Ekk Deewana Tha Music Review: Deewangi that lacks soul


Gautham Vasudev Menon
(GVM from here on) and A.R.Rahman created history when they came together for the 1st time in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya/Ye Maaya Chesave. GVM earlier had always worked with Harris Jayaraj in the past until they parted mutually after Vaaranam Aayiram. With expectations reaching gigantic proportions from the combo of GVM and ARR it was heartening to note that the soundtrack of VTV hit the bull’s eye with accurate precision. VTV/YMC was Karthik and Jessie’s story and their story was only aided by the songs. So when the Hindi version was announced by GVM it was initially met with a lot of enthusiasm. But then for a long time the lead pair wasn’t really confirmed at all and at that time what helped to keep the spirits of people high was the fact the music would again come from ARR himself, with lyrics by Javed Akhtar.

But once the lead pair of Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson was confirmed, doubts started setting in. Will Prateik match upto Simbu who had clearly put in a wonderful restrained performance as Karthik? While Amy Jackson had earned accolades for her debut in Madharasapattinam (Tamil), she had played a British National over there. So here it made people wonder why GVM had chosen her to play a Malayali i.e Jessie. When the initial promo was unveiled all hell seemed to break loose with a lot of fears suddenly looming large, especially with the tiny segment of Hosanna that one could take away from the promo.

Still we waited & waited patiently till the music was finally released against the backdrop of the Taj recently. Now that a lot of us have heard the songs finally how do they measure against ARR’s recent works & most importantly how do they measure against the compositions of VTV? Well if you are curious enough then let me take you through the tracks of Ekk Deewana Tha, one after the other.

Kya Hai Mohabbat– This song sung by ARR himself is an original and wasn’t there in the Tamil and Telugu versions. A love ballad as the words indicate it’s at best a half decent start to the album. Most ARR compositions sung by the maestro himself are usually infectious enough but sadly this one lacks that vital element- zing.“Mohabbat mein sab kuch hasein lagta hai kyon, sitam jo karein dilnashi to lagta hai kyon” lyrics by Javed Akhtar over here seem to go in sync with the song and the end result is more of a monotonous stream of questions on love. But like some of ARR’s compositions we can probably expect it to grow on us with more repeated hearing.

Dost Hai– This is a variation of “Kannukul Kannai” ( as the eye of the eye ) from VTV and is a good variation indeed. A full on hi-hop number, it helps that Naresh Iyer the singer of the original version is the singer here as well. With added vocals by Jaspreet Jasz and Arya and also featuring additional arrangements by Sachin-Jigar, this is a nice sing along track, that’s as good as the original number if not better.

Aaromale– If Hosanna on one hand was the most infectious number from VTV’s soundtrack then Aaromale was probably the knockout number. A song completely sung in Malayalam in both VTV and YMC, a lot of credit for the song goes to Alphonse Joseph for the high octane vocals and Kaithapram Namboothiri’s lyrics. In the Hindi version while ARR has utilized Alphonse Joseph again, there are 2 issues with the song- 1. While Alphonse is at his wonderful best again while doing the Aaromale chant, he seems to be slightly sounding uncomfortable mouthing the Hindi lyrics and 2.the lyrics by themselves are surprisingly silly especially the background chant. Sample this “Shubh shubh ghadi shubh hai lagan, shubh shubh sajni ka jeevan,rom rom lage sukh chandan, som som rahe tera darpan” . If that isn’t enough then how about “Priyadarshini, swarn hansini, sun le, mann pukare,doobenge donon hi inme”. Only Javed Saab can probably explain the rationale behind these lines. As someone asked me earlier, in this era of Kolaveri why would you shy away from trying out a Malayalam song in its entirety which has already worked for you before?

Broken Promises – If Aaromale was a letdown then ARR more than makes it up with this variant of Aaromale with the voice of Shreya Ghoshal more than doing justice to the wonderful composition. Basically more of a humming/chant, this one clearly is a standout track from the album. I am very curious to know if this will feature in the movie and if it does then I hope GVM has done justice to this lovely World class rendition. This version also featured in the collector’s edition pack of VTV.

Hosanna– The number that was most looked forward to along with Aaromale, this one actually starts off pretty well and in almost identical fashion to the original composition. Suzanne D’Mello breezes through with her humming after Leon D’Souza’s start (Dil hote jo mere seene mein do, doosra dil bhi main tumhe deta todne ko) which is a slightly cheesy take on the original Tamil lyrics – “Yenn Idhayam…udaithaai norungavey, Yenn maru idhayam,tharuven nee udaikavey” ( loosely translated as “my heart if broken into pieces by you, I’ll give you my other heart for you to break” ). The attempt is just to re-create the same meaning & doesn’t carry the same impact.However the actual problem begins only with the start of the English rap portion. While the Tamil/Telugu versions had Blaaze rendering it, here it seems to be done probably by Leon himself and it doesn’t carry the same impact. Also ARR has definitely gone wrong in choosing Leon in place of Vijay Prakash who had done a far better job in the original.

Phoolon Jaisi Ladki– The Hindi version of Omana Penne, this one has pedestrian lyrics by Javed Akhtar. Sample these- “Phoolon jaisi hai yeh ladki,hai yeh ladki pariyon jaisi hai na, who ho ho… bholi bholi khoyi khoyi hirni si,hai yeh ladki,komal-komal si ladki,sundar ladki nazuk nazuk yeh ladki”, need I say more?And Clinton Cerejo is no match for Benny Dayal who by far excels in the original. The only saving grace is the fact the female accompanying voice and the corresponding Malayalam lyrics (written and sung by Kalyani Menon) have been thankfully retained.

Sharminda Hoon– A soulful ballad which worked majorly in the original version (Mannipaaya) thanks to the superlative lyrics by Thamarai, Sharminda Hoon begins very badly. The introductory lines sung by Madhushree “ Main ik lehar hoon jo samay ki nadi se, bas tumse milne kinaare thi aayi, magar jo bhi ho, har ik lehar ko mit jaana hai,nadi mein hi jaake” seem to be a desperate attempt to replicate the original introductory lines ( Kadalinil meenagha,irundhval naan, unakkena karai thaandi vandhaval-thaan,thudithirunthen, tharainilehnthen… thirumbivitten yen kadalidame.. loosely translated as “As the fish in the sea who crossed the shore for you,squirmed around and struggled and then returned to my love itself” ). Replace the imagery of the fish in the original with that of a wave in the Hindi version and you’ll get what I mean. Vocals by ARR himself and Madhushree do make an impact after the weak start and salvage the song to an extent.

Sunlo Zara– A pop number this one works quite well and is as good as the original (Anbil Avan i.e He in love). Sung with gusto by Rashid Ali, Shreya Ghoshal and Timmy, this one is a feel good, foot tapping number. The percussions that feature in between have been completely re-arranged and add to the zing.Good work indeed by ARR.

Zohra Jabeen– This is a takeoff on the title song in the Tamil original and the vocals by Karthik had more than done justice to ARR’s wonderful composition. Here we have Javed Ali trying his bit and he does more than a fantastic job over here. While the attempt has been to maintain the same somber mood over with this composition (similar to the original), thankfully the lyrics haven’t been force fed here and actually seem to work pretty well.

“Jaane yeh kaisi kashish hai, ik pal mein gaya dil yun paas tumhare

toot ke girte jai jaise zameen par,aksar raaton mein sitaare”

This one is definitely one of the highlights of the album, no doubt about it.

Moments in Kerala– This instrumental piece featuring a solo violin by Prabhakar against the strains of ARR’s tune with some faint chorus vocals in the background is soothing and a good compliment to the album.

Jessie’s Land– This instrumental piece features Megha humming parts from the songs of the album, most prominent being Hosanna and Sharminda Hoon. This one again did feature in the collector’s edition pack of VTV.

Jessie’s Driving Me Crazy– Featuring some heavy duty instrumentals and vocals by Sanjeev Thomas and Timmy, this one is a decent enough track to round up the album.

On an overall note Ekk Deewana Tha is a very inconsistent album with Broken Promises (female version of Aaromale ) and Zohra Jabeen being standout efforts and with some hummable tracks like Dost Hai and Sunlo Zara. But it’s a missed opportunity as what should have been standout numbers (considering the original) like Hosanna, Aaromale (male version), Phoolon Jaisi Ladki majorly disappoint. Here’s hoping that at least GVM weaves his magic on screen with the picturisation of the songs.

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19 thoughts on “Ekk Deewana Tha Music Review: Deewangi that lacks soul

  1. Need a perspective from somebody who has not listened to VTV at all and how some songs make sense….

    Aaromale would have been a killer in its entire malayalam version and the same could have been retained.

    Have to admit Hosanna is sounding pretty decent now.

    This entire Simbu delivered a decent performance is only because of the crap that he was is associated with earlier and if Zayed Khan would have been here, even he can be restrained…But the thing is are we willing to give a chance?????

    • Well yes even I’d like to hear from people who haven’t really been too familiar with the songs of VTV/YMC. As for Aaromale I guess only ARR & GVM can explain what they thought of while deciding not to retain the Malayalam version.

      Hosanna continues to disappoint thought not as much as Aaromale & Phoolon Jaisi Ladki ( Omanapenne ).

      But I’ll disagree with what you say about Simbu,he’s actually a capable actor who just hasn’t been given roles of substance. Zayed Khan pulling off as Kartik is impossible & I’m willing to take the risk to even say that Prateik probably also hasn’t done justice to it- cos his dialogue delivery is a major problem.

      Simbu really lived the character of Kartik.Lets give some credit to him too.

      • I am going to buy your statement if you are willing to say only Simbu could have pulled this role and we can’t imagine any other actor(Tamil Cinema) for that role…That should be a hallmark to good acting…

  2. it is like a rule, any song sounds good only in the original language it was made! uyire uyire from KakaKaka was so much better than the Khwaabo khwaabo in Force!

    same is the case with EDT. VTV had some brilliant music, and a few songs which one would like over a period of time! i love Hosanna in Tamil! hated it in Telugu too! the Hindi one is a sad sad version of the same!

    and totally agree with the actors bit! prateik is perhaps the most over rated actors of our times! and he looks uncomfortable in every scene in the trailors! I never like VTV as a movie , yet feel sad looking at the hindi version! Trisha and Simbu gave a level of depth and gravity to the characters. Atleast from the trailors, that is sorely missing in Amy and Prateik!

    • Slightly disagree here my friend. While its true in most cases but sometimes even recomposing can turn out good if done with a lot of heart. The songs of GVM’s Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein were nearly good as that of Minnale. Even a lot of ARR’s songs from films like Bombay or a Saathiya are quite good if not as good as the original. Here it doesn’t look like they really put in their heart while working & the result shows.

      • This is one of the worst soundtrack, the blame is not on ARR , but Javed Akhtar who by the way was claiming Kolaveri is not great Piece of Music, eventhough the Makers never claimed so.
        This is one of those albums where Instrumentals are much much better.Why oh Lord the Rap like i am hustler, in Dost Hai .
        But I must say Javed has beaten P.K, Mishra and Even Swanand, listening to this Kilimanjaro in Hindi Seems Poetry to me

    • @Cinemausher: It seems you are taking it too far if Kilimanjaro(Hindi) by Swanand Kirkire & P.K Mishra was better with his Telephone Dhun lyrics….Yes Javed Akhtar has failed but the blame lies here lies with entire team as well.

      Even SAPNAY which was a billingual as planned initially or for that matter JEANS had clean lyrics fitting in with the music…And as i say it again lets take an unbiased opinion where VTV was not given a chance…That is where it matters as in those days only a real Rahman fan used to listen to Tamil music irrepsective of its language….

      • .Jeans was also again did not had best work of Javed Akhtar, it did not bring anything new to table but anyway Jeans did not had importance to lyrics, unlike VTV.

        I disagree by the time Kadhalan itself released even most of Mumbai Music Shops were displaying his Tamil OST of ARR.

        For Musical like VTV, lot of story happens in the song, in case of Arromale, where Simbu goes to rediscover Kerala, and he is Asking for Permission, in hindi it is as Sethu points out Priyadarsini and wtf.

        Omana Penne, in Hindi it seems like lyrics used for some soap jingle.In Dubbed Version i could understand their might be lip sync problem, but this was start from scratch and Javed Lost it.

        Believe me Telephone was at least Transliteration,Kilimanjaro was so bad so good with lyrics like chamde ka saajan

  3. If you listen to the hindi lyrics of JEANS even a classical like Kehta hai dil had appropriate synch…Its different who bought what to table as Shankar himself gave a shit of high order…

    By the time not only Kaadhalan; but a year back his music was displayed but that did not mean it had a Kolaveri reach….It was strictly among other South Indians and a low majority of other languages…Only after Bombay it went on to reach a crescendo…

    I think i explained in my earlier comment that the team has failed here and not only Javed Akhtar as there are parameters to fit in words for a song….Akhtar did it well in earlier projects and even in Swades too where a song from Baba sounded better in Hindi…

    Telephone Dhun, Killimanjaro, Urvasi etc remains a crap and no amount of so bad its good will make them good in the Hindi version….

    • In Jeans he had massacred Vairamuthu’s lyrics of enaka enaka, similarily for the Thozhi song he kept tamil part in Beginning.Kehta Hai Dil again was case of lost in translation.

      The team here being South Indian,the blame falls on the lyricist Javed Akhtar, if you listen to Instrumentals in this Album, it is much better than songs as i mentioned, the Album had potential, but bad bad writing let it Down.

      • You need to get your facts in place before proclaiming that BOMBAY lyrics was already in place before shooting this film….

        Jhamu Sugandh had bought the rights of this film after Rahman was appointed as an MD of Rangeela on Mani’s word to RGV and by no means the songs were recorded first….Infact even Mehboob the lyricist came in because of his words for Rangeela…

        Enake Enake which is Hai Re Hai Rabba(Hindi) was decent enough and a good song in its Hindi version…And loved by all when released…

        Varayo Thozhi & Columbus both were inconsequential in their Tamil & Hindi versions, the blame of which lies on Shankar and nobody else…

        Sapnay is the only film where the songs were recorded well in advance and the Hindi version was shot accordingly with the actors lip synching to them…And for your kind knowledge there is one song in the Hindi version which is not even in Tamil…Go fetch it…

      • ARR himself was saying that Songs of Bombay were Recorded in two Languages in Recent CNN-IBN interview on his birthday special, till then i was unaware of this fact,
        i do not think both songs were inconsequential at all, both were important.

        The Lyrics of Enaka Enaka by Vairamuthu
        flightil vanda nandavan enake enaka
        pocket sizil venilavu enake enaka
        faxil vanda pen kavidai enake enaka
        mutha mazhayil nananjikalama Such lyrical beauty compare this to Javed’s Hindi Version,which has lyrics like Parbat Parbat Dekhe.

  4. arr should have re-worked the tunes as he did in saathiya and yuva. if u listen to both the soundtracks in tamil as well as hindi, the tunes have been modified and new metres set. the title track in alai payuthe was different from saathiya title track.
    .
    roja and bombay had the best lyrics for album where the soundtrack was not altered and pk mishra had to write lyrics to manage the lip-sync as well as the metres. tough job!

  5. Sharminda Hoon , Aaromale & Dost hai are utter disasters. Sharminda Hoon , Aaromale esp. remind me of the songs recorded for the badly dubbed South films in Hindi shown on Star Gold

    Hosanna sounds quite good now after repeated hearings. Other songs like Sunlo Zara & Phoolon Jaisi are good despite lyrics like Sapnon Ki rajdhaani . But overall still a disappointment considering the team had some great names involved like A R Rahman, Javed Akhtar, Gautam Menon etc.

    Gautam Menon should thank us for reviewing the music. As of now none of the other sites like Rediff, Indiafm have not yet done the music review. The way things are going i.e with zilch publicity seems like the film is headed for doomsday.
    Btw I read one or two music reviews of this movie on other blogs from those who haven’t heard much about VTV. They seemed to have liked many of the songs in the film.

    @ Cinemausher :However it would be wrong to blame only Jaaved Akhtar. It is failure of the entire team of Ekk Deewana Tha.

  6. dunno about other songs but hosanna is mesmerising. the english rap is performed brilliantly. Good enough for first timers, which i am sure majority will be.

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