Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the multiplex, along comes apna Bollywood remake of the Hollywood hit “Bruce Almighty” (starring Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman). Our desi version is called, “God, Tussi Great Ho” and stars the actor that the masses love to laugh at (or with depending on how you look at it) Salman Khan in the lead role. Though Salman is definitely not the Jim Carrey of India, it will be interesting to see him trying his best to be funny as a man who gets to be God for a few days. Stepping into the role originated by Morgan Freeman is Amitabh Bachchan. I mean, after all, who else would be powerful enough to play the almighty? Rounding out this trio of Hollwood to Bollywood casting is Priyanka Chopra ala Jennifer Aniston who plays the lead character’s love interest. Remember, this film has been Bollywoodasized ™ ! Take the original, and blend it at super ice crushing speed (don’t forget to add a shot of Bombay Gin) with apna Indian sensibilities and voila, you have a mighty funny remake that is strangely familiar!
Honestly, I think that Salman is getting lazy in his choices of roles, as he tends to fall back on the tried and true vaudeville comedy shtick all too often. It’s time for him to try his hand at different kinds of roles, or he will quickly be typecast. But enough of my commentary on Salman Khan’s career track. Let’s fill you in quickly on some more info about this potential blockbuster. This film is directed by David Dhawan’s frequent writer-collaborator Rumi Jaffrey and is produced by Afzal Khan (distributed by EROS Entertainment). Music has been released on the T-Series label and the music directors are (drum roll please) Sajid-Wajid (“Partner”, “Mujshe Shaadi Karogi” and more recently the song “Soniye Ve (Dhak Dhak Dhak)” from “Kismat Konnection”).
There’s one thing that you should put out of your mind immediately, this is not “Partner” part two in any way, shape or form. That album was incredibly entertaining and energetic, with each track becoming very addictive to listen to. “God, Tussi Great Ho” is entertaining, but doesn’t have that same energy or instant likeability. Instead we get a few good tracks and a few okay ones. You’ll see why, as we go through the review of each track.
The first track on the album, “Let’s Party” to me signifies what is wrong with Bollywood music today. It’s what I call a factory track in that there’s nothing at all fresh about it, and it sounds like any other cookie cutter dance track that we’ve heard numerous times over the years. There’s nothing wrong with familiarity, but the track just isn’t that memorable. You listen to it, you may groove to it, but I doubt you’ll be rushing to hit that back (repeat) button on your IPOD. The vocals are provided by the ever dependable Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan, who are clearly in their element, yet even they cannot bring any more excitement to this song. Musically Sajid-Wajid arrange a disco funk beat with the requisite bloops and bleeps. Lyrics, by Jalees Sherwani are just about okay, but do not show any flair for creativity. It’s not bad, but it’s not great. Expect this one to be on the charts for a bit, before it pulls a fast fade from the public consciousness. Do you wanna party!?!? Hmm…ok, “Let’s Party” but I have to be home by ten tonight or my parents will phreak!
“God Tussi Great Ho” is the title track on the album and I’m sure will spotlight a power struggle jugalbandi between Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, as the lyrics by Shabbir Ahmed and Sajid Farhad suggest. It’s an okay track by Sajid-Wajid that is pleasant to listen to, but that’s just about it. Sonu Nigaam modulates to his Salman Khan voice and Shankar Mahadevan provides the vocals for Amitabh as the all-powerful God. The music is the standard electro-dhol background music that we hear all over the place. It’s not catchy, it’s not bad, and it just gets me a little bit sad that the music directors couldn’t come up with something more original and fresh. “Oh God, tussi great ho, par yeh song great nahin hai.”
Next up we have arguably the best song on the soundtrack, “Tumko Dekha” which sounds just like a pleasant Bombay Viking’s track. That could be because that group’s lead singer Neeraj Shridhar provides the smooth vocals. He lifts this track to another level with his melodious singing that is accentuated by his partner on this track, Shreya Ghoshal. There’s a pop like quality to the music that is really pleasing to the ear. This one has the magic that the other tracks are missing. The music arrangement is well done, with soft percussion, keyboard playing, and hushed background vocals to support the lead singers. Gently move closer to your loved one and move together like a gentle swaying breeze as this song plays in the background. The well-written lyrics are by Jelees Sherwani who hits the bull’s-eye with this one. Add this to your playlist right away. You’ll be whispering in your lover’s ear… “Tumko dekha……”
Come with me my friends to a simple time when lal chunariya’s could make a man’s heart skip a beat and make him innocently lust after the love of his life. Come back to a simpler time when mostly all the best songs on any soundtrack were sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik. It was a time where club was a dirty word and instead we would giggle as we dance around the trees. Remember that innocence? Well the fifth track, “Lal Chunariya” will take you back to simpler times. Sajid-Wajid put together a more traditional track that relies on pure Indian melody. It has a very familiar feel to it, which detracts a bit from completely enjoying the track. The most I can say is that it’s unobtrusive. You won’t immediately fall in love with it, but give it a chance and it just might grow on you. Deven Shukla keeps the lyrics simple and straightforward. Not a blockbuster track, but one that is pleasant to listen to. Make sure you are absolutely sure about your girl, before you play this song and sing along, “Lal Chunariya…”
“God, Tussi Great Ho” is definitely a mixed bag, and I feel that Sajid-Wajid could have and should have done better. They are obviously capable of it, but somewhere along the line, what should have been a fun and uproarious soundtrack instead transforms into a somewhat average soundtrack with a been there done that feel to it. About the only track that’s really worth adding to your playlist and keeping it there is “Tumko Dekha”, other than that…you might want to add “Lal Chunariya”, but only if you are fans of that chunarrific genre. The rest is so-so and quite forgettable. God is truly great, but this soundtrack is far from it.