Planet Bollywood
Producer: Lucky Star
Director: Dr. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi
Starring: Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpai, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sanjay Suri, Sandali Sinha, Ishaa Koppikar, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Lillette Dubey, Farida Jalal, Alok Nath and Seema Biswas
Music: Uttam Singh
Lyrics: Gulzar (and Amrita Pritam and Zehra Nigah)
Singers: Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sadhna Sargam, Udit Narayan, Jaspinder Narula, Preeti Uttam, Jagjit Singh, Suresh Wadkar, Wadali Brothers, Amay Date, Nihar S., Roop Kumar Rathod and Uttam Singh
Audio On: Sa Re Ga Ma    Number of Songs: 9
Album Released on: September 2003
Reviewed by: Narbir Gosal  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 411 listeners)
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Take note folks, this is not another partition drama. Pinjar (meaning skeleton) is the big screen adaptation of Amrita Pritam┬┤s highly acclaimed novel, which focuses on the affect the partition had on women. With a powerful star cast, great script and some hype the film is all ready for release. When it came to music the choice had to be Uttam Singh, after all he gave an authentic Punjabi feel to the

Gadar soundtrack, here he does it again but the results are a mixed bag. While his upbeat tunes boast of great compositions, some of the sad songs are really slow and at times boring. Luckily with the help of Gulzar┬┤s powerful lyrics and some mesmerizing singing the album manages to leave an impression.

The album opens with Shaba Ni Shaba, a celebratory number sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sadhna Sargam and Udit Narayan. The track is foot tapping and should catch on well with the masses. Uttam Singh┬┤s composition is authentic thanks to the many signature Punjabi instruments, although the back-up chorus singers weren┬┤t needed. Kavita and Sadhna both do an awesome job with their vocal portions, they both hold their own. Udit makes an appearance towards the end of the song and also does a decent job. Gulzar┬┤s lyrics fit the song perfectly, keeping with the mood of the track. This one will have you up and dancing in no time.

Maar Udari follows, and like the previous song this one is another upbeat number. Jaspinder Narula and Preeti Uttam rule the song with their vivacious renditions. While both of these singers have been keeping a low profile of late, they make a great comeback here. Amay Date and Nihar S. provide good support but are over shadowed by the lead females. Uttam Singh goes back to punjabi grass roots and the result is great. With a fast paced beat and those sweeping flute interludes the song should have you tapping your fingers on the first listen. Gulzar hits a home run again with his lyrics, putting a spin on the classic ┬┤Chidian Da Khamba┬┤ number and coming up with some fresh words for a great song.

The only other track that keeps a somewhat upbeat theme is Darda Marya which is both a serious and a happy song rolled into one. The Wadali Brothers handle the more serious parts of the song and really surprise with their vocal range. Jaspinder Narula gets the lighter portions of the song which are actually ┬┤mukhdas┬┤ of traditional punjabi numbers. Together their vocals give the song a very rustic ambience thanks to the unconventional sound of their voices. Uttam Singh┬┤s composition is fast paced and at times dramatic, but manages to keep it together for the most part. Gulzar┬┤s lyrics are the glue for the song, the portions sung by the Wadali Brothers are beautifully penned, while the selections he has made for Jaspinder┬┤s portions flow well with the song.

The piece de resistance of the album has to be Haath Choote sung by

Jagjit Singh and Preeti Uttam. The pain and suffering that Jagjit Singh displays in his voice add melancholy to the already sad song. Without his voice this song would loose all of it┬┤s affect on the listener, the song is worth a listen just for his rendition alone. Preeti makes a special appearance in the song adding a haunting effect in the background. The composition itself is ok, slow and foreboding, it┬┤s not instantly gratifying. Gulzar┬┤s lyrics more than make up for it. His poetry is stunning, and will tug at your heart strings.

The sadness of Haath Choote is nothing in front of the utterly depressing Vatna Ve sung by Roop Kumar Rathod and Uttam Singh. Lyrically it┬┤s a very heart breaking song that will bring a tear to your eye. Gulzar┬┤s writing creativity is astounding. Uttam Singh┬┤s instrumental arrangement is okay, not great, but luckily he is saved by good singing and great lyrics. Roop Kumar and Uttam both do a great job with singing. Roop Kumar get┬┤s more vocal time and makes the best of it leaving his mark.

Preeti Uttam gets her chance to shine in the Shabad which has traditional lyrics. Not much can be said for the Hymn except for Preeti┬┤s spine tingling

rendition. The ease with which she stretches and then holds a note is fantastic, she really adds dimension to the song.

In addition to these numbers, the audio of Pinjar also has three poems put to music. The first of the three is Charkha Chalati Maa sung by Preeti Uttam and written by Amrita Pritam (who wrote the novel Pinjar). The song is an ode to women all around the world and is beautifully written, although at times sad. Preeti┬┤s rendition is near flawless although some of her high notes can get screechy. The composition is really nothing to write home about. Amrita Pritam also wrote Waris Shah Nu which is sung by the Wadali Brothers and Preeti Uttam. The song has virtually no composition to speak of and for that reason the beautiful poetry comes across much better. The rendition is, again, superb. However the star of the show is the poetry which is conveyed magnificently.

Sita Ko Dekhe is the last of the three poems. Lyrically it┬┤s just as stunning as the previous two poems, however the composition is a bit flat and comes off as very boring. Luckily Sadhna Sargam and Suresh Wadkar save the day with decent performances which help the song go the extra distance.

Pinjar is a definite must have for those of you who appreciate really good poetry. As with all soundtracks where Gulzar pens the lyrics, this one is magnificent. And if Gulzar┬┤s lyrics aren┬┤t enough, Zehra Nigah and Amrita Pritam┬┤s poetry is an added bonus. Uttam Singh may not have done the greatest of jobs with his music arrangements but he does have winners with Shaba Ni Shaba and Maar Udari which are upbeat and likeable. While he may have not been as consistent with the rest of the album, his singers more than make up for it. Haath Choote is stunning thanks to Jagjit Singh and Preeti Uttam is fantastic in

Charkha Chalati Maa. All in all buy it for great vocal renditions and extraordinary poetry, you won┬┤t be disappointed.

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