Planet Bollywood
Producer: Yash Chopra
Director: Yash Chopra
Starring: Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Waheeda Rehman.
Music: Shiv-Hari
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Vinod Rathod, Suresh Wadhkar, Asha Bhosle, Jolly Mukherjee, Nitin Mukherjee, Pamela Chopra, Babla Mehta and Anupama Deshpande.
Audio On: HMV    Number of Songs: 9
Reviewed by: Shahid Khan  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Certain film directors stick closely to the music composers that know how to churn out the goods and relate to the emotions expressed in the plot of the film. For Yash Chopra, it was Shiv-Hari. The director has worked with this team the most spawning hits like β€œSilsila”, β€œFaasle”, β€œVijay”, β€œLamhe”, β€œParampara”, β€œDarr” and β€œChandni”. Strangely, Shiv-Hari have not worked outside the Chopra banner (except for a stray β€œSahibaan”), which may account for the limited length of their fruitful careers.

It is impossible to imagine the soundtrack of a Chopra love story without the voice of Lata Mangeshkar. The album kicks off with her unforgettable β€œMere Haathon Main Nau Nau Choorian Hai”. It had been a long time since Lata had sung such a wonderfully joyous and funny song fit to play again and again at wedding occasions. Lata’s songs in other albums in the same decade, β€œYeh Galiyan Yeh Chaubara” (β€œPrem Rog”), β€œSun Sahiba Sun” (β€œRam Teri Ganga Maili”) and β€œSaajan Mera Us Paar Hai” (β€œGanga Jamuna Saraswati”) had lacked that sense of humor that is so apparent in β€œMere Haathon Main…”. Lata relishes the opportunity to express the zest of a young unmarried woman. The playful innocence here reminds me of a certain β€œGore Gore O Banke Chore” (sung by Lata and Shamshad Begum in β€œSamadhi”).

Compare the previous song to Pamela Chopra’s β€œMain Sasural Nahin Jaaoongi”. This track is dull in comparison. The chief reason is Pamela’s rendition. It wasn’t until her β€œGhar Aaja Pardesi” (β€œDilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”) that her voice had improved tremendously.

Chopra’s romantic tales are not complete without the mystical drizzle of rain. The rain turns into tears for Suresh Wadhkar who reminisces about a long lost love in β€œLagi Aaj Saawan Ke Phir Woh Jadi Hai”. The rain that falls today also fell on that memorable day in the past. A strong use of the flute sets up an emotional mood. Suresh effectively expresses the longing and sadness. The brief humming by Anupama Deshpande adds to the haunting atmosphere.

But Shiv-Hari want to show us that there is a happier side to the rain and conjure up β€œParbat Se Kali Ghata Takrayee” (Asha Bhosle, Vinod Rathod). The infectious childlike singing by Asha shows us that she could also portray the sassy star quality of Sridevi as well as Lata and Kavita Krishnamurthy. The use of music is also quite dramatic if you listen to it carefully. It’s as if the music directors wanted to compensate for the quiet and serene quality of the previous rain song.

Sridevi is given an opportunity to sing in β€œChandni Main Teri Chandni”. I wish she had not bothered accepting this opportunity. She tries so hard to be entertaining that her singing falls flat. She ruins the entire song and to be honest without her, this track could have been so much better. As a result,

Jolly Mukherjee’s attempt at salvaging the piece is in vain.

A sense of romantic dedication is portrayed in β€œAa Meri Jaan Main Tujhme Apni Jaan Rakhdoon” (Lata Mangeshkar). What is particularly touching is Anand Bakshi’s lyrics, which bring across the passion of a committed lover. β€œTere hothon pe apni muskaan rakhdoon” The stirring ending has Lata whispering the main line in a melancholic tone, which will certainly have a lot of listeners sniffling.

The tranquil β€œMitwa”, sung by Lata and Babla Mehta, seems like a tribute to Switzerland. And why not? Hindi cinema owes a debt to the country for helping to capture the imagination of millions in their love stories. Never had Sridevi looked as beautiful as she does in the picturization of this song where she roams around the gorgeous locales of Switzerland in her classy saris. The little known Babla is put in the shade by Lata’s stunning rendition.

If β€œMitwa” reminds one of Switzerland then another song will remind you of Delhi. β€œMehboooooba!” shouts Vinod Rathod. β€œDelhi shaher main Chandni naam ek ladki mujhse milli, Us ki jheel ke aankhon main dil mera dhooba, Bani woh meri” Lata seems to agree. β€œBani main teri mehbooba!” Just like the way that β€œParbat Se Kali Ghata” is completely opposite to β€œLagi Aaj Saawan”, the loud and catchy β€œMehbooba” is the perfect antidote to the slow and endearing β€œMitwa”. Vinod and Lata lose all their inhibitions in their singing and have fun, which ignites a lovely chemistry between the two.

β€œTu Mujhe Suna Main Tujhe Sunaoon Apni Prem Kahani” (Suresh and Nitin Mukesh) is the final song in the album. It has a nice hummable tune but otherwise the track is nothing special. There could have been a better choice of male singers as the voices of Suresh and Nitin sound quite bizarre when they sing together. Their voices seem to clash rather than come together harmoniously. I put part of the blame on the nasal qualities of Nitin’s voice.

Listening to this album makes me miss Anand Bakshi even more. He was an excellent lyricist. Actually, he was not a lyricist but a poet. He was adept at conveying the soulful depths of true love, which made Yash Chopra’s love stories immortal. May he rest in peace.

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