The Dirty Picture OST; The Attack Of The '80s
By Movie Talkies.com, 30 November 2011
With a positively voluptuous-looking Vidya Balan taking centre stage, director Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture has been in the news for more than a couple of years now. The main attraction, more than Vidya herself, is the character that she plays in the film, an '80s sexy starlet, purportedly based on none other than the legendary Silk Smitha. The buzz around the film has only increased ever since the promos of the film started doing the rounds of theatres and online, on videosharing sites, with Vidya's look attracting as much attention as the ear-popping song used in it.
With a film set in the '80s, when Bollywood was at its experimental best, the soundtrack of the film is bound to cause a buzz. With Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani on composing duties, one expects no less than to be vowed. So, does The Dirty Picture OST live up to the expectations?
The soundtrack opens up with its flagship number, ooh la la. The track has already attracted quite the buzz, from its use in the film's raunchy promos, and lives up to its star billing. A perfect '80s renaissance of a track, ooh la la features Bappi Lahiri in a commanding position on the male vocals, while Shreya Ghoshal emulates the classic bimbette voice to a T. Rajat Arora's lyrics are sort of self-aware, in the way of the almost lascivious images that they conjure up, but they do stay in line with the feel of the song. The track's pumping arrangement borders on something out of Bollywood's jhankaar beats years, but that completes the picture perfectly too. There is also a beat-heavy, bhangra-influenced mix of the track later down the playlist; but while it sounds interesting, the arrangement simply comes off as a bit too anachronistic.
The album takes a romantic turn with the next couple of numbers, both titled ishq sufiyana, featured in separate male and female versions. The male version comes first, with Kamal Khan on vocals. As the name suggests, the track is a sufiyana number, and as far as sufi pop tracks go in Bollywood, this is quite a straightforward one. The track is mildly reminiscent of tum jo aaye zindagi mein, from Milan Luthria's earlier Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai', but it's a passing similarity. There's nothing too notable about the track's arrangement or sound, but it casts a lovely pale on the overall album anyway. The female version of the track brings Sunidhi Chauhan on vocals, and the lady is in her element. Though there isn't much of a difference between the male and female versions of ishq sufiyana, Sunidhi's verve takes this one up a notch.
Sunidhi comes back on the next number, honeymoon ki raat, which sounds like a classic Bappi Lahiri number from the get go. The loud beats, heavy use of the synthesisers and a kitschy, dance-floor worthy tune that sounds like something straight out of the Disco Dancer soundtrack, make this one a winner amongst the lot. While the disco feel of the track is quite interesting, the quirky lyrics from Rajat Arora deserve attention as well. The only grouse one could hold against this one, possibly, is that Vishal-Shekhar haven't included an even more up-tempo version of the track on the album.
Shreya Ghoshal attempts a sensuous spoken-word intro on twinkle twinkle, the last track on the album. She succeeds, but the cheesiness of the opening lines in the actual track takes quite some sheen off the number. This one is torn between being a bhangra number and a standard '80s tune in keeping with the theme of the album. While the vocals from Shreya sound quite bhangra-like, the rest of the track is perfectly period, the sound and the arrangement straight out of a Jeetendra-Sridevi type film, while the male lead on the track, Rana Majumdar, emulates R. D. Burman's roaring baritone. Unfortunately, the wild mix of all these elements proves too much for the track to handle, which ends up flat on its face, a mash of it all.
While there are a couple of interesting tracks on The Dirty Picture soundtrack, like ooh la la and honeymoon ki raat, Vishal-Shekhar fail to capitalise on the period charm of their subject. Indeed, apart from the afore-mentioned numbers, there's nothing breakout here. With the sort of kitschy appeal that the film seems to encapsulate, the composers had an opportunity to craft something of a concept album with the release. Though they haven't completely wasted the chance, they haven't really capitalised on it either. Get this one for ooh la la and honeymoon ki raat, but don't expect much more than that…