Raajneeti is genuinely one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year (unlike over-hyped and over-rated trash such as the recent “Housefull”). With a director like Prakash Jha at the helm who has a strong pedigree in this genre and a stellar cast (including the director’s favourite Ajay Devgan and Nana Patekar) to befit several movies let alone one, Raajneeti is expected to portray the reality of politics in a way that has never been seen before. But what about the music? Apart from the background score (by Wayne Sharpe) which will be important, can the songs promote or add any value to such a movie? Based on Prakash Jha’s previous films the answer must be a resounding no and this theory is further compelled by the late arrival of this soundtrack (the movie is released in a few weeks!) but regardless of expectations, let’s find out…
Hmm, browsing the CD cover you wonder what on earth Pritam is doing here? Either way he’s responsible for the romantic opener called “Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si”. This is the type of song Pritam churns out in droves to act as ‘filler’ in case people approach him for the odd song. But there’s nothing new or fresh here to keep you interested. The best part of the song is the singing by Mohit Chauhan and Antara Mitra although worryingly, both voices sound software modulated particularly Antara’s! Lyrics by Irshad Kamil are mundane. Overall the words 'yawn' and 'skip' spring to mind. But that's the risk you take when you put together a soundtrack from random composers. Saying that Pritam fans will no doubt lap it up!
Thankfully things improve with the next song “Mora Piya” by Aadesh Shrivastava. Now here’s a composer with talent but sadly lacking any decent music of late. But he puts Pritam’s effort to shame with his own take on the romantic genre. Aadesh has always been competent with traditional / devotional music (listen to his music for 'Dev' as proof) but here he brings a modern touch to that aspect with the aid of peppy beats and whisper quiet English background vocals by Rosalie Nicholson. However it’s Aadesh’s own emotional rendition that is most impressive along with the background doom tana chanting by Shashi! Lyrics by Sameer are decent. This is definitely worth listening to although chances are you will forget it quickly.
If you enjoy the original be sure to catch the two remixes appearing later in the soundtrack. The first is “Trance Remix” with vocals by Kavita Seth. The second is “Twilight Remix”. Both are wiked remixes by Deep and DJ Chantz.
Inevitably it’s left to the main composer Wayne Sharpe to save the soundtrack and his composition called “Dhan Dhan Dharti” is undoubtedly the best and most refreshing song here. Starting off with the flute, it moves onto a marching type melody that provokes a sense of patriotism. Shankar Mahadevan’s sincere but soft vocals are perfect for such an occasion and he does the song proud. Equally good are the lyrics by Gulzar which deserve appreciation, befitting of a film concerned about the impact of ‘Raajneeti’ on the soil of India. This is the kind of song you can see appearing in the end credits of the movie...in other words good for the movie but again restricted for the listener.
Very few singers if any can outdo Shankar Mahadevan in this form but Sonu Nigam is one such performer who can outdo the best of the best! In Wayne Sharpe’s “Dhan Dhani Dharti Reprise” he is superb but you don’t expect anything less from THE singer of our generation. His emotional rendition is simply head and shoulders above anything else on this soundtrack. Recommended!
Don’t be fooled or disappointed by the soundtrack. Yes it’s a mixed bag for sure but Raajneeti the film was never meant to feature superb songs, in fact one wonders how many of these songs will make it into the final production. Those that do will surely sound better on screen than as a stand alone attraction (although the remixes are enjoyable). Otherwise Prakash Jha will rely on a good background score by Wayne Sharpe together with fine performances and a tight script to give it a good chance of success at the box office.