Raazi music review: Gulzar and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's terrific album is laced with nationalistic fervour
While Arijit and Sunidhi's 'Ae Watan' goes all out in its patriotic overtone, songs like 'Dilbaro' and 'Raazi' look at the film through a micro lens.
Meghna Gulzar's upcoming espionage thriller Raazi marks the return of the formidable combination that made the music of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's romantic drama Mirzya the saving grace of the film. Music composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy step out of their conspicuous absence and join hands with veteran lyricist Gulzar for his daughter's next.
Arijit Singh hits the right notes, particularly the towering ones, in the patriotic song 'Ae Watan'. Gulzar writes simple lyrics and allows his collaborators to take the forefront and infuse life into his words. The supporting singers, who merely repeat selective lines of Arijit, give the song a sense of communal celebration, a prerequisite for a patriotic track. The military beats in the background do not dominate the song but only provide rhythmic support. They express the same kind of silent aggression that soldiers demonstrate at the borders.
There is also a female version of 'Ae Watan' sung by Sunidhi Chauhan. While she does as good a job as Arijit, the fact that a female voice serenades a patriotic song gels better with the film since the protagonist is also a woman. It almost feels coming-of-age to have her realise her patriotic duties. The supporting singers are children which is all the more significant as the protagonist is passing the torch of patriotism to the next generation.
This arrangement reminds one of the timeless Lata Mangeshkar's patriotic melodies like 'Ek Tu Hi Bharosa' from Pukar.
While 'Ae Watan' goes macro, 'Dilbaro' looks at the film through a micro lens. It explores the background of the central character who eventually turns into a spy owing to certain circumstances. It serves as the introductory track of the protagonist Sehmat, who is transitioning from her father's little girl to the wife of a soldier after her wedding.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy choose folk instruments for this gentle song as it is set in Kashmir. Gulzar's choice of words and Harshdeep Kaur's nuanced vocals project this track as a harbinger of bittersweet memories. While parting from parents at the time of wedding is bittersweet for every girl, entering a soldier's home as his wife is all the more nerve-wrecking, yet at the same time proud, for the endless anticipation that is in store, in the event of a war.
The title track, also folksy, is way more tense than 'Dilbaro'. The same folk string instruments that make 'Dilbaro' a sweet hummable song, make 'Raazi' taut. Gulzar tries to dilute the tension by showering minimalist lyrics with a simple rhyme scheme. But Arijit's textured voice tightens the track, though he does go marginally overboard in the chorus.
Raazi stars Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal. It is co-produced by Junglee Pictures and Karan Johar's Dharma Productions. It is slated to release this Friday on 11 May.
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