A little hit, a little miss, a lot of Yo Yo

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Chennai Express is on the fast track, Pallavi Sharda arrives on the scene and Bhaag Milka Bhaag is a runaway hit… Bollywood is on a roll

What’s up party people! It seems Chennai Express is the movie of the moment in terms of being a box office smash but reviews coming in are very mixed. The music’s a mixed bunch too with Titli floating my boat whilst One Two Three Four is way too cheesy for my liking. Some late controversy too. A last-minute decision was made to include Yo Yo Honey Singh’s Lungi Dance at the end of the movie. It doesn’t appear on the soundtrack as the music was put together by the well known Vishal-Shekhar and it isn’t their song. Nothing wrong with the tune but apparently they were assured that only their music would be used in the film, as you would reasonably expect. Needless to say they were less than amused and that sort of treatment of music producers doesn’t work for me either!

Express stars Shah Rukh Khan who’s performing at All Phones Arena Sydney on 7 October with a cast and crew of 110 people. Melbourne missed out on the love but that hasn’t stopped scores of fans, mostly female, booking their tickets to see him live. Personally, no matter how famous he is, I’m not a fan of the guy’s films and his overacting. To be fair to him, the way he acts is probably down to the director and he came on the scene when Hindi movies were very one dimensional and melodramatic. I’m glad things have changed since. Those films are still around but we now have some real quality and variety, driven by a new generation of scriptwriters and directors. One thing I’ll add is I’ve seen Khan live in concert before and he was superb. It’s great to see a show like this coming to Australia after such a long time and I hope we’ll see more Bollywood stars going forward.

Speaking of which, our very own Australian Indian star Pallavi Sharda is ready for the launch of Besharam on 2 October, featuring herself and Ranbir Kapoor. The movie is directed by Abhinav Kashyap, the man behind Dabangg. Many of us, myself included, have been eagerly anticipating the release of this film over the past few months, since the news dropped that Sharda has been cast in the lead role. Ranbir’s the man of the moment and it’s a wonderful achievement for Pallavi to be starring alongside him. The film also features Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Javed Jaffrey and Hritik Roshan. Add to that familiar names on the soundtrack like Mika, Shreya, Sunidhi, Sonu, Daler and Mamta (Munni Badnaam Hui). It’s truly exciting to see an Aussie desi making her mark in Bollywood. Congratulations sister! Let’s hope this leads to even bigger things for Sharda. In the meantime, make it a party and support the movie by watching it at your local cinema.

I’m feeling the beats of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The film’s been widely acclaimed and the music by Shankaar-Ehsaan-Loy is a winner with songs like Mera Yaar (qawwali style), Zinda (rock), Maston Ka Jhund and O Rangrez. Atif Aslam and Shreya Ghoshal sound smooth on Bairiyaa (Ramaiya Vastavaiya), as does Javed Bashir on Ye Tune Kya Kiya (Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara). Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani continues to be widely requested, especially Badtameez Dil, Balam Pichkari and Ghagra. Mika Singh’s rendition of Duma Dum Mast Kalander (D-Day) is working for me, even better than Rekha Bhardwaj’s earlier this year (David). Same goes for Sona Mohapatra’s guitar groove Ambarsariya (Fukrey).

What about Punjabi? Never short of new releases there, I must say. There’s slow groove from Diljit (Proper Patola), DJ Raj and Pritam (Tere Bin), reggae with Apache Indian (new album), GV and Roach Killa (Akhiyan Da Nasha), house and electronica by Lord Munmeet (Saun Rab Di), Onkar Sumal (Pichlee Galee), DDS (DJ Utho Dubstep Remix), Tigerstyle (Dhi Punjab Di), GS Khan & Surinder Rattan (Tere Pichay). Jassi Sidhu’s back with Hip Shaker. Finally the more traditional and hardcore bhangra and giddha sounds are covered by Tru Skool (Puth Jattan De), Bups Saggu (Battle Giddha), DJ Vix and Malkit Singh (Desi Beat), Manjeet Pappu and DJ JD (Moorni), Bikram Singh and DDS (Boliyan Paavan), Jas Parv and Nav Sidhu (Akh Lar Gayi), Sukhwant Thind Gin and Rees (DJ Chakhdeh Phatteh).

That’s it for this month! For more on the latest in the scene, check out my weekly radio show Mumbai Masala at www.pbsfm.org.au (available on demand online or live in Melbourne on 106.7 PBS FM, Monday evenings 7pm-8pm). You can also listen using TuneIn app or PBS Radio’s iPhone and Android apps. Get in touch with me on Twitter and Facebook. I’d love to hear your feedback on this column and the show via my website www.richimadan.com, info@richimadan.com. Peace out.

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