Boo! Itâs what your friendly neighborhood ghost would say, and what I as a music reviewer have to say towards Vishal and Shekarâs latest soundtrack, âBhootnathâ. The usually cutting edge music directors, this time fail on all fronts to provide even one memorable track for this spiritual movie about a ghost that befriends a child (Perhaps the title of the album should have been âBhoolnathâ. âTare Zameen Parâ and Shankar Ehsaan and Loy recently showed us that a child-centric movie could still have truly memorable music. Sadly, the lesson doesnât seem to have been learned and instead we get a woefully miscast music director duo known for their hip ânâ happening soundtracks attempting to soften their creative style to fit this family film. Whereas V&Sâs âTashanâ was mildly enjoyable in that have too much to drink and dance in the club kind of way, âBhootnathâ simply scares away the listeners with uninspired music. To add fuel to the missed opportunity fire, Javed Akhtar has provided the lyrics.
âBhootnathâ is produced by Ravi Chopra (director of âBaghbanâ) and directed by former assistant director (âSirâ) and now full-fledged director Vivek Sharma. The film is aimed squarely as a feel good family movie. Incidentally, Ravi Chopra usually has Aadesh Srivastava as the music director for his films; letâs see if the change to V&S was a smart move on the part of the producer.
If you are going to get an actor to play a cranky ghost who befriends a little boy, then Amitabh Bachchan is the perfect choice. Chirpy Juhi Chawla returns to the silver screen as the boyâs mother, and Aman Siddiqui plays the little lad himself. Take the premise of an old U.S. television show called, âThe Ghost and Mrs. Muirâ wherein the cranky ghost befriends and falls in love with the widow who moves into his home with her children, and âCasperâ the friendly ghost who is beloved by children all over the world and you get the basic gist of the screenplay for âBhootnathâ.
So letâs pull out the white sheet and scare the beejeezus out of all the people around us as we listen to this soundtrack and dance like giddy kids while shouting, âBOO YAH!â
The first track, âMere Buddyâ is as cringe inducing as it sounds. V&S were aiming at sentimental cuteness but instead come up with a song that is trying to ploddingly manipulate the listener to feel some emotion. Amitabh Bachchanâs vocals are in his usual low key almost talking style. The child vocalist, Arman Mallik is ok. Lyrics by Akhtar are not bad, but cannot rise above the mediocrity of the song itself. A great big, âBOOâ to this track!
The second track, âHum to Hain Aandhiâ features four child vocalists (Aparna Bhagwat, Sneha Suresh, Sharavan Suresh and Koushtuv Ghosh) singing an interesting vocal jugalbandi that might have been a fun song had the music truly measured up. Alas, this second track also doesnât stand a ghost of a chance at the charts, as it wonât make you press the repeat button. Whatâs going on V&S? You are capable of better than this. Javed Akhtarâs lyrics once again rise or float above the music, but canât save this song. Another, âBOO YAH!â!
The third track, âBanku Bhaiyaâ is arguably the catchiest of the album and thatâs because of the lively and playful vocals by the excellent Sukhwinder Singh! Unfortunately the music (which has a typical folk pattern and lackluster instrumentation) and lyrics are pretty run of the mill with not much creativity evident. Worth a listen or two simply for Sukhwinderâs always amazing vocals. One could argue that this track is kind of âBOO-TIFULâ!
The fourth track in this ghastly non-spiritual experience is, âSamay Ka Pahiyaâ, a quiet sad tune that again just doesnât catch the listenerâs ear. The lyrics by Javed Akhtar are quite poetic; however, Hariharan seems to be less than inspired in his bored by the book rendition. Oh, and least I forget, the big Bâoo himself chimes in for a few lines. You wonât be shaking your sad âBOO-TYâ to this one!
And now, inexplicably between the new tracks, we interrupt this spooky soundtrack to bring you (by spiritual popular demand), a reprise of the first track, âMere Buddyâ. Need I say more?
The sixth track, Chalo Jaane Doâ painfully ends this duller than a white sheet soundtrack. The melody for some reason reminds me of, âMain Yahan Tu Wahanâ, from the âBaghbanâ soundtrack. Perhaps itâs the low scale vocals by Amitabh Bachchan, but thatâs where the similarities end, for where âMain Yahan Tu Wahanâ was emotionally touching, â'Chalo Jaane Doâ fails to achieve the heights to which it aspires to. Perhaps the only thing worth mentioning on this track is the debut of chirpy Juhi Chawa who provides the female vocals. YIKES! Sorry, I got the scare of my life, as somehow I get the feeling that the song has been sung by Uncle Amitabh and Aunty Chawla. Youâll be crying âBOO-HOOâ after this one.
Track sevenâs ghostly atmosphere canât be claimed by V&S, but rather by those clever music director/background scorers Salim-Sulaiman. The theme for âBhootnathâ is suitably fitting. It is what it is and doesnât strive for more. I guess you might play it, if you want to creep your girlfriend or boyfriend out.
I have to say again, that Shankar, Ehsaan, and Loy really showed with âTare Zameen Parâ that a soundtrack for a child centric soundtrack does not have to hit you on the head by being overly by the books cute. If a ghost that looks like Amitabh Bachchan came up to me and started singing âMere Buddyâ, Iâd think he was a pervert and run the other way.
V&S truly dropped the ball on this one, and I donât know if this is because of too much involvement by Ravi Chopra, a lack of directive vision by the director Vivek Sharma or simply because the music directors are out of their element. One would think that with talent like Amitabh Bachchan, Hariharan, Sukhwinder Singh, lyricist Javed Akhtar and the admirable vocals of Juhi Chawla, the music director duo would have been able to let their creative juices flow. Unfortunately, âBhootnathâ is just a blip that will fade away faster than a ghostly scare. Donât bother hiding under the white sheets for this one; itâs a ghostly disaster that whimpers a mediocre, âBOOâ.