Not many film soundtracks transport you to another world. The music of Shah Rukh Khan's new film, Paheli, a remake of Mani Kaul's Duvidha (1973), does.
It lures you inside Rajasthan -- the desert land of grand palaces, puppets, camels, turbans and red, yellow hues.
Composed by M M Kreem (Criminal, Zakhm, Jism) and embellished with Gulzar's lyrics, Paheli's music is pure in its Indianess and intense on poetry and melody.
Directed by Amol Palekar for SRK's home production, Red Chillies Entertainment, this spooky love story also features Rani Mukerji, Amitabh Bachchan, Suniel Shetty and Juhi Chawla.
The opening track, Dheere jalna, evokes an imaginary visual of a dim lamp in an enormous, dark room. The tune has an air of sensual chemistry, haunting mystery and a rustic background. The mellow number takes time to grow on you. Its instrumental version is also very soothing.
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The second number in the soundtrack, however, is a letdown. For all its lyrical effervescence, Kangna re fails to fascinate.
The fluent notes of Rajasthani folk music fascinate the listener in Phir raat kati. The frothy pace and impish appeal is aided by Sunidhi Chauhan and Sukhwinder Singh's vivacious vocals.
Celebrations and blessings for a blissful marital life make up Laaga re jal laaga. The lyrics are magnificent, with Gulzar portraying nature as a woman.
Hariharan's wonderful rendition of a lover pining for his sweetheart in Khaali hai tere bina is exceptionally enchanting.
Mischief plays in the minds of village women in Minnat kare as they enlighten the bride-to-be about the art of romance and seduction. Engaging banter, this.
The music of Paheli might not strike a chord with popular taste, but stays true to the film's earthy theme. For the adventurous, however, Paheli is full of old-world charm and classical roots.