Producer: Dream Merchant Enterprises, Nitin Manmohan
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Starring: Rekha, Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar, Urmila, Fardeen Khan, Seema Biswas, Victor Bannerjee
Music: Salim-Sulemain, Anand Raj Anand, Amar Mohile, Bapi-Tutul
Lyrics: Lalit Marathe, Praveen Bhardwaj, Jaideep Sanhi, Sandeep Nath, Mahathi Prakash
Singers: Asha Bhosle, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vijay Prakash, Salim Merchant, Anand Raj Anand, Gayatri Iyer, Usha Uthup, Pervez Qadir, Clinton Cerejo
Audio On: T-Series
Number of Songs: 9
Released on: March 26, 2003
Reviewed by: Rakesh Budhu
Reviewer's Rating: 8 out of 10

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For all of those who get peeved when they fall in love with a catchy, intriguing background theme that is not on the film’s soundtrack, here is a chance to acquire a unique set of themes, which are bound to please. What is not innovative about Ram Gopal Varma’s Bhoot? Let loose the cheap - poorly made horror imitations that recently have plagued Bollywood and let Varma present a diverse tale of a ghost who has begun to haunt not two protagonists, as usual, but six very well known protagonists (Urmila, Rekha, Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar, Seema Biswas and Fardeen Khan) and one unfamiliar one (Victor Bannerjee, present on the cover of the CD). For Varma, this film provides many firsts. He has finally been able to create a soundtrack for his film and actually still be able to say, “my film has no songs” (something he has said previously in the initial stages for a number of his films). Here is a score with background music - with lyrics - and songs made for where they actually belong.

In contrast to his usual one-man show, Varma has opted not for the usual Sandeep Chowta, Sandesh Shandilya or as he may have some while back A.R. Rahman, but a combination of Salim-Sulemain (Moksha), Anand Raj Anand, Amar Mohile (Road, Om) and Bapi-Tutil to create the songs for his film. A jazzy mix of authentic, not synthetic, scary tunes, which are somewhat haunting but pleasant to listen to for those who like different orchestration. And perhaps, for those that are weak hearted, the soundtrack itself may provide a thrill or two.

The songs for the film will be filmed in videos featuring the singers, etc. but will not be incorporated in the film as such. The first to have released was “Bhoot Hoon Main” which featured a sensuous Sunidhi Chauhan gyrating. Supported by Vijay Prakash and Salim Merchant, the other half of the composers of the song Salim-Sulemain, the song is obviously meant to suite the theme of the film well. The lyrics are by Lalit Marathe, a newcomer, and though it is well beyond being said already, how often will we hear lines like “I am the ghost!” that too orchestrated with a rock, pop, techno beat that we will want to hear again? Lalit has penned an interesting number to say the least and the song, like all the others, is heavily integrated amongst a spooky foundation. We are left to assume that Salim Merchant and Vijay Prakash are the people behind the haunting chorus because there are no male interludes in the song.

Gayatri Iyer has become very popular since her entrance with Anand Raj Anand’s Sandhya, since then she has done a variety of tunes including the most recent popular “Mohabbat Hai Mirchi” from Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne. In “Yeh Sard” she provides a twisted rendition of a song similar to “Rhounde” from Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, the song requires constant changing of heights and the higher ones are less attractive rather than husky portions. In any case, what we’re listening to is the pacy background, which is a perfect enticement for watching the film. Praveen Bhardwaj’s lyrics are interesting, but more awkward is that Anand Raj Anand has sung a large portion of the song as well and has not been accredited at all! (More weird that in the previous track the exact opposite occurred). Water drops and violins interspersed throughout the track are pleasing, Gayatri does well in her rendition and this track is picturized in promos featured on Urmila and Ajay Devgan who have just bought a new home and are having trouble living happily in it. A very boring instrumental of this song concludes the album later on.

Don’t expect another “Khallas” or “Kambakth Ishq” from Asha Bhosle’s contribution to this Ram Gopal Varma soundtrack. “Bhoot Hain Yahan Koi” is far from the pacy chartbusters, it’s a dark, scary and even with this Asha Bhosle does the job well with Jaideep Sahni’s frightening lyrics. Her voice has been altered to scare and it does. Amar Mohile’s music is quite on par with what many believe was the best song from Road, the theme piece. It is laced with a variety of American horror tunes perfectly describing moods and laying the foundation for the screams (which are actually included). This is the one song you wouldn’t want to listen to because it is really strictly for the scare. Gayatri Iyer’s rendition follows later in the soundtrack, and though she does add her own twist to it, it is hard to find the difference.

Din Hai Na Ye Raat” is arguably the most enticing song on the soundtrack. It’s haunting, excellently orchestrated with a mellifluent chorus, well penned (Sandeep Nath) and the recurring beat makes one think that their time is up soon. Bapi-Tutul have composed the song for which Varma has picturized on singers Usha Uthup and Pervez Qadir. Not sure if the bhoot got hold of the people at T-series as there is only one vocal very audible (beyond a feebly toned chorus) and it sounds eerily like Kay Kay.

Though the theme is borrowed from Hollywood and a little reminiscent of “Bhala Bhura” from Aks, “Ghor Andhere” is a little better than the several Hollywood themes that it takes inspiration from and “Bhala Bhura”. A large array of vocals come together to make the theme track what it is (Sunidhi Chauhan, Salim Merchant, Clinton Cerejo and Vijay Prakash), haunting or whatever you may call it. The male vocals that provide the dialogue (which for me was hard to discern) are effective. But as the tune later progresses, what could be better than throwing some traditional Indian flutes to make the theme track complete? Salim-Sulemain have clearly proven the forte in theme pieces (as was evident in Moksha) and new lyricist Mahathi Prakash, whose work is very overshadowed here due to the scarcity of words in the actual song, also has noticeable talent.

The other theme track, “Dead But Not Asleep” is most simply an instrumental to “Bhoot Hai Yahan Koi”, which is why Asha Bhosle has been accredited under the vocals. Amar Mohile has composed the music for the short but interesting theme track.

Finally, the remix to “Bhoot Hoon Main” is worth mentioning on its own because it is certainly better than the original. As with the original, Sunidhi is in fine form in her field of singing and the song has the spunk of what chartbusters are made up of. The song starts off with Arabian influences then leads us into the more scintillating track. Chauhan’s screams flow well with the husky dark vocals that they follow and are for once not annoying to listen to.

The music for Road, Ram Gopal Varma’s last production, was boring. Varma was open to that criticism and did mention that he originally intended to have no songs in that film. With Bhoot, a project that seems like it is one of the few that will live up to expectations, Varma has satisfied everyone. Yes he has songs; no they will not be in the film as mere ‘breaks’ or obstacles to progression for the story. And this time, we’re satisfied as well. If you’re looking for something different that you can pump up the volume to, get scared at and enjoy, here is your chance and kudos to T-Series for promoting this large array of talent as well.