Farah Khan loves the seventies! If the choreographer-turned-director's debut Main Hoon Naa saw her parody the swinging era, her latest Om Shanti Om, too, time travels all the way from 2007 to 1977 to explore her favourite decade in its hey day.
A full-blown musical set within the film industry and involving a reincarnation theme, Om Shanti Om, with its clever title and chromatic glory promises to be quite the cracker this Diwali.
While Shah Rukh Khan leads the brat pack, Arjun Rampal and Shreyas Talpade also star in this November 9 release (Yup, same day as Sanjay Leela Bhansali's grand opus Saawariya), which introduces model-turned-actress, Deepika Padukone on the big screen.
The bright, young duo of Vishal-Shekhar whip up an eclectic soundtrack against Javed Akhtar's imaginative penmanship, which is both nifty and retro. It might not be path breaking stuff but it's still really good. Instead of relying on old tunes and stretching their lingering memory, the pair formulates fresh sounds that are inspiring and lilting.
The album begins with the melting Ajab Si in KK's silvery voice about an awe-struck, starry-eyed romantic oozing poetry, penned impressively by Vishal, for his stunning lady love. The sheer velvety quality of its notes and smooth arrangement is akin to the melodious magic of Jhankaar Beats' Suno Na.
On screen, SRK shows off his brilliantly-PRed six pack and shirtless avatar, while behind the scenes Sukhwinder Singh brings the studio down with his red-hot rendition of Dard-e-Disco. Despite its snazzy middle eastern influences, Vishal-Shekhar maintain a moderate percussion, leaving ample breathing space for the singer to spread his vocal wings. DJ Aqueel's zingy remix of Disco is high on zing and bound to enjoy a long run at clubs and discotheques.
The opening zig-zag strain tarrying all through the track is super catchy and adds bounce and attitude to the bubbly Deewangi Deewangi. The song pays a tribute to Naseeb's John Jaani Janardan what with practically half of Bollywood, from Dharmendra to Karisma Kapoor, making a special appearance.
That it has a tang 'rainbow' remix, goes without saying. Like the name suggests, the techno-washed version is loaded with colourful beats and infectious verve. Ditto for Om Shanti Om medley mix, which features bits and pieces from the entire album.
Main Agar Kahoon is a full-fledged piano number laced in fairy-tale romance, which works as the central theme of Om Shanti Om. Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghosal are appropriately sweetness-personified in this music-box track.
Taking a break from the vibrant mood of the album so far, Jag Soona Soona Laga charges on the unprepared listener's senses with its heartbreaking starkness and haunting melody. Richa Sharma's Punjabi delivery coupled with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's ardent cry ensures Jag Soona will find a place in a compilation of Javed Akhtar's sad ditties.
The flamboyant memories of Laxmikant-Pyarelal and R D Burman's 1970s are brought back in Dhoom Taana variating from daflis and drums to rock 'n' roll. While watching Shah Rukh and Deepika mock Teesri Manzil, Humjoli or Himmatwala, sounds like fun on celluloid, this one's not so much of a Dhoom on stereo.
Daastan-e-Om Shanti Om with its dramatic effusion and sizzling orchestra (The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra) recounts a reborn man's bitter saga of love and betrayal. Heavily influenced by Karz's immortal Ek Haseena Thi, sans the iconic guitar play though, in narrative and format, Dastaan is rocking in its own right.
Though Shaan's rendering might not be 'tough guy' stuff, he conveys the angst of his protagonist only too well. Sadly, the Dark Side mix by Zoheb, Nikhil Chinapa and DJ Naweb with all it's electronic tinkering is not a patch on the theatrical original.
Finally, Om Shanti Om is an out and out musical that captivates with its roaring polyphony and unabashed drama.