Circa 2004. A new, improved Bollywood? Maybe.
But the same doesn't ring true for the music of Aditya Chopra's latest production Hum Tum. Brothers in rhyme and rhythm Jatin and Lalit return to score this Saif Ali Khan-Rani Mukerji caper.
Evolution, it appears, has left the duo sadly behind.
While fresh blood experiments with new sounds, Jatin-Lalit seem to be content to rehash. More's the pity, as the soundtrack suffers from a major early-1990s hangover. The Hollywood Meg Ryan-Billy Crystal classic When Harry Met Sally inspired this film, but the composers and their lyricist, adman and winner of this year's Business Today's Young Achiever Award Prasoon Joshi, turn in uninspired stuff.
Are men from Mars and women from Venus? Ladki kyon attempts to answer the eternal question. It has a predictable refrain, right from the guitar strums to the whistle interlude, interspersed with Saif and Rani voiceovers.
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The Sonu Nigam-Sadhna Sargam duet Chak de is an upbeat ditty with interesting percussion backing, but it is oh-so-familiar.
U 'n' I (Mere dil vich hum tum), another snappy number, has Rishi Rich, Veronica, and Juggy D do an East-meets-West Birmingham bhangra number. Strange inclusion here, though. It doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the compilation.
Alka Yagnik and Babul Supriyo's controlled vocals do justice to the gentle, mellifluous title track Hum tum. Perhaps the only song on this album that would have you humming along. The instrumental version is repeated later in the soundtrack.
Gory finds new meaning with Yagnik crooning to Gore gore. Fast forward Yaara yaara as well — it does no justice to the prowess of veteran Udit Narayan.
Jatin-Lalit, it is time you traded in your trademark tunes.