Bhansali V/s Bhardwaj

by Shaheen Muhammed

So there were huge expectations when Guzaarish released. More from the maker-musician Mr. Bhansali who is known for his music as much for his films. But the film bombed and neither could its music create the magic which once Saawariya’s music could. The classical richness and artistic layers which Mr. Bhansali has created in some of his songs have remained unbeatable. His collaborations with Ismail Durbaar and Monty have given us some of the best hits of the decade. Yet, as I always say, my favorite music composer has been Vishal Bhardwaj and his deadly combination with Gulzaar Saab. From Maachis to Satya to Omkara.. Kaminey.. Ishqiya… his magic prevails.
As one of my filmy friend quotes in his blog- ‘Bhansali’s music is born out of his arrogant conviction’. When you further explore it, it makes you see his immense obsession with rich classical taste and touch to everything. But when you listen to Vishal’s music, there is this certain rawness to it. The music and composition will be as rich as a Bhansali creation, but what makes it different is that while Bhansali’s music comes out of a certain passion and obsession… Vishal’s music is a baby of a subtle womb. Its not boisterous… it’s not loud…
Bhansali’s music is an exaggeration of life.Vishal’s songs are earthy.Very ‘comman man-ish’… one would hum the tunes of ‘Dil to baccha hai ji…’ and ‘jag ja’.. ‘Namak’…’Beedi’… than ‘daras bina nahin chain…’ (A classical piece from Saawariya) and this is not just because, ‘daras…’ is a classical masterpiece, definitely difficult to sing but also because its lyrics and musical tones, ups and down doesn’t appeal to my ‘general-basic’ understanding of music.
‘Dil to Bacha hai ji…’ (Ishqiya) is as rich as ‘Daras..’ in terms of composition, lyrics and its aesthetic appeal. But it is the universal appeal that ‘bacha’ makes that sets it apart.
Also, Vishal is definitely more versatile in his composition. So he can do a ‘jag jaa’ from Omkara and also a ‘DHAN TE NAN’ from Kaminey to ‘Darrrllingg’ from his forthcoming film ‘Saath khoon Maaf’.

So what goes wrong with Bhansali? With Bhansali, the problem is, the moment I listen to his music, the constant image that my mind forms is of the last scene in Devdas where Paaro runs through the Haveli to meet Devdas or Nandini running through the Haweli when Sameer leaves the house (Hum dil de chuke sanam). Loud and dramatic…’climaxish’ background scores. Though I love those pieces but I feel this definitely restricts my thoughts on Bhansali’s composition.

Yes, both of them are legends and are masters of their own genre and its stupid comparing their music styles… but I think it is interesting to listen and observe that where does it all generate from. What is the thought process which goes into making of such master musical creations.

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