Music Loves Up to its Promise
By MovieTalkies.com, 20 April 2009
Much has already been written about Piyush Jha's third directorial offering, Sikander. The film which is set in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, explores the insidious manner in which children are lured into violence by terrorists. The film stars child actors Parzaan Dastur and Ayesha Kapur supported by R Madhavan and Sanjay Suri. Jha has always made films which have been slightly off the beaten track like the King Of Bollywood (2004) and Chalo America (1999), both of which had a story to tell. With Sikander, it seems that Jha may have hit a jackpot. Sikander which has been produced by Sudhir Mishra, has Justin Uday as its main music composer and Shankar Ehsaan Loy and Sandesh Shandilya as guest composers. With three musical sensibilities working on the movie, different elements like soft rock, sufi and folk have been merged together to create a soundtrack which stands out for its sensitivity and freshness.
The proceedings are kicked off by Shankar Ehsaan Loy's 'Dhoop Ke Sikke,' a soft rock number, which has been rendered beautifully by Anushka Mani and Shankar. The young Mani manages to keep pace with Shankar and acquits herself very well indeed. One of the highlights of this number is the soft rendering of sargams by Shankar. This soft rock offering by the composers has them incorporating a lot of Eastern influences as well. Written by Prasoon Joshi, this feel good number is undoubtedly the best in the album. The song has a fresh feeling to it, quite akin to the ambience of the Kashmir valley.
The good work seems to be followed by Justin Uday's 'Gulon Mein' (serene version), the second number of the album. Last heard in the highly forgettable Hijack, the duo have really stretched themselves and come up with a terrific number, which has been sung equally well by Mohit Chauhan. This emotional number occurs once more in the album, but this time in an upbeat version, which has been composed by Sandesh Shandilya and sung by KK. The lyrics of this number have been written by Neelesh Mishra. Shandilya's version seems to outdo Justin Uday as he tops it with a really breezy reworking. Both Mohit and KK have done a brilliant job with their renditions in the two versions of the song. There is little to choose between the vocal prowess both these accomplished singers.
Taking a break from secular matters is the traditional, devotional number, 'Arzoo' which has been sung by Mehrajuddin. The unconventional vocals seem to go very well with the mood of the number, which appears without any instrumental accompaniment. It is followed by the number 'Allah Hoo', a conventional track composed by Justin Uday. Sung by Hrishikesh Kamerkar and Yash Narvekar, 'Allah Hoo' has its moments, but on the whole is a little tedious. However, this takes away nothing from the vocals behind this song.
The next number, 'Manzaraat' (lyrics Kumaar), impresses mostly due to the vocals of Shilpa Rao. But what lets down this number is the ordinary music composed by Justin Uday. The number is high on percussion and that's about the only thing the music has going for it. Shilpa's vocals seem to be wasted in this number. The last number on the album, 'Chaal Apni' which is sung by Hrishikesh Kamerkar and Hamsika Iyer, is a lighthearted, playful number but it fails to have the required impact again because of the mediocre music.
The music of Sikander stands out for two numbers really, 'Dhoop Ke Sikke' and the two versions of 'Gulon Mein'. The other four tracks don't quite match up to the magic of these two. One is sure that the effect of the music will be enhanced following the experience of watching the film. But with the focus of the film really being its two child actors, the music will at best, provide a perfect backdrop for the action to unfold.