Planet Bollywood
Bombay to Bangkok
 
Producer: Subhash Ghai, Elahe Hiptoola, Rahul Puri (Mukta Arts)
Director: Nagesh Kukunoor
Starring: Shreyas Talpade, Lina Christianson, Vikram Inamdar, Yatin Karyekar, Naseruddin Shah, Vijay Maurya, Manmeet Singh, Janeva Talwar
Music: Pritam, Ronnie Shirish, Salim-Suleiman, Sukhwinder Singh
Lyrics: Mir Ali, Ibrahim Ashq, Shabbir Ahmed
Singers: K.K., Lena Christensen, Shreyas Talpade, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Zubeen Garg
Audio On: T-Series    Number of Songs: 6
Album Released on: December 2007
Reviewed by: Samir Dave  - Rating: 7.5 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.17 / 10 (rated by 400 listeners)
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Filmmaker/Director Nagesh Kukunoor shot to fame with his directorial debut, “Hyderabad Blues” which took the box office by storm when it was released. Since then, he’s directed films like “Hyderabad Blues 2” (the less said about that the better), the excellent “Rockford”, the so-so “Bollywood Calling”, the thrilling “Teen Deewarein”, the amazing “Iqbal”, and the thought provoking “Dor”. What sets this filmmaker apart from others is that he not only directs, but also has written the screenplay for each of his movies. Now, comes his latest film, “Bombay to Bangkok” (produced by Mukta Arts) which showcases the comedic talent of Shreyas Talpade, the actor who is quickly becoming the most versatile of the new generation. The film promises to be a madcap comedic adventure of a displaced Indian man who finds himself in the strange foreign land of Bangkok. How will he survive? How will he handle falling in love with a Thai woman played by Thai actress Lena Christensen (“Sars Wars”, “Devil Species”, and the “Scorpion Warrior” series)? We’ll have to watch the film to find out!

Now, the movie itself is a madcap comedy, but what kind of soundtrack will it have? Will it be silly and catchy like “Partner”? Will it be romantic and youthful like, “Jab We Met”? Well, if Kukunoor’s previous film soundtracks are any example, it seems that “Bombay to Bangkok” will be an eclectic album.

For the soundtrack, there is not one, not two, not three, but five composers working on being creative. Pritam (“Jab We Met”) , newcomer Ronnie Shirish, Salim-Suleiman (“Partner”) and Sukhwinder Singh (“Iqbal”) try their utmost to put their best dancing foot forward.

Never let it be said dear readers, that I don’t go the distance for these reviews. I wish that I had the budget to fly to Bangkok to provide you with the true ambiance for this review. Alas, I am a poor writer and so have instead gone to the next best thing. I have taken my laptop to my favorite Thai restaurant and will be enjoying some tasty pad thai and panang while listening to “Bombay to Bangkok”! So, on that note, let’s fire up the I-PHONE and start listening to this soundtrack…

Break out those dhotis; hike them above your knees, elbows out and arms in the air to dance the night away with this first track, “Bombay to Bangkok”! Composed by Sukhwinder Singh (with lyrics by Ibrahim Ashq) the track is infectious and relentless in its energy. This is Sukhwinder doing what he does best, singing folk-dance fusion songs. Starting with the command, “Chill out now”, the music takes on a middle-eastern-marathi-lavani fusion sound. Sukhwinder Singh’s vocals are topnotch. I don’t think that anyone could resist hiking their dhotis and getting on the dance floor while listening to this track. What makes this track work is the melody and relentless percussive beat. I can almost picture Shreyas Talpade dancing to this one on his way from Bombay to Bangkok. This tune sounds like something from a classic Amitabh movie, and it’s a nice break from all the usual Euro-Techno-Trance-Dance fare. By the end you’ll be, “feeling funky and downright nasty”. Be Indian, be proud, listen to this song and shout out, “PAD THAI”!


After a nice, energetic beginning to the album, I hesitantly hoped that the fun would continue. Too many times, I’ve had the experience where the first song on a soundtrack is really good, but the quality just drops from there. I especially almost dropped my fork full of pad thai when I saw that Pritam composed this second track, “Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwala”. It’s not a bad track, but I got such a sense of déjà vu while listening to this song. Aha! Pritam, you sly devil you! The song is a reworking of “Falak Dekhun” from “Garam Masala”! Almost had me! Sonu Nigam does what he does best, and one can’t find fault with his or Sunidhi Chauhan’s singing. Musically, we get a salsa-dance mixture with Pritam’s trademark soft melody. It’s fast paced, and just barely should make it on your playlist. Shabbir Ahmed’s lyrics are ok. Go listen to “Falak Dekhun”, then listen to this track and have some “RED CURRY”!

After Pritam’s track, I was wondering whether the soundtrack would continue with familiar sounding tracks or have something original. I’m happy to say that track three,“Dheere Dheere” is the latter. It’s composed by the new comer Ronnie Shirish, and he steals the show. An infectious keyboard sequence is threaded throughout the song that combines with a youthful and catchy melody. Zubeen Garg brings his best to this song that is his most memorable performance since his track “Ya Ali” from “Gangster”. It’s a classic sounding, yet modern track that has great replay value. The lyrics by Mir Ali are straightforward and sweet. Add this one to your playlist NOW. I’ll wait till you do. Play this loud, sing off-key and have some “PANANG”!

Track four is the crazily jubilant and strangely catchy, “Same Same But Different” composed by Salim-Suleiman. The lyrics are meaningless fun, and K.K. handles the vocals effortlessly. Shreyas Talpade and Lena Christensen add a comedic element by reciting dialogues throughout the song (example: Lena says pad thai and Shreyas responds, dal fry or garam garam chai) that point out the differences between an Indian man and a Thai woman. Have some basil noodles, try to fall in love with a Thai girl and shout sweetly to her, “SWADHIKAB”! (Or if you are a lady, fall in love with a Thai guy and shout sweetly to him, “SWADHIKA”!)

Ahhh…let’s break a moment from this review and dream about Phuket (now, now, that’s not a dirty word, but a beautiful destination in Thailand. Tsk tsk.). I’m typing this review and having some Thai mango sticky rice for desert.

Ok, back to the review. This surprisingly entertaining soundtrack is also surprisingly short with only four songs. The album is rounded off with two remixes. “Same Same But Different” has its beats pumped up to suit the frenetic energy of the dance floor and “Dheere Dheere” has a gentle remix that adds slightly heavier percussive rhythm. The remixes won’t leave any lasting impressions on the listener.


All in all, the soundtrack delivers what it set out to do, that is, it’s entertaining to the max. The one outstanding track on the album is “Dheere Dheere” by Ronnie Shirish and I look forward to hearing future compositions from him. Sukhwinder Singh impresses, Pritam under-achieves, and Salim-Suleiman inject some comedy. Definitely add “Dheere Dheere” and “Bombay to Bangkok” to your playlist. As for the others, perhaps it’s best to listen to them once in awhile. One thing is for sure, the soundtrack does what any good soundtrack should do, it makes the listener look forward to seeing the movie when it releases.

Now, that I have taken this musical journey with you and finished my Thai food, I bid you Sawatdi (goodbye) and I’m sure I’ll laew phob gan mai (see you again).

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