Music composer Pritam has a few big film scores lined up towards the end of the year, including Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Dangal. The July 29 release Dishoom, directed by Rohit Dhawan and starring John Abraham, Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Akshaye Khanna, is the hit machine’s first soundtrack of the year. The action comedy features only three songs, but each of them hits its intended target.
The title song “Dishoom” works better than the sum of its parts. Mayur Puri’s lyrics read like a jingoist’s not-to-do list: “Kisi ladki ko chhede koi, toh dishoom, mere India ko bura kaha, toh dishoom, Jana Gana pe na khada hua, toh dishoom” (If you tease a girl, you get a punch, if you malign India, you get a punch, if you do not stand up for the national anthem, you get a punch). Singer Raftaar raps and Shahid Mallya provides a rustic flavour to the hip-hop number by singing a portion in Punjabi. Pritam mixes these elements with a smooth bass sound and amplifies speed on the synthesiser.
Ashish Pandit is credited with the hook line for the song “Sau Tarah Ke”, sung by Jonita Gandhi and Amit Mishra. “Sau tarah ke rog le loon, ishq ka marz kya hai” (I can bear a hundred ailments, what is the pain of love?) is sung by a chorus and becomes the song’s highlight along with the Arabic choir that follows. Pritam’s blend of the exotic with the electronic produces a zingy track reminiscent of the equally crackling “Afghan Jalebi” (Phantom, 2015).
“Jaaneman Aah” takes off from where “Sau Tarah Ke” leaves, adding more drums as the sound gets louder. The vocals of Antara Mitra and Aman Trikha get diluted in the din of wolf whistles. Pritam is clearly playing for the frontbenchers.