Choose your channels

Mangal Pandey - The Rising Music Review

Mangal Pandey - The Rising Music Review
Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Amisha Patel, Toby Stephens, Damien Lewis
Ketan Mehta
Bobby Bedi
AR. Rahman
Rehman's tryst with History
Sunday, July 17, 2005 • Hindi Comments

To create a period movie is always a challenge. Especially so when it belongs to an era that formed an important chapter in the history of fight for India's freedom from the British. But creating music for such an era is an even bigger challenge because though reference points for coming up with a dramatic adaptation are still relatively easy to find, to obtain a sense of music is an ardent task. A.R.Rehman, now hot favorite to deliver music for an historical - post Lagaan, The Legend Of Bhagat Singh and Bose - The Forgotten Hero - does it once again with 'Mangal Pandey - The Rising', that traces back the beginning of Indian revolt in the 19th century that resulted in a continuous freedom struggle for around 100 years. The pain, hard work and extensive labor that went in for producers Bobby Bedi and Deepa Sahi are finally ready to pay dividends for this Ketan Mehta film that stars Aamir Khan, Toby Stephens, Rani Mukherjee, Amisha Patel and Kirron Kher [in a guest appearance]. Javed Akhtar traces back the style of the 19th century and writes lyrics.

Expectations are obviously sky high from this epic and one expects extraordinary music that would enliven the proceedings during the movie's narrative.

1) Title song - Mangal Mangal [Three versions - Original, Agni, Aatma, Singers - Kailash Kher, Sukhwinder Singh(Aatma)]

To depict various moods in the movie comes the theme song 'Mangal Mangal' in three versions. The album begins with the 'high on drums' original version that gives the kick start to the album. A track about the 'awakening' of all folks, houses, villages, towns and cities, hence depicting the arrival of good times ahead, it is a passionate rendition by Kailash Kher in his earthy vocals that brings alive the times of the 19th century. Huge orchestra gives a grand appeal to this number that should appear in smaller parts throughout the movie as a part of the background score. For the same reason, there are two more versions 'Agni' and 'Aatma', that depict different moods of the revolution in the movie with 'Agni', as the title depicts, fiery and 'Aatma' being more somber.

2) Main Vari Vari [Kavita Krishnamurty, Reena Bhardwaj]

Kavita Krishnamurthy comeback with this track proves that real talent cannot be relegated in the background for long. The lady who has been making too far and few appearances for last 3-4 years comes up with an enjoyable mujra 'Main Vari Vari', which inspite of being set 150 years back doesn't get wee bit classical and instead sounds contemporary. Yes, there is that special period effect to it but that's mainly due to the setting, lyrics and overall essence rather than anything else. One looks forward to the picturisation of this mujra that sounds quite promising and should turn out to be another ace for Rani Mukherjee, who should be able to justify her role of a prostitute and a notch girl.

3) Holi Re [Aamir Khan, Udit Narayan, Madhushree, Srinivas and Chinmaye]

No, don't expect Aamir Khan to be coming up with yet another 'Aati Kya Khandala' act where he got a chance to go solo. In this case, he plays a little part where he primarily walks away with his lines while Udit Narayan sings the majority of the number. Madhushree, Srinivas and Chinmaye get into a rollicking mood along with Udit Narayan for this 'holi' song, where the prime attraction is Javed Akhtar's lyrics that go wonderfully well with the old times. Rehman's music for this track though would take some time to catch up as it is not one of those easy to hum tracks that get on you instantaneously. Aggressive promotion and colorful picturisation befitting such a number may just do the trick.

4) Rasiya [Richa Sharma and Bonnie Chakraborty]

The track that could be given an easy skip, 'Rasiya' fails to impress at all due to a lackluster composition. The track hardly justifies its presence in the album and seems to have been composed just for the situation as audio w