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Producer & Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Music: Anu Malik
Rahat Indori

Reviewed by Sunder

How close could "Kareeb" be to the brilliant scores of Rahul Dev Burman for Vidhu Vinod Chopra's previous two movies Parinda and 1942 A Love Story. It is perhaps unfair to this effort to be measured against such high standards. And it is here, that we find Kareeb to be close - but not quite there.

The album is built around three stellar tunes. This is indeed another limiting factor, that the music has a similarity running through its numbers unlike the varied but consistently brilliant 1942, or even the less known gems of Parinda.

The first of the three threads is the tune of "Chori Chori". In two parts, the main song and the slower version - "Kismat Ne Awaaz Di"; this song is characterized by a easily hummable and extremely catchy whistle. The second thread runs around the tune of "Chura Lo Na Dil Mera" which also has a characteristic whistle, and a differently effective lyrical play. The third, and a most potent thread of the score is "Haan Judai Se Darta Hai Dil". Lyrically excellent, this song has two versions again - a male and a female solo. Kumar Sanu and new singer Sanjeevani infuse great life into these songs.

Kareeb has three other songs of varying brilliance. "Reet Yahi Jag Ki" is a run-of-the-mill "above average" marriage song by Jaspinder Narula (Taare Hain Baarati from Virasat) and Sanjeevani. "Tera Gussa" can be irritating to some, brilliant to others. The lyrics can beat the worst of Anu Malik for triviality, but closely heard it has its moments. Abhijeet is as good as anyone could be in this song.

The best song, though the tune sounds remarkably familiar, is "Tum Juda Ho Kar Hamein" rendered most brilliantly by Roop Kumar Rathod and Sanjeevani. The music though perhaps inspired, the lyrics, the singing, are near the heights of Kareeb.

In essence, Kareeb is close to being the album of the year, but yet it is far from the standards set by 1942, R D Burman and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. While all the singers are consistently brilliant, including new singer Sanjeevani who sings all the female leads. Rahat Indori delivers very effective lyrics, but they just don't create the magic of Javed Akhtar in 1942. Anu Malik sounds good, though familiar in his scores. If not for history, 1998 is close to being the year of Kareeb.

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