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First Thoughts on Challa – Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Jab Tak Hai Jaan - Challa, Shahrukh Khan, Yashraj Films

After a million firewalls had been set up around to build curiosity around the next YRF-SRK mega Diwali release, we saw the firecracker fizzle out with an unimpressive title inspired from a Sholay song. YRF’s next – Jab Tak Hai Jaan, brings back SRK to the era of Dil To Pagal Hai, romancing two leading ladies, in and around London, and even playing the “Maati ke Laal deshbhakt“, as he vrooms around in his army uniform, and even walks away from an explosion – #LikeABoss. One of the other selling points of the promotion campaign has been the first time collaboration between Yashraj Films and A.R.Rahman. There is always a level of anticipation surrounding every Rahman project , as fans wait for his tracks with great levels of expectation. The first track released from the soundtrack – Challa, on a whole doesn’t hit the note quite right, and rather than being a straight boundary, feels more like a dot ball. Sorry about that cricket analogy, but Challa didn’t quite deliver the Rahman magic that we’ve grown to get used to. Neither does it bring home the SRK charm of say – Mitwa (KANK), or even Kyon Hawa (Veer Zara).

First of all, the voice is just so not right. Rabbi is a brilliant singer, but is just not right for SRK. You know who suits well for SRK – Udit, Sonu, Abhijeet, Sanu, Shankar, even Shafqat. But NOT Rabbi. Also, the song sounds like a derivative from the singer’s own Bulla Ki Jaana. It probably has to do with Rabbi’s instantly recognizable voice, and this does all the harm.

Secondly, SRK is getting old, and throughout the video, he does seem out of his age, to be playing a busker, (fake) strumming his guitar around Trafalgar Square and South Bank.  I just didn’t buy it. As much he looks aged, he seems like he overdosed on Prozac. He’s too jubilant to be roaming around a busy Trafalgar Square, Canary Wharf, train stations across London and what not! Oh, and he’s happy washing cars, passing fish baskets to fish mongers and earning his “mehnat ki kamai”. Is that the message behind the song?

I am too lazy to google the deeper meaning of the lyrics. Can someone do it for me?

Also, if he’s a serious busker, he would be carrying a guitar cover to collect the change. Have a look at what SRK has got.

JTHJ - Challa

But what leaves me absolutely perplexed, is the final moment of the video, when SRK appears in an army uniform, doing this.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan - Like a Boss

So, from London Busker, to fish monger helper to Indian Army dude in Ladakh. Oh, and he’s romancing Katrina Kaif and biker chick Anushka. How do I connect the dots? Or, is there a Lamhe angle to this? Or a punar janam? All bets are off. We’ll get to know what Yash Chopra’s last movie has to offer. As for A.R.Rahman’s soundtrack, Yash Chopra has been quoted that Challa is his favourite and is the soul of the song. If that is indeed the case, then I’m worried.

RATING: What The Fishh! Didn’t work!

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  1. 1. That it sounds like a bit of bulla ki jaana – right.

    2. That the voice doesnt cut it just as yet in SRK- right.

    3. SRK is ageing – right.

    4. Everything else in the post is quite uncalled for. You will start guessing and when you cant then you will go round and round and eventually beat the makers down because you are going round and round thanks to a trailer? Doesnt sound right.

    Gaana suno. I am quite sure you are already on a ‘i love it when i hear it but dont like the visuals’ stage (which doesnt come out in the post anyway)

    If YRF would have wanted bloggers to decipher the story with intircate details after seeing a 2 min odd clip there woudnt have been the so called ‘firewall’ around it. Hai na?

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    @@Rohwit,

    Thing is, even if I hear the song by itself, it’s just ok. Sounds like another Punjabi single, rather than a YRF soundtrack, or even an A.R.Rahman soundtrack.

    As for the other intricate details, I was just playing “guess who” man. And the post wasn’t just about discussing the music of Challa, but the whole 2 minutes, which I did, albeit in a silly way, I agree. But what else would you expect of me? :P

    [Reply]

  2. When Salman is dancing around in colorful clothes that it’s ok. When Aamir is playing a college student, that is ok.
    Honestly, I think you’re all biased. If I didn’t know SRK real age I would think he’s not older than 30 in “Challa” video. I don’t know if it’s make up, photoshop or magic – but he doesn’t look old here AT ALL!

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    @>>>,
    I have never supported any old actors playing not their age. If you’ve read my post on Ek Tha Tiger, I did mention about Salman’s saggy eyes. Aamir playing Engg student isn’t ok either (if we’re purely talking about his age). But they’re not being discussed here, as this post is about SRK in Challa.
    But hey ho, if SRK looks 30 to you, I can’t possibly make him look 40 to you :)
    Likewise, I just cannot overlook the fact that he’s 40+, and still playing the same kinda character which he played in 1997 – that was 15 years back.

    [Reply]

    >>> Reply:

    @Sujoy, But he wasn’t involved in romantic movies recently. SRK IMHO plays characters suitable for his age for a long time already (CDI, MNIK,RNBDJ,KANK,Don) but, sadly, everyone sees him only as some guy who tries to act like 20 years old all the time. This is not true! Also, I didn’t know that singning on the streets & enjoying life is ereserved only for 20 years old people…

    [Reply]

  3. SO true!!! why have they taken Rabbi fr doing playback fr SRK!!!wht were they thinking…the video and music have such a BIG disconnect…no match at all!!
    and i am amazed by the way ppl are actually liking this song!!!Hoping in movie we get to hear Sonu Nigam singing Challa!!!-‘Bearable’ for starters!!!

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    @radhika,

    There is no rationale that can support Rabbi being chosen. As much as I like him as a singer, it’s just all kinds of wrong. And even just as a song, the composition sounds pretty mediocre.
    Sonu would’ve sounder better for sure.

    [Reply]

  4. I read somewhere that SRK is an Army Man, who is leading a double life. One of the heroine’s his wife and the other his muse and he has to choose.

    Not sure how far that is true though.

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    @Amy,
    SPOILERSSSS!!!!
    We’ll see how this turns out!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Sujoy,

    ha ha, sorry, didn’t think of it as a spoiler considering that I read it in some Magazine. :)

    [Reply]