Bride And Prejudice
Producer : Deepak Nayar & Gurinder Chadha
Director : Gurinder Chadha
Starring : Martin Henderson, Aishwariya Rai, Nitin Ganatra, Anupam Kher, Nadira Babbar, Namrata Shridokar, Naveen Andrews, Indira Verma, Megna Kothari, Sonali Khulkarni and Peeya Rai Chaudhary
Music : Anu Malik
Lyrics : Zoya Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar & Paul Mayeda Berges
Bride and Prejudice, the new film from British Director Gurinder Chadda, has been in the news ever since it was conceptualized. An adaptation of the classic Pride and Prejudice novel, the film stars one of Hollywood’s rising stars Martin Henderson (The Ring, Tourque) and our very own Aishwarya Rai. Titled Balle Balle Amritsar to L.A. in Hindi, Gurinder Chadda decided to rope in Anu Malik to score the music for the film. You would think that Anu would make the best of an international project, and come up with a progressive and original score. Yet Anu’s score for B&P is sadly below average. It’s apparent his heart wasn’t in this one. The songs of this film wouldn’t even pass for an A+ project in Bollywood let alone an international project. It’s very ordinary fare.
The album gets off to a pretty mediocre start with the song Balle Balle (Wedding song). A song with a heavy Punjabi/Bhangra flavour, this is run of the mill Bollywood stuff. While the song captures the essence of a Bhangra number, it doesn’t rise above expectations. Sonu Nigam and Gayatri Iyer do their best with their renditions, and since both are good singers, there are no complaints in this department. Lyrics are adequate and fit the mood of the song.
Another wedding number featured on the album is Lo Shaadi Aayi, which bears a passing resemblance to the opening number but changes pace too often. Anu Malik seems to be trying to fit everything into one song, so we have a constant change in pace and composition which doesn’t sit well with the listener. Singers Sunidhi Chauhan, Alka Yagnik, Anu Malik, Gayatri Iyer and Kunal Ganjawala all get lost under each other’s voices. Lyrics are nothing to write home about, and on the whole this track is a let down.
Malik tries his hand at composing a Broadway/Showtune style number with No Life Without Wife. Unfortunately his composition is short of expectations once again. Unlike the recent Pyaar Mein Sau from Kyun Ho Gaya Na, which succeeded in capturing the flavour of a show tune, this one doesn’t. Malik’s composition is lackluster and doesn’t get your feet tapping like it should. While the picturisation does help a bit, ultimately the song is situational and won’t find favour amongst the audience. Gayatri Iyer, Swomya Rao and Nisha Mascarenhas all do well with their respective renditions, and are the saving grace of the number. Lyrics are situational and mildly entertaining keeping with the playful mood.
Dola Dola is more of an instrumental number rather than a song. With minimal lyrics, reduced to more of a chant of one phrase, Gayatri Iyer takes it easy and glides through the song with ease. The music is boring and at times too loud, still it’s got a festive feel which will ensure lots of play at festivals and events to come.
Payal Bajaake sung by Gayatri Iyer is a groovy track. Obviously aimed at the youth, this song is decent enough and passes muster. The lyrics by Dev Kohli and Gurinder’s husband Paul Mayeda Berges are ok, although with two heads collaborating on the wording, this one should have had better lyrics. Gayatri renders the song with ease, but the song isn’t demanding vocally. Picturised on Murder Inc. R&B/Hip Hop artiste Ashanti, this one will most likely be uplifted by picturisation.
The only truly commendable track on the album is the romantic number Tumse Kahen Ya Na Kahen. Anu Malik’s composition is significantly uplifted thanks to the use of guitar in the background, and the use of a choir during the closing portions of the song. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are nice, and do the job. This is definitely the best written song on the album. Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik do a nice job with the singing, but don’t break any new ground. A sad version and an instrumental also appear on the album. With three versions it’s a bet the whole team realized this was the albums only worthwhile number.
Bride and Prejudice is a major letdown. Those new to the Bollywood scene may enjoy the music to some extent, but for those of us who have grown up on Bollywood soundtracks, this one won’t even register in your memory. None of the songs on this soundtrack stick with you after listening to it. Anu Malik’s score is lame, and definitely not up to international standards. Gurinder would have been wiser had she picked someone like A R Rehman, Shankar Ehsaan Loy or even Sandeep Chowta to do the music. Ranjit Barot’s arrangements and the singers (especially the very talented Gayatri Iyer who features prominently on the album) can’t help much either. Anu Malik better get used to Bollywood, cause this one won’t get him anywhere.