks are composed flawlessly. The problem is, quite a few don’t hold mass appeal and are situational tracks. Watch out for Mehbooba which should become a rage as well as Cha Raha which will definitely crawl up the charts any time soon. Also, Holi should be a treat to watch on-screen. This aag (fire) is hot, but not hot enough.

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