Planet Bollywood
Producer: Quest Films
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
Starring: Jackie Shroff, Raveena Tandon, Danny Dezgonzapa, Ashutosh Rana, Jaaved Jafri, Sophiya Haque
Music: Anand Raaj Anand, Ranjit Barot
Lyrics: Pravin Bhardwaj, Shaheen Iqbal, Anand Raaj Anand
Singers: Kalpana, Gayatri Iyer, Zubin Garg, Asha Bhosle and Anand Raaj Anand
Audio On: BMG Crescendo    Number of Songs: 6
Album Released on: 09 October 2002
Reviewed by: Rakesh Budhu  - Rating: 8.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 listeners)
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Rarely are things ever on par to any sort of expectations here in the Indian film industry. Films, soundtracks, actors, they´ve often fallen short. Quest Films ambitious horror film Sandhya has kept itself a mum, despite having one of the industry´s most talented actor at its helm (producer and actor). This aside from the fact that it has Bollywood´s most grown actress and the brother of one Bollywood´s best cinematographer with the megaphone. So one wonder´s why Sandhya is still refrained to a less known future release. Reasoning with the argument of Bollywood´s constant two steps back after one step forward is the most resonating answer as with the music composed by Anand Raaj Anand (fear not), assisted by

Ranjit Barot, Sandhya- The Fear Within at the very least adds much more anticipation to Quest Film´s next production and despite being an excellent effort, it will probably remain unnoticed.

For those who thought that Ranjit Barot could not top or in some sense at least equivalent the work he did with Anu Malik in Aks and Asoka, Sandhya has him working his magic with Anand Raaj Anand. It is Ranjit Barot who we hear more in Sandhya, and unfortunately for Anand, that is somewhat of a sigh of relief with the monotonous familiar tunes he has been creating as of late. Yet, Anand has contributed heavily to Sandhya, and it does prove that he can go beyond the realm of redundant love songs, as he had previously with Kaante. Anand Raaj Anand has proven himself as a good lyricist in here more than anything else, and truly Bollywood could use some of those as well.

Anand Raaj Anand has written “Maar Gayo”, the first version sung by

Gayatri Iyer and the second by the ever so versatile Asha Bhosle. Lyrically the song is effective. It is surprising to note that Gayatri Iyer’s is preferable to Asha’s as she usually steals the limelight. Yet Gayatri’s sensuous vocals bring a necessary feel of danger and lust to the song. The song, thanks to Ranjit Barot, does have a sort of ‘Aks’ feel to it with an ‘Aaja Gufaaon Mein’ and ‘Yeh Raat’ haunting feel in the backdrop. The orchestration combined with scintillating synthesization sets the tone that indicates a horror story. Gayatri’s debut is definitely classy, that too displaying her talent aptly as she goes to higher heights as she successfully vocalizes amongst the ranks of Alisha Chinoy and/or Vasundara Das. Choruses of dark husky vocals provide screams and soft raags as the song concludes.

Ranjit Barot has not contributed to the second version, which has the song reverted to regular Indian music. In fact at times it seems like Asha Bhosle is singing a

ghazal. The music is still very refreshing and very scenic. Heavy use of guitar and occasional flute compliment her soft rendition. The first version is more preferable.

Mohabbat” may have brought fears that a “Dil, Ishq aur Chaha” song was coming, but the song couldn’t be farther from it. The ‘mohabbat’ referred to here indicates toning of erotic lust and newcomer Kalpana is absolutely flawless in providing this. Pravin Bhardwaj has written a lyrically unique song even though the theme is the often spoken about- love. However, Ranjit and Anand deserve the full credit for the sensuous effect that the Enigma styled composition that is accompanied by apt use of the piano has. The song opens up with a ghastly orchestration and is filled with common spurts of sexual fear with Barot’s contribution quite audible.

Ranjit Barot has two solo instrumental tracks on the soundtrack, the title track “Sandhya” which has a few lines, and “Death”. “Sandhya” is a perfect theme track. Ideal care has been placed to make the techno voice of Zubin Garg compliment the thrilling music which is fast paced but dosed with the haunting horror compositions that Sandhya requires. Zubin provides the right balance between deep, scary and catchy for Shaheen Iqbal’s lyrics which describe the occurrences of the twilight.

Death” is short and also appropriately orchestrated to set the daunting mood. A Hollywood styled use of the guitar is significant of a post-climactic portion of the film as an un-credited male vocal provides the equally soothing backdrop to the song. Ranjit Barot has completely and utterly surpassed his expectations for his upcoming releases. While we wonder if he will ever compose solely again after ‘Oh Darling, Yeh Hai India’, the work he has done in these past films has been truly noteworthy.

Anand Raaj Anand has in the past shown that he is one of the better music directors who have turned to singing. But in the oddly titled “Udd Chala” the music, which is great, is what makes the song worthy of the ear. His rendition doesn’t support Pravin Bhardwaj’s lyrics, which are more situational. Thankfully, the music, again haunting and original, more than makes up for it and allows us to forgive the poor choice of vocals.

Sandhya- The Fear Within has already garnered a great deal curiosity with its true horror styled script. Thanks to Anand Raaj Anand and the illustrious Ranjit Barot, its music has contributed greatly to what seems like an excellently made film by Sangeeth Sivan. The music is scarily perfect and at times better with each listen. The chorus for every song is poignant and evocative and frankly, one couldn’t have asked for more.

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