Beti No. 1

out of

Producer: Raajiv Kumar
Director: T. Rama Rao
Music: Viju Shah
Lyrics: Maya Govind, Dev Kohli

Reviewed by: Akhlaq Hussain

Each year GOVINDA and the tagline No. 1 are as synonymous as winter and snow, this year CHICHI treats us to BETI NO. 1 which was originally called DIL KI DHADKAN before Raajiv Kumar met with Govinda to change the title. The latest No. 1-film music director is none other than VIJU SHAH of VISHWATMA, GUPT, MOHRA, and BADE MIYA CHOTE MIYA fame, unfortunately he falls short this time only delivering an average fare.

The soundtrack begins with ABHIJEET and ANURADHA singing the obligatory item number TUNE JO LIYA MERA CHUMMA. One doesn't even have to know the film's title nor cast and it is easy to assume it is a Govinda number. Abhijeet does an excellent job in fast-paced numbers like this and Anuradha lends able support, Viju Shah's trademark techno-beats also increase the "Govinda-ness" of the song. The song is similar to another "chumma" number from CHOTE SARKAR called "Ek Chumma Tu Mujkho Udhaar Dede" with cities of INDIA being mentioned in exchange for a kiss.

DILRUBA O PHOOLON JAISI DILRUBA follows which is sung by UDIT NARAYAN and ANURADHA again. It is another fast paced song with great techno beats and is an appopriate follow-up to the opening track. Udit has always done an excellent job for Govinda songs and doesn't disappoint this time either. Anuradha is just there in the song like the heroine in a Govinda movie, she could have been relplaced by any other major female singer and it wouldn't matter.

The soundtrack takes a romantic turn (and slow turn) with PALKON PE AAO KHO JAO NAA sung by KUMAR SANU and KAVITA KRISHNAMURTHY. It is an okay number and is easy on the ear, Next we have DIL SE DIL TAKRAYA with Sanu and Kavita again. There are some nice chords in the song but one feels disappinted since Viju Shah's forte is fast-paced, upbeat music, not slow romantic numbers. Barring "Na Kajre Ki Dhaar" from Mohra, Shah has always been known for the spring-in-your-step type music, which the last 2 romantic tracks lack.

The original title track, DIL KI DHADKAN follows sung by a proud UDIT NARAYAN and even prouder AMIT KUMAR. Udit and Amit do a great job of two fathers singing to their newborn son and daughter respectively. It's a shame we don't hear more of Amit, unfortunately like Shah, he doesn't lobby producers for work and never will. They are both happy with the amount of work they do and don't want to beg for it as they say. Anyways the song describes what the film is almost about if you listen to it carefully.

CHORI CHORI AANKH LADI is next with JAVED? and ANURADHA PAUDWAL. Newcomer Javed has a major Udit Narayan hangover and could easily be mistaken for him, why Shah didn't goto Udit himself is anyone's guess. The song itself is no great shakes either, if he really wanted a great launch Javed should have asked to sing the "chumma" number, this is nothing but a filler track.

The soundtrack closes with the OBLIGATORY PUNJABI number, inspired by a PAKISTANI song, MEHFIL THA SAJDI has UDIT NARAYAN, BHUPINDER MINTOO, and a chorus of HIJRAs lending able support. As usual Udit does a good job with his Punjabi, the number represents the birth of a boy in the family's house, the time Hijras come to sing for a family.

All in all, BETI NO. 1 is an average soundtrack, nothing in the league of Shah's earlier works in the films mentioned in the opening of the review. Not a single song strikes you as worthy of listening to twice. The soundtrack lacks that "Mast, Mast" or "Makhna" number that could put it over the top, had producer Rajeev Kumar been concerned more with the music than the film's title, he would have had soundtrack no. 1 on the charts. As for the film, it is a south remake from   T. RAMA RAO who has worked with ChiChi before in SADAA SUHAAGAN(1986), MUQABLA(1993), SACHAII KI TAAQAT(1989), etc. This time around Rao is going back to his roots with a social-drama (what Rao did mainly in the 1980s) describing the plight of today where families want a son not a daughter at any expense. Hopefully Rao will give us an entertaining film to keep the No. 1 tag alive, right ChiChi?