Tune in to ‘Chandigarh Mein,’ this self-proclaimed Punjabi dance hit from Raj Mehta’s film Good Newwz. First, you have an announcement going “Oh my God, this is original.” Well, music director Tanishq Bagchi’s reputation for remakes has come to such a point where clarification is needed.
Hear a bit more, and there’s the line “Aye mandolin, Chal Chalu Kar Na”, uttered the way Munnabhai addresses Circuit. Suddenly, the number goes ‘Eenie Meenie Miny Moe’, and rhymes ‘aayee aayee’ with ‘hi-fi’. Probably, Bagchi and singers Manj Muzik, Herbie Sahara and Neha Kakkar think they are reciting John Keats.
The producers will insist this is a comedy and these songs go perfectly with the situations. And one would have blindly believed them, had it not been for the fact that all tunes remind you of something you’ve heard a zillion times before.
Take ‘Lal Ghaghra’ next. Sung by Badshah, Harddy Sandhu, Lisa Mishra and Asees Kaur, it lives up to its title and makes you see red. Here too, the producers will say Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor dance brilliantly. But the tune, based on a song by Punjabi group RDB, is as recycled as the newspapers you sell to your raddiwalla. And there’s a part taken straight from the Daler Mehndi stylesheet if such a thing existed.
Move on to ‘Sauda Khara Khara’, where singer Sukhbir resurfaces out of the blue, thinking he’s still in 1999 in the remake of his own song. It’s got a peppy bhangra-pop vibe, but Diljit Dosanjh pronounces ‘chhooaa’, meaning ‘touched’ as if he’s singing about a rat.
In all this cacophony, we end with a ballad ‘Maana Dil’, where lyricist Rashmi Virag writes “Ke maana dil da hi mera hai kasoor, aise koi vee na hove majboor.” Nandini Shankar’s violin and Shomu’s acoustic guitar are soulful, though one wishes singer B. Praak, despite his emotive voice, had lowered his pitch in the antaras. Anyway, this provides a whiff of relief in a soundtrack that’s mostly Bad Newwz.