Akshay and Aishwarya are thrilled. They’ll get to enact songs featuring their mother-in-law Dimple and father-in-law Amitabh, respectively. But composer Pritam Chakraborty is in a bit of a jam. Vipul Shah has decided at the last minute to re-record an entire complicated track for Action Replay for a retro-song to be filmed on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Akshay Kumar.
And this is no ordinary request. The one all-comprehensive track will have to represent screen jodis as diverse as Raj Kapoor-Nargis, Rajesh Khanna-Mumtaz, Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya, Dharmendra-Hema Malini, and Rishi Kapoor-Dimple Kapadia.
The long-planned retro-song representing various eras of evergreen screen jodis has now undergone a massive change. Every section of the song will now have differently ‘mooded’ lyrics and tunes to go with the different looks that Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will don to represent screen pairs over the decades.
Pritam had recorded a straightforward love song for the situation. That just won’t do. The director has a far more ambitious tune-plan which Pritam has not quite understood as yet.
Vipul, who has just gotten Akshay’s and Aishwarya’s dates in July to shoot the song in Manali, has asked his exceedingly-busy composer Pritam to scrap the song that he had recorded, and create an entirely new composition that would aurally represent Akshay’s and Aishwarya’s tribute to screen pairs over the years.
Explains Vipul, “I feel it isn’t enough to simply dress up Akshay and Aishwarya to represent the various screen pairs. Every section of the music, vocals, and lyrics will represent the pair that we show Akshay and Aishwarya playing. For example, if the mukhda is dedicated to Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz, then I want the R.D. Burman feel of ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’ in Aap Ki Kasam. On the other hand, if I want Akshay and Aishwarya to do a Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri, I’d want Pritam to come with a suitable mood and tune, like R. D. Burman’s ‘Bahon Mein Chale Aao’ in Anamika. If I show Akshay-Ash doing Raj-Nargis, I want a Shankar-Jaikishan piece. If I show Akshay-Ash doing Dharmendra and Hema-Malini, then I want a Laxmikant-Pyarelal section in the composition. But if I want Akshay-Ash doing Shammi Kapoor-Sharmila Tagore, then I want O.P. Nayyar to come into play.”
Just how Pritam would get all these diverse and seemingly incompatible compositional styles into one song is a mystery to the composer. But Vipul is confident.
“Pritam is smart and he is talented. He will do it. Our film music is so rich. Not only are there composers as far-ranging as Madan Mohan and Shankar-Jaikishan, but even the composer that you hear in one kind of cinema is different from what he does in another kind of cinema. How can we compare what R. D. Burmam composed for Rajesh-Sharmila with what he composed for Rajesh –Mumtaz? I want all of this diversity to be part of that one song.”
Pritam, who has already composed two full-on retro numbers for Action Replay — a satire on marriage and an Elvis Presley styled rock ‘n’ roll track — has a month to rise to the challenge. The most ambitious retro song in the history of Indian cinema will be shot on July 12,13,14, and 15 in Manali.
-Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire