Planet Bollywood
Bollywood Hollywood
Producer: David Hamilton
Director: Deepa Mehta
Starring: Rahul Khanna, Lisa Ray, Dina Pathak, Moushimi Chatterjee, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Akshaye Khanna (Special Appearance)
Music: Sandeep Chowta
Audio On: Times Music    Number of Songs: 10
Album Released on: November 2002
Reviewed by: Rakesh Budhu  - Rating: 7.0 / 10
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Deepa Mehta ventured for a complete change in her latest project Bollywood Hollywood. For this she decided everything must be different including the music director. Hence, the profuse

Sandeep Chowta stepped in her usual composer's (A.R. Rahman) place. Since Bollywood Hollywood was of no relation to the previous works Mehta had done, which were perfectly atoned for a score like Rahman´s usual, Chowta is a perfect match for peppy at times comic tunes.

"Chin Chin Choo" is simply another parody of the ever so popular "Mera Naam Chin.." This time, the choice of vocals was surprisingly a male, a new singer, Sanjiv Wadhawni. Sanjiv´s vocals are the only thing different from the situational track with a twist courtesy of Sandeep´s music.

"Sooni Hawa" serves its interest in its emotive, aptly expressed by the dark lyrics. Enhanced by accurate tunes, two renditions by

Sonu Nigam and Somya are depressingly effective. The song is reminiscent of "Tanhaaye" from Dil Chahta Hai, mainly because of the mood it creates. Heavy dramatic orchestration are cleverly intertwined with the flute which at times make it seem like it is A.R. Rahman behind this composition. Somya and Sonu Nigam are equally as perfect in their renditions in a tune which has entered different realms for the composer and the soundtrack.

Somya and Rajesh sing solo versions of "Krishna Hare". As the title insinuates the tunes are solely religious

bhajans and nothing else! It´s weird to see such in albums these days and even thus, Sandeep hasn´t stuck with redundant typical slow music to compose it. He has thrown in a few experimental tunes with the flute, tabla (a must?) and sitar showing that he indeed has put effort into composing the song. That effort too contributed by the lyricist. Somya, however, doesn´t seem quite interested in singing it as does Rajesh.

Resonating the title, the soundtrack intrigues as it blends a bit of Bollywood in its complete sense and some of Hollywood as well (or at least attempts to). "Dil Kabootar" is a pop number jazzed influenced with the club music akin to tunes from

Dil Chahta Hai. The song carries itself well without being great though the music does tend to go over board at times repeating itself frequently never the less Sonu was the right choice for vocalizing the lyrics. "Salsa" is an instrumental with Latin music (as the title insinuates) and is festive.

"If The Shoe Fits" sounds like an ode to the Cinderella fairy tale but the song itself is far from phantasmagoric. Another high tech pop styled song sung by Sunita Sarathy, the song is predominantly English with a few Indian words spread in the far background. Sunita is suave in her rendition mimicking the routine pop stars. The song is of the style of millennium Hollywood teeny bopper music. Obviously Sandeep put some research into the style of the song as the genre is not that difficult to compose. The song truly holds no appeal for regular Bollywood listeners.

But alas, while there are the mellifluous and the wide variety, it is the regular Bollywood songs which shine on the album. Those that Sandeep has continuously shown command over. "Soni Roop De" and "Rang Rang Mein", both Sonu Nigam -

Alisha Chinoy duets are the upbeat somewhat ´Arabic´ influenced songs which are the highlights of the soundtrack. They are infectious and feet tapping and are picturized equally as such.

"Soni Roop De" starts off like an opera piece fooling the listener as to what is to follow, that which is a Punjabi influenced dance number with catchy unique instrumentalism. Sandeep has left his trade mark in music, "Soni Roop De" and "Rang Rang" are evident of such. Alisha Chinoy is dominating in the former, while Sonu Nigam takes over in the latter. Both the songs are very refreshing and enjoyable at that.

Bollywood Hollywood comparatively is nothing like the haunting scores of Deepa Mehta's previous films but that is acceptable. However, neither is the quality of superlativeness that we´ve come to expect, even though the sounds are experimental and decent. The film´s lyrics courtesy of lyricists Jai Deep, Taabish and Ajay Virmani are refreshing even though film pertinent. The music is laced with a fresh sound and stylish techno music which Sandeep has shown he can handle. Overall it is pleasant, but it doesn´t fail to leave the realm of situational while remaining peppy and enjoyable nonetheless.

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