Soundtrack: Striking the right chord
DIR: Neerav Ghosh
CAST: Rajeev Khandelwal, Soha Ali Khan, Mrinalani Sharma, Mohan Kapur, Yateen Karyekar
A R Rahman is referred to as the Mozart of Madras, and Soundtrack's protagonist Raunaq Kaul (Khandelwal) is proudly titled the Beethovan of Bandra! Music runs in his blood as he finds melody in everything - from the city's blaring horns to the vibrations from the local trains, and the din created by the roadside vendors. Just when he is about to touch the pinnacle of success, he finds himself hitting a roadblock -- a career-ending physical ailment.
The film is based on the 2005 Canadian flick All Gone Pete Tong about a popular DJ on the party island of Ibiza suffering from a hearing impairment and then vanishing from the scene.
Ghosh revolves the story around a small-town guy Raunaq who arrives in Mumbai. Thanks to his helpful uncle (Karyekar), he lands up a job as a DJ at Charlie's (Kapur) club. Though it is a Bollywood setting, several scenes are the same from the original including the use of music and film folk as part of the narrative. Anurag Kashyap, Anu Malik, Kailash Kher, Salim Merchant, VJ Bani feature in the docudrama to chronicle the rise and fall of Raunaq.
After his performance in Aamir, it's again Khandelwal all the way in Soundtrack. He once again picks up a role that displays his acting prowess. Charlie (Kapur) too puts in a stellar performance while Shonali (Sharma) as his girlfriend is ebullient. Soha, who appears only post interval as his lip-reading teacher Gauri, is endearing in a brief role.
Though the first half is slick as Raunaq goes through a life of excesses, post interval it is a bit of a drag. There are, of course, the usual inexplicable questions (a given in most Bollywood films). Like, wonder what made him resort to wearing coloured lenses while battling a hearing impediment? Also, why make Raunaq the DJ sing in the finale? Wouldn't it make more sense if he spun magic at the turntable for that last final time? The emotional connect with his impairment is a tad missing.
This apart, the film is watchable for its starkly distinct narrative and stands out amidst the current crop of mindless comic capers and over-the-top action flicks. It may not have big names attached, but worth a viewing for the efforts put in by the entire team.