Horror comedies do have scope for music. This is a fact that has been exhibited by some of the films released in this genre. ‘Phone Bhoot’, the new horror comedy produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment and featuring Katrina Kaif, Ishaan Khatter and Siddhant Chaturvedi in principal roles, has been directed by Gurmmeet Singh. Though the films directed by Gurmmeet (‘Warning’, ‘What The Fish’ and ‘Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene’) so far have had forgettable music, the streaming shows (‘Inside Edge’ and ‘Mirzapur’) directed by him had memorable thematic tracks and rousing background scores.
‘Phone Bhoot’ is a multi-composer soundtrack that has been put together by Tanishk Bagchi, Roy, Mikey McCleary and Rochak Kohli. The lyrics have been written by Tanishk Bagchi, Kumaar and Baba Sehgal. Ankur Tewari has worked as a music supervisor on all the tracks barring “Kinna Sona”.
As “Kinna Sona” starts playing, you get the feeling that it is a song with a haunting sound to it that complements the theme of the film. However, as it moves forward, you realize it is not set in a very dark space. The song has a playful vibe to it which is accentuated quite well by Zahrah S.Khan’s rendition. Tanishk seems to have focused on creating a catchy hookline. Overall, the song is just mildly entertaining.
After inventing some Punjabi words that didn’t exist with “Raataan Lambiyaan” (‘Shershaah’), Tanishk yet again proves that he is no master lyricist and the job of writing songs should be entrusted to those who have spent some time honing their skills as writers. There are many grammatical mistakes in the song. “Kinna sona lagdi aye tu”, for instance, should have been “kinni soni lagdi aye tu”. “Dekh dekh tainu ankh nahin thak da” should have been written as “Dekh dekh tainu ankh nahin thak di”.
“Kaali Teri Gutt”, the popular Punjabi folk number has been used in many Hindi film songs in bits and parts. Composer Sourav Roy/Roy does something similar here. He uses the hook line of the pop song as the base for his original tune. The music production, also put together by Roy, is very noisy. The tune doesn’t make much of an impression either. After using the word crazy in numerous songs (“Teri Choodiyan Da Crazy Crazy Sound” – ‘Ishkq In Paris’ and “Crazy Lagdi” – ‘Motichoor Chaknachoor’), Kumaar uses it again here (“Teri crazy dholak ye main taan nachde nachde aaiyan…”). The lyrics are quite juvenile and it’s high time Kumaar reinvents himself as a lyricist, especially in this space.
With the “Phone Bhoot Theme”, one gets to hear Baba Sehgal’s voice in a mainstream film after a long time. The popular rapper writes and sings this track which is supposed to evoke some sort of nostalgia through its soundscape and choice of singer. While Mikey McCleary’s impresses yet again with his music production abilities, the track, as a whole, doesn’t register an impact.
Rochak Kohli brings some relief in the form of “Jaau Jaan Se” (why not write it as ‘jaaun’). Rochak composes a pleasant tune that has a nice sing-along quality to it. The composer, who doesn’t come behind the mic very often, does a fairly good job as a vocalist here. Lisa gives him good company as the female vocalist on the track. The ‘chill mix’ of the song features heavy electronic beats that look completely out of place.
There was a time when one would keenly look forward to the music of a film produced by Excel Entertainment. The music of most of their recently released films, including ‘Hello Charlie’, ‘Toofaan’ and ‘Sharmaji Namkeen’, has been quite underwhelming. ‘Phone Bhoot’ is one of the weakest soundtracks an Excel Entertainment-produced film has had.