Farah Khan teams up with Akshay Kumar, in a Shirish Kunder script with music by Vishal Shekhar (and Shirish Kunder). The curiosity level is sky-high! After two back to back big hits that both had chart-buster type music, Farah chose to branch out on her own and produce and direct a film for her own production house – and to do it without her regular star, Shahrukh Khan. Tees Maar Khan was written by Shirish and with Akshay Kumar in mind. We were told that Sheila ki Jawaani is a blockbuster gift from Farah to Katrina Kaif and it will be the Mother of all Item songs, leaving Munni Badnaam Hui biting the dust in its wake.
So what does the music of Tees Maar Khan offer?
The title track has Sonu Niigaam singing in 54 different voices (including an Akshay Kumar impression) and accents (including a faux Chinese one!). This track is composed by Shirish Kunder. There is an opening musical interlude that reminds one of the track sung by Ashanti in Bride and Prejudice and this is no doubt the “hook” that will be the Tees Maar Khan theme.
So does it cut the mustard? I found the song somewhat noisy (that Tawaif ki lut ti izzat dialog was tacky), but I think this song will work in the film perhaps as it cuts in and out of the various situations that the hero will get into.
The second song in the album is the much touted Sheila ki Jawani:
Sung with gusto by Sunidhi Chauhan and Vishal Dadlani, this item song attempts to be a replacement for Darde Disco from Om Shanti Om, with a scantily clad Katrina being doused in buckets of water. The Hinglish lyrics detract from the song and the track lacks the punch that Munni carried. However, I expect the full promos to show Katrina Kaif drenched and scantily clad and get the song into the top of the charts.
The third number on the album is the much touted Qawwali that will have Salman in a guest appearance. Sung by Shekhar Rajivani, Shreya Ghoshal, Kamal Khan and Raja Hasan, this one is catchy enough as qawwalis go. The high point is Shreya’s bit, but the rest cannot rise above the ordinary. This one has big shoes to fill when it is compared to the qawwali from Farah previous Main Hoon Na. The qawwali there (Tumse Mil ke Dil ka hai jo haal) was superior and this will have to have really innovative filming to catch up to the predecessor.
Next up we have Badey Dilwala sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Sukhvinder Singh. And Sukhvinder tries his best to lift this one up to a higher plane. But the lyrics do not match up to the vocal prowess of either singer and the tune is repetitive and not unique in any way. We can try to compare this to songs like Ud Ud Dabangg (or the Omkara title track) to see how far short it falls in this genre of song. It makes no sense to have Hinglish lyrics in a song like this – that bit baffled me completely.
The last song in the album is one called Happy Ending, and this one does have a good dhun. The singers are a collection of music reality show contestants – Debojit Saha, Abhijeet Sawant, Prajakta Shukre, Harshit Saxena and they manage to infuse a freshness and appeal into the song. The lyrics match the yearning for good things and success that one would want as a newcomer, maybe that is why the song works for this particular group of singers.
The rest are obligatory remixes, and they actually seem better than the original numbers, an undesirable situation in my opinion. My prediction is that the reviews for this album will be very good as journalists love Farah Khan – she is never politically correct and she does not make crap films – so that sets her apart from blowhards like her brother Sajid. I think Farah is highly intelligent and her years choreographing (a lot of which is directing the important parts of films) have given her a lot of experience as to what works in commercial cinema. But this album is unlike those from her previous films. I sense a “desperation” to make her first home production work – and who can blame her? I am left with conflicting thoughts – if she had not thrown the kitchen sink at it, she may have come out ahead with this album. Or is Farah really savvy and tailoring everything in her film to her leading man? Maybe she will have the last laugh and show us Akshay Kumar as he needs to be shown but never was?