I was sitting on the couch, enthralled with the never ending saga of child marriage victims, grown into full-fledged adults a.k.a Balika Vadhu when “hallelujah !”, there was a commercial break. Quick as lightning, I leaned over and snatched the remote from the claws of my octogenarian maid in an effort to control the televisual habits of the household for a momentous five minutes. Perhaps it was fate or happenstance, as I was switching channels my eyes were blessed with the vision of a suited Saif Ali Khan in a nightclub.
I closed my eyes to savour the moment … it was then that I heard it; a melodious girly voice, an oddly familiar tune and really bad lyrics.
Kash maar ke uda de zindagi ka saara gham
Na na na…
Jee le haq se bhula de saare reham-o-karam
Na na na…”
Weirdly enough, while a skimpily clad Malika Haydon was gyrating on screen to these pustule inducing lyrics, the song seemed to be going a little differently in my head.
“He could preach the bible like a preacher
Full of ecstasy and fire
But he also was the kind of teacher
Women would desire
Ra Ra Rasputin
Lover of the Russian queen
There was a cat that really was gone…”
Oh the pain ! Oh the horror ! With David Guetta “inspired” beats, this insipid rendition of a song that is iconic, classic (and every other awesome adjective one can come up), was making me want to grab my passport and scratch that Indian Emblem out with a Magic marker.
In mute horror I picked up the phone and called Score’s very own B-town Busybody,
“Shresht, have you heard that stupid song that sounds like Rasputin from Agent Vinod?!”, I screeched on the phone.
“Haan, I’ll do the talking”
I was quiet for a few seconds, as I thought he was talking to someone else. “You heard it?” I tried once more, albeit a little tentatively this time.
“I’ll do the talking na.”
“Errrr.. you ARE talking, na ?”, I ventured, a little puzzled.
‘’NO NO … the song is called ‘I’ll do the talking’!”
“It’s the official remake of Rasputin, they’ve bought the rights and all.”
“Whatever, it is absolutely, gut wrenchingly painful!”, I said and put the phone down.
Because I am unnaturally curious, and the song is really excruciating, AND I happen to be jobless on a Tuesday afternoon, I went and did the only expected thing to be done in a situation like this. No, I did not gulp ten shots of Vodka; I “Googled” myself a storm (I also committed grammatical suicide by verbify-ing (!) a noun but who cares !).
The song is officially called “I’ll do the talking” from Saif Ali Khan’s film Agent Vinod, with lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya of Chikni Chameli/asinine, bovine and porcine (those are adjectives not a movie) lyrics fame. Music by Pritam, proudly from the ‘we do not copy we are inspired’ school of Bollywood music. His teachers declared him to be the Anu Malik of today. Given this irresistible combination, I am not surprised with the result. While the fan club will be boo me down saying “oh, but they bought the rights”, if you listen to the song, it seems as though they composed a whole new song that sounded like the original and then paid for the music as an afterthought to cover their uninventive asses.
This is in direct contradiction to some real (I am not saying real good), official remakes like Stand by Me/Dildara (Ra.One) and Pretty Woman (Kal Ho Na Ho) which retained the spirit of the original. In an interview with The Times of India, Pritam stated that the song is also inspired by a Russian folk song, Rose Kose Curo Imas, which also happens to be the inspiration for Boney M’s Rasputin.
Pot – Kettle – Black much ?
Pritamji isn’t the first B-town bad boy to rape Rasputin, as it also “inspired” a song from the 1993 film Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa called Sachi Yeh Kahaani Hai.
Nevertheless, this song seems to have borrowed nothing but the musical hook from the original, since the song itself is completely different.
“I’ll do the talking” will NOT be featured in the film; it is positioned as a promotional song. The problem with this song is not that it is a bad song per se (it undoubtedly is), but that it also lacks a soul.
Unlike its Chikni counterpart, this one will not have you grooving to it in a bhang-induced high on Holi, or screeching away the chorus during Diwali, New Year’s night or in the baraat of your best friend’s wedding. The lyrics have no real meaning and for a song that is inspired by Boney M, it has absolutely no sense of fun whatsoever. It seems to be of the new and un-improved ‘Ho gayi tun’ style, lately adopted by Pritam. All style, NO substance.
I don’t live in La La Land. I get it, remakes happen; music directors are inspired and maybe there really is no such thing as a truly original tune, but dear Pritamji, did you have to make the song this bad ?!
Because the way we see it – there is NO EXCUSE for bad music.
Stay tuned to www.highonscore.com for Agent Vinod’s music review.
Hark ye, padawaans! Follow the musical force on Twitter @highonscore