Music can make the blind see (at least in Hindi cinema). In Sanjay Gupta’s Kaabil, blind couple Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) and Sue (Yami Gautam) are united by the sounds around them. This aspect can be finely nuanced through the film’s soundtrack, or as Kaabil proves, act as the briefest of briefs to follow while composing. The January 25 release’s music composer Rajesh Roshan rolls out tunes generic to any other romantic movie.
The title track Kaabil Hoon has the sound of a romantic ballad from the 1990s. Roshan’s dated tune is mixed with electronic beats to cater to young listeners. Singers Jubin Nautiyal and Palak Muchchal croon “hey hey hey” and “la la la”, which are as old-fashioned as the playback combination of Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik, who made the nonsense musical syllables a popular feature of their hit duets. The lyrics are by Nasir Faraaz.
In a brief sad version of the number, Nautiyal’s voice soars above the plangent melody. Kaabil Hoon is also the only track that appears to be tied to the film’s narrative. The blind lovers seem to dithering in the dark, asking each other if they are kaabil (capable) or not.
Roshan remixes his older hit composition Haseeno Ka Deewana, originally from Yaarana (1981), for Kaabil. Raftaar’s rap and Payal Dev’s vocals on the remix are standard fare. Gourov-Roshin are credited for additional remix sounds and Kumaar for the lyrics.
Kuch Din is written by Manoj Muntashir and sung by Nautiyal. Poor orchestration and a dull tune dilute Nautiyal’s performance. Composer and singer Vishal Dadlani sings Mon Amour, a peppy track designed to display Hrithik Roshan’s dancing skills. The guitar riffs, drums and horns bear a faint (and feeble) resemblance to Ricky Martin’s hit single Maria.
Gourov-Roshin’s remix Kisi Se Pyar Ho Jaaye was originally sung by Kishore Kumar as Dil Kya Kare in Julie (1975) and composed by Roshan. With additional lyrics by Kumaar and sung by Nautiyal, it is yet another example of a classic melody that should have been left alone. Despite the retro tunes, the soundtrack is unlikely to have a shelf life of its own.