Nice film, which could have been good…
First time director, Neerav Ghosh’s Soundtrack is an interesting film… it’s not technically perfect or impactful cinema that makes you think; it’s simply an interesting story told with above average performances. And these days in Bollywood, that’s good enough considering the trash that makes it to the big screen. I am not saying that we promote mediocrity but it’s good that certain filmmakers are experimenting with different stories, formats and genres. Soundtrack is one such film – it has a fresh story (for Bollywood), inspired by the Canadian film, ‘It’s All Gone Pete Tong’, which apparently is based on a true incident.
Soundtrack is about an emerging musician, DJ Raunak (Rajeev Khandelwal) whose career in Bollywood is just about to take off when he suddenly turns deaf. The first half of the film presents Raunak’s story from the time he arrives in Mumbai till he achieves acceptance and success in the music industry. He is not only passionate about his art but is almost arrogant about his talent. His success is accompanied by a so-called ‘rockstar’ lifestyle defined by drugs, alcohol and sex. The film’s second half focuses on Raunak dealing with his handicap and finding music in his life again.
Armed with a super premise, one would expect the filmmaker to deliver an impactful film that shocks and inspires you. However, the film falters on both aspects. The first half is very long and the party sequences look tacky. Rajeev also looks a little uncomfortable playing an arrogant guy who is almost always stoned or drunk or both. However, in the second half he is very good as a man who has lost what he valued the most in his life – his music. The film’s leading lady, Soha Ali Khan is also introduced in the second half and has an interesting character. I will not reveal her role but she does deliver a good performance. Another notable performance in the film is by Mohan Kapoor, who plays the owner of the club where Raunak plays initially and later his friend cum opportunistic manager.
While the basic plot and lead actors’ performances keep Soundtrack engaging; the writers’ (Neerav Ghosh, Rajiv Gopalakrishnan, Chintan Gandhi) attempt to make it smarter and arty pulls the film down. Scenes involving Raunak’s alter-ego, represented by a Joker are boring and silly. Also, the makers did not care about authenticity at all; many sequences, especially the ones on the beach are shot at an exotic location abroad while the film is set in Mumbai. Cinematography (Anshuman Mahaley) is not impressive and the editing (Sanjey Roderick, Ambar Vyas) leaves a lot to be desired. The biggest factor that does not work in Soundtrack’s favour is its soundtrack; the music (Midival Punditz, Karsh Kale) is average and does not impress while in the film, it’s supposed to be chartbuster material. Having said that, Soundtrack is a nice film and I recommend watching it once.
My rating: * * * Almost three on five
– Shrey Khetarpal