Planet Bollywood
Producer: Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Starring: Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu
Music: Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy and Abhishek Arora
Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire, Tanveer Ghazi and Abhiruchi Chand
Singers: Armaan Malik, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sunidhi Chauhan and Monali Thakur
Audio On: Zee Music Company    Number of Songs: 5
Album Released on: 28 March 2018
Reviewed by: Anish Mohanty  - Rating: 6.0 / 10
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Shoojit Sircar's debut feature 'Yahaan' had a stellar soundtrack by Shantanu Moitra. Shantanu created some gorgeous tunes for some exquisite poetry written by Gulzar. The same team worked on the music for Shoojit's next film 'Shoebite' but the film, despite being ready, is still languishing in the cans. The films he directed next ('Vicky Donor', 'Madras Cafe' and 'Piku'), too, had good music. As 'October' is a love story (a tad unconventional it may be) and has one of the top actors of the day as its hero, one expects a melodious album in the offering. The songs have been contributed by Sircar's regulars Shantanu Moitra and Anupam Roy. There is also a song by Abhishek Arora who is working with the director for the first time.

In the first few hearings, "Theher Ja" sounds like several of those soft numbers that one hears in urban romantic comedies these days. This is the kind of sound that was synonymous with pop albums back in the 90s. Though the familiarity factor is there, there is something about this song that sets it apart from the kind made in a similar mould. Perhaps, it is the sincerity with which Armaan sings or the simplicity of the lyrics (Abhiruchi Chand) that throw light on a particular situation Danish (Varun Dhawan) is going through at a certain point in the film.

The sense of melancholy is far more evident in "October Theme", an instrumental piece put together by Shantanu Moitra. As Moitra has done the background score of the film, one expects this music piece to be played at a few junctures in the narrative. The track has an amalgamation of different instruments but the one that is heard most prominently is the violin. The instrument is played by Rohan Roy and adds a lot to the sombre feel of the song.

If you replace the contemporary arrangements with table and dholak, "Tab Bhi Tu" sounds like something Himesh Reshammiya or Sajid-Wajid would compose for a Salman Khan starrer. It sounds very different from the other songs in the album and given Anupam Roy's discography, it is a little surprising to see him come up with a song like this. One is not complaining as the smooth texture of the song, powered by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's, makes for a very pleasant listen.

"Manwaa", composed by Shantanu Moitra, is a semi-classical tune that has been layered with a western orchestral structure. The song is steeped in some wonderfully melancholy lyrics (Swanand Kirkire). The pads and the keyboard provide a nice contrasting sound for the semi-classical structure of the song. Sunidhi Chauhan sings the song fabulously well and one cannot help but wonder why her voice is heard so infrequently in films these days.

"Chal", sung by Monail Thakur, is the last and the weakest track on the album. The electro pop sound and the spirited lyrics by Tanveer Ghazi work well for this track which might be played in the film at a point when Shiuli (Banita Sandhu) is having a good time. Shantanu gets the sound right but fails to come up with a tune that would compel you to listen to it a couple of times.

As is the case with most of Shoojit Sircar's films, the music of 'October' strictly adheres to the theme of the film. Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy and Abhishek Arora create quite an engaging album keeping the script and the characters in mind.

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