Producer: Meghna Gulzar
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Starring: Tabu, Sushmita Sen, Sanjay Suri & Palash Sen
Music: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: Asha Bhosle, Roop Kumar Rathod, Chitra, K.K., Palash Sen, Jaspinder Narula & Sonu Nigam
Number of Songs: 7
Reviewed by: M. Ali Ikram
Reviewer's Rating: 9.0 out of 10

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Unpredictably unique lyrics are a rarity in film songs, yet Gulzar is a master of this trade. For his daughter’s first directorial venture, the prolific poet, cum writer, cum lyricist, cum director, once again pens some great verse. And with the tried and tested Anu Malik and Gulzar creative combination, the entire soundtrack benefits.

Of course, you also cannot go wrong with a talent such as the inimitable Asha Bhosle singing the title track, can you? My favourite female singer’s voice is Royalty in “Yeh Lamha Filhaal Hi Jee Lene De”, tiptoeing as it does over the piano riffs, the ever-present cha-chas and the Filhaal refrain ladies. Encore! Encore!

Bagpipes inaugurate, a sitar adds on, and the shehnai rounds out an innovative prelude. “Le Chalen Doliyon Mein Tumhein, Gar Iraada Karo” offers a soft-spoken Roop Kumar Rathod to a female voice credited as Chitra (though periodically sounding nothing like the Southern crooner). It is so hard to decide what is better in this track; the simple and stylish music or the romantic visuals invoked by the lyrics? The words win the competition if only because “…ungliyon mein pahenlo yeh rishta, aur waada karo…” conveys love’s purity better than any other single line this year. And this one’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Jaspinder Narula’s “Sola Singhaar Karke” is a well-sung ditty, though the less than coincidental musical similarity to Aaghaaz’s “Nau Nau Lakha” is depressing. Only the situation is different – a wedding versus godh barhai ceremony – the music is the same. For an album that so joyously conveys its uniqueness everywhere else, I wonder why Malik lifted one of his own recent songs? (Even if listeners unfairly neglected the Aaghaaz track last year.) Luckily, the lapse in the music director’s judgment is temporary. The piano driven “Kyoon Baar Baar Aankhon Mein Tum, Karwat Lete Ho” is a mother’s evocative lullaby to her baby as she defines her aspirations for her offspring’s future. Chitra’s voice is perfect!

Next, K.K. joins her for “Naya Naya, Dhula Dhula, Asmaan Khulaa” and keeps his voice in check a bit better than he has been doing of late. (The man’s incessant desire to climb atop the vocal scales is mind-boggling.) Needless to say, Chitra emerges victorious in the vocals’ comparison. Song-wise, this one is a pleasant musical journey. It even sounds like the characters are climbing atop a mountain peak.

One of the flick’s male leads is Indian rock-and-roller Palash Sen, so Meghna gives him the opportunity to demonstrate his prowess in “Dil Ke Sannate Khol Kabhi”. The man is quite good, possessing a voice that is a hybrid between Shankar Mahadevan and Hariharan. Plus, he can hit the high notes better than Mr. K.K.

True to its theme, the instrumentation in “Waqt Ka Saaya Kisne Daala Hai” seems to be counting away the time. The music style is a bit Aks-ish, a bit Asoka-ish, but welcome nonetheless. Jaspinder Narula and Sonu Nigam are commendable with their renditions.

The lyrical excellence of the Filhaal soundtrack is celebration-worthy. It may not come as a surprise to the many listeners who have treasured Gulzar’s words over the decades, but in an era when Sameer’s gross “dil-vil-mil-bill-chill-pill, damn I’m getting ill” rhyming schemes rule the roost, this one’s near heaven sent. Another great product from the Gulzar and Anu Malik team!