CD review: ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’

June 15, 2011 11:26 am by

We have long maintained that Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy work best with Farhan Akhtar. But if Game was anything to go by, we’ve come to realise that it’s not enough that Akhtar is producing the film, he must either be directing (Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya, Don) or acting in it (Rock On!!, Luck By Chance). Akhtar is one of the three lead actors in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which bodes well for the soundtrack.

Bollywood filmmakers and composers would have us believe that music is meant to make you feel, not think. While we’re not convinced by that argument (does “Character Dheela” make you feel anything other than as though you have been plonked on a treadmill?), as far as “feel-good” soundtracks go, you couldn’t do much better than Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy’s songs for this film. It’s hard to resist the bright-eyed optimism of “Dil Dhadakne Do”, where the live-life-king-size lyrics are delivered to the accompaniment of some nice crunchy guitar work, or the pulsating party vibe of “Ik Junoon (Paint It Red)”, where the vocoded vocals of Vishal Dadlani sing of losing yourself in the moment to the accompaniment of an airy electro-rock beat.

“Ik Junoon”, as you may have seen on TV, is the song that plays in the film while the lead characters attend the Tomatina festival in the Valencian town of Buñol, which explains why you hear a breathy female voice whispering “Me gustas tu” (Spanish for “I like you”) in the song. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is also one of those rare Hindi film soundtracks that actually acknowledges its setting. The movie centres around a road trip that three friends, played by Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol, take through Spain; thus “Khaabon Ke Parinday” is a bossa nova ballad, and “Senorita”, a flamenco tune. “Senorita” is a musical conversation between a flamenco dancer/singer (Maria Del Mar Fernandez) and the film’s heroes. Director Zoya Akhtar has employed that old gimmick of getting the actors to sing the track instead of playback singers, but while her brother Farhan (who also sang in Rock On!!) and Roshan can hold a tune, Deol clearly can’t. Still, they all sound like they’re having fun, and that’s what matters we guess.

It’s the slow, sadder tunes on Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara that don’t quite fit. “Khaabon Ke Parinday” is just plain boring while “Der Lagi Lekin” is full of the bathos that Shankar Mahadevan has been recycling since “Tanhai”, off Dil Chahta Hai. Even all the faster tracks don’t hit the spot: “Sooraj Ki Baahon Mein”, which recalls the 1980s synth-pop we heard on “Baby, When You Talk To Me” from Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy’s score for Patiala House, sounds like something that we’d expect to hear in the Hindi remake of High School Musical rather than in a movie about men experiencing a quarter-life crisis. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, then, doesn’t rank among Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy’s best work, but it is however, their best work in years. The last time they delivered such an infectious collection of songs, was back in late 2008, on the soundtrack of Luck By Chance, which of course was the first time the trio worked with Zoya Akhtar.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Soundtrack, T-Series, Rs175. Buy it from Flipkart.com.

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