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Review

Nihalani in the masala market

Rahman tries different singers and borrows from styles as varied as flamenco and tribal music, yet he often ends up repeating himself. In Thakshak he's made two fresh numbers


Thakshak
HMV
Rs 50

Govind Nihalani took a close hard look at the police in Ardh Satya. In Tamas he showed an unvarnished, yet humanistic, picture of communal relations. Thakshak is his latest offering; he places this film in the middle of the mainstream market. The auteur is competing for attention with the masala makers.

Thakshak stars Ajay Devgan and Tabu. She's doing a glamorous role here, a change from her roles in Maachis and Hu hu tu.

Asha's song Rang de, with lyrics by Sukhwindara Singh, sets the tape rolling. Her pitch is uncomfortably high, except for two stretches where she is seductively husky. The tune is not new but more like a medley of previous Rehman songs from Kadal Desam and Duet.

Khamosh raat by Roopkumar Rathod has some good acoustic guitar bits right through. Most of it is Western pop in style, and whenever Rehman tries to infuse an Indian touch he can only get back to his favourite raga Kedara. Repetitive. The choral refrain's sargams give it some direction.

Jaan meri is a cabaret number. Hema Sardesai sings in the style of Maraiah Carey and Whitney Houston, with a lot of inflexions, but her voice is not deep and rich enough to carry it off. There is an African chant too.

Surjo Bhattacharya's Dheem ta dare is the surprise song. It's like a taraana in raga Megh, with occasional flashes of the Karnatak raga Madhyamavati. Well rendered and rich in fusion. The Karnatak mrudanga lends the Hindustani accent an exotic touch. It's a fresh-sounding song.

In Boondon se baaten Sujata Trivedi hums a lovely intro on a bass pattern. The interlude leads back to the familiar Rahmanesque lines of violins, pizzicato, trills on the santoor and flute, all reminiscent of Choti si aasha from Roja.

Toofan ki raat by Hema Sardesai and chorus begins like a 1970s disco song. Hema's voice really sounds good and strong. She also sings some Arabic inflexions. The lyrics have an erotic emphasis. The Karnatak flute bits add a warm, staccato feel.

Dholna is a love song by Sukhwindara Singh. It is slower paced, and his voice amazes with its range, strength and expression. The heavy drums add to the distant sense of pain. He has also written the words for this song. The other songs are by Mehboob.

Jumblika begins with flamenco-style claps and humming. This is the same tune Rahman used in Kadalar Dinam. Alisha Chinai and Shankar Mahadevan sing this fast-paced song. Alisha sounds very good and unlike her soppy self in the Biddu numbers which made her so famous.


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