Business rating: 1/5 stars
Star cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Soha Ali Khan, Mrinalini Sharma, Mohan Kapur.
What’s Good: The first half; the acting of most of the artistes; the songs.
What’s Bad: The post-interval portion which is devoid of emotions.
Verdict: Soundtrack is a good film but the second half ought to have been far better. It will not do much at the ticket windows.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Watch Soundtrack for the performances and the pre-interval part.
Saregama India Ltd.’s Soundtrack (A) is the story of a musician and DJ, Raunak Kaul (Rajeev Khandelwal). He is a small-town man who comes to Bombay to pursue his dream of becoming a renowned musician. His father, Parth Kaul, was also a musician who had met with an untimely end because of his love for alcohol. Raunak’s mother fears that he, too, would go his father’s way and, therefore, is not happy about his coming to Bombay.
Raunak initially lives with his paternal uncle (Yatin Karyekar) in Bombay. Charlie (Mohan Kapur), the owner of a club in Bombay, where Raunak works as a DJ, sees the potential in Raunak and decides to make him a household name. He even gets Raunak a film assignment. Raunak, who now has a girlfriend, Shonali (Mrinalini Sharma), loves consuming alcohol, doing drugs and indulging in unsafe sex, besides making music. All his excesses and exposure to continual loud music lead to Raunak losing his power of hearing almost completely. Obviously, he can’t compose music because he can’t hear properly. He falls from the pride of place he enjoys as a DJ. He is also unable to fulfil Charlie’s commitment to deliver the film song.
Raunak consults a doctor who asks him to abstain from all his vices and warns him that he may completely lose his ability to hear because of damage to his inner ears. Frustrated and battling his internal demons, Raunak does all he can to get his power to hear back, including locking himself up in isolation for days on end. But he fails. He becomes completely deaf and accepts life without sound. He then consults Gauri (Soha Ali Khan) who herself is deaf but who teaches him the art of reading lips and comprehending what people are talking. He becomes very fond of Gauri. One day, he realises that he can sense music by feeling the pulsating beats via his hands. And from thereon changes Raunak’s life. He composes a song in spite of his disability and the album becomes a rage. He even presents a live show where he sings to the tune composed by himself, merely by putting his foot on the speaker which is blaring the music.
Soundtrack Review: Script Analysis
Remake of the Hollywood film, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, this one has a first half which shows the rise of musician Raunak Kaul. The post-interval portion is devoted to Raunak coming to terms with his deafness and how he strikes back.
The first half is engaging and interesting. It also has sex for the front-benchers. The second half, however, is not half as impactful. This is because although writers Neerav Ghosh, Rajiv Gopalakrishnan and Chintan Gandhi have captured the frustrations of a musician who loses his ability to make music because he goes deaf, they have not been able to bring out his emotions and the sentimental reaction of his family members and friends. In fact, the first half prepares the audience for a tearful second half but the emotions just don’t come through. Consequently, the viewer feels cheated after interval. Also, the drama, which had the potential of becoming an intense tear-jerker, remains an ordinary story of a musician who fought odds to continue his career. The hair-raising element is missing in his comeback. Likewise, the scene in which the public applauds Raunak when he performs live despite his disability, fails to draw tears from the viewers’ eyes. In short, the comeback of Raunak is not upto the mark. The track of Gauri teaching Raunak is weak. Perhaps, what goes against the drama is that after a point of time, Raunak and his near and dear ones easily accept his loss of hearing ability. Even Raunak’s fooling with his little cousin and with Gauri robs the drama of its emotional appeal in the second half. Dialogues, penned by Neerav Ghosh, Rajiv Gopalakrishnan and Chintan Gandhi, are alright.
Soundtrack Review: Performances
Rajeev Khandelwal does a very good job. He plays Raunak Kaul with understanding and projects his frustrations aptly. Soha Ali Khan acts ably and makes her presence felt in a brief role. Mrinalini Sharma also does well. Mohan Kapur is pretty effective as Charlie. Yatin Karyekar gives a good account of himself. Ankur Tewari (as guitarist) and Siddharth Coutto (as drummer) lend fair support. Surinder Rajan leaves a mark as Makarand Chacha. Manu Rishi Chadha is okay as the doctor. Anurag Kashyap makes his presence felt. Adhir Bhat acts well in the role of Johny Joker. Rekha Desai fails to impress as Raunak’s mother. Rajat Kaul is okay as DJ Sonic. Krutika Desai, Soni and Anisa add a touch of glamour as the three angels of Tango Charlie Club. Anu Malik, (VJ) Bani, (RJ) Malishka, (music director) Salim Merchant, (DJ) Aqeel and (singer) Kailash Kher play themselves well.
Soundtrack Review: Direction & Music
Neerav Ghosh’s direction is of a good standard. Although this is his maiden attempt at direction, he handles the film with the flourish of a seasoned director. However, he has faltered in exploiting the emotional potential of the drama. Music (Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale) is good and some songs are even very hummable but the requirements of the film about music and a musician were twofold – super-hit music and extremely popular music. Neither are the songs super-hit nor have they been popularised well enough. ‘Banao’, ‘Fakira’ (music also composed by Vishal Vaid), ‘Main chala’ (music also composed by Kailash Kher), ‘What the F’, ‘Jannat’ (music composed by Ankur Tewari), ‘Ek manzil’ (Vishal Vaid and Karsh Kale), and ‘Naina laagey (Midival Punditz and Papon) are all appealing numbers. Lyrics are fair. Jasmin Oza’s choreography should’ve been better. Anshuman Mahaley’s cinematography is appropriate. Saini Johray’s sets are alright.
Soundtrack Review: Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, Soundtrack has a good first half but a weak second half. With not much face value and given its poor start, it will be lost at the box-office in spite of appreciation from the discerning viewers.
Komal Nahta, the Editor of Koimoi.com, is Bollywood’s most trusted trade analyst & film reviewer. You can follow him on Twitter and check out his Video Blog.