MUSIC REVIEW: ‘Satyagraha’ – Silence Please!

Approach this soundtrack with a non-violent resistance to musical tyranny

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Remember Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ – a benign Alka Yagnik singing in her syrupy devotional voice, and Shankar Mahadevan breaking in with a thick faux accent along with an anglicised chorus. Like really, did we need that in a Hindi film?

‘Satyagraha’ has a sweet little girl voice announcing the Raghupati bhajan to be sung by a cackle of musicians, including the composer Salim of the Salim-Sulaiman duo. And then they mix the chant with dubstep. Like how! Which way is one supposed to take this for granted? If its a bhajan, can you add dubstep to it, and make it more ‘with it’ for our waning nationalist consumption?

Shraddha Pandit gets a wallop of a song, a thumri called Aiyo Ji to which, god forbid, electronica is added. What a fantastic flute base completely ruined with echo refrain and techno beats. This has ‘item number’ written all over it.

Shafqat Amanat Ali is imported to sing the bhairav thumri Ras Ke Bhare Tore Nain, and he is lumped with a chorus girl sighing in the back which sounds like she’s in the throes of a you know what. Why is she heaving so much? Isn’t the song’s lyrics and rendition sensual enough? Give a composer a time-tested classical thumri and see how he destroys it. Ras Ke Bhare Tore Nain, composed by Jaidev, sung by Heera Devi Mishra, for the film ‘Gaman’ is one unmatched collaboration.

Janta Rocks, which provides the public with a facile pop patriotism penned by lyricist Prasoon Joshi, is a lot of words and a lot of sounds, ultimately unclear what the ‘issue’ is. Can a long, boring, speech be made peppier by adding Pritam’s ‘dhoom beats’. Sure. Meet Bros Anjjan, Keerthi Sagathia, Papon, Shibani Kashyap, Shamali Kholgade apart, the song also features ‘nimbu aam mix pachrangi, ho gaye fail saare achaar, jab se apne desh mein hai aaya…achaaro ka achaar…brashtachaar.’ That’s an sms joke inserted in the song. And we are ROFL. Janta knocks.

Indian Ocean is on this soundtrack, composing, Hum Bhole The, the intro guitar riffs of which strangely remind us of Har Kisi Nahi Milta Pyar Zindagi Mein (Jaanbaaz). Rahul Ram, Amit Kilam, Himanshu Joshi Kashyap, Shalmali Kholgade wave their innocent flag with some very accusatory tonal acoustics. ‘Hum bhole the…hum bhale hain’ is pointy politicking.

Satyagraha has four music composers – Salim- Sulaiman, Aadesh Shrivastava, Meet Bros, Indian Ocean – that’s like four parties clambering for one seat, no? How can you make peace with that? And music…silence please!

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