out of

Producer: Pravin Shah
Director: Mahesh Manjrekar
Music: Himesh Reshammiya & Sukhwinder Singh
Lyrics: Dev Kohli, Madan Pal & Sudhakar Sharma
Audio on : HMV/ Saregama

Reviewed by: M. Ali Ikram

In filmi parlance the aptitude of Himesh Reshammiya can be summarized with the label "item song" producer.  Sure he can deliver foot-tapping songs, but the novice music director has yet to prove himself capable of delivering a complete soundtrack keeping the theme and tone of the related movie in mind.  Like most Reshammiya songs in recent films - he is often included as a secondary music director with just one song in the movie - Kurukshetra's music likely originates from the composer's music bank.

What more is Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik's "Aap Ka Aana, Dil Dhadkana" then a fun excuse for the Sanjay Dutt and Mahima to shake their buttocks together?  The duo is most credible in livening up the rock and roll ambience, the tune is very catchy and Dev Kohli's lyrics are great, but do you think the tune has any relevance to furthering the plot of the movie?  Neither do I, so enjoy this temporary chart-buster while it lasts.

The same singers croon "Jaanam Tere Liye Raat Din" which sounds like it is straight out of one of those reincarnation-themed thrillers of the mid-1990s.  There is nothing offensive or unbearable about the tune, but listening to it, you will understand why I complain that there is no thematic or tonal consistency in this album. 

Let your mind jump to a completely different genre of film yet again, courtesy the love-triangle based "Ishq Bhi Kya Cheez Hai".  Here, Sonu Nigam joins Yagnik and Sanu for some vocal rounds.  Tolerable singing and lyrics again (courtesy Sudhakar Sharma) but there is nothing to set this tune above the common-place.  Sanu and Yagnik even experience trouble wrapping their vocal around the word "neend" which is repeated numerous times in the track.

Pardon the bluntness, but "Chal Shaadi Kar Lete Hain" (Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik again) must have been a reject from David Dhawan's Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge earlier this year.  Heck, not only is it similar in musical style to "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi", but even the narratives of the two songs are similar.  I have a feeling Dhawan preferred the latter tune because it had more comical lyrics, but the music in Kurukshetra's version better complements the words.  Parts of the 'newer' song, especially the soothing singing, even hark back to the music style of the 1970s.  Ah, good old nostalgia!

The unique Ravindra Sathe, who I have not heard since the neglected Yugpurush , returns to warble "Yeh Tera Kurukshetra Hai".  Poor guy.  Someone ought to tell him that Reshammiya's music is actually - but hopefully unintentionally - pilfered from Anu Malik's song "I Love You" (sung by Alisha Chinoi) in the damp squib movie Gundaraj from the mid-nineties.  (By the way, check out the music for Gundaraj if you can still find it.  Most of the tracks are still quite enjoyable.)  Commendable though it is that Himesh was able to use a love song's music as substitute for dutiful fervour this time around. 

Sunidhi Chauhan tries to help Reshammiya end his contributions to the score with the chaalu item, "Kahin Na Milega Aisa Ghagra".  After all, this is his forte is it not?  Peppy it is, yes, but I could not help but laugh at its future prospects.  The singer is obviously making the double-meaning reference that you will be unable to find a body like hers anywhere in India.  Yet, some clothing company is bound to adopt the song in its next advertising campaign claiming its garments are of unparalleled quality in the country. 

"Ban Dhan Chali" sings and composes Sukhwinder Singh to Sunidhi Chauhan in a song either meant for a bar sequence or another filler scene in the movie.  Given the number of songs in the movie, and their themes, there has to be at least a handful of these in the movie.  The Punjabi-folk singing is competent enough, but Singh-saab does little to elevate the musical quality of the movie.

So I have slammed Himesh Reshammiya enough, probably even too much, for not rising to the occasion of his first full-throttle Hindi film soundtrack.  He could have risen to the occasion by providing some really meaningful and melodious tunes for this cop drama.  He does succeed in delivering the latter for most part, but Kurukshetra is not much of a memorable score.  Now, is it his fault?  No, I do not think so.  Mahesh Manjrekar has earlier proven with Vaastav and Nidaan that he understands a good narrative, but is next to nil in the musical integration department.  Reshammiya's time to shine will hopefully come in the future.  Till then, try and get the most of this batch of item songs.