Music maestro AR Rahman, who gave Indian cinema a new high with his music, has become a filmmaker with 99 Songs. 99 Songs has been released in theaters on Friday (April 16) amidst the second wave of the Coronavirus. During this time, the release dates of many big films were postponed, but Rahman did not budge from his date.
The film has also been released in Tamil and Telugu along with 99 Songs Hindi. 99 Songs is the result of Rahman's decade-long hard work. This story came to his mind ten years ago and since then he was engaged in its construction. The film finally reached theaters. Rahman as a musician is very difficult to measure and 99 Songs is a living example of this.
If the producer of a film is Rahman and the genre is musical, then it is not difficult to guess what the result will be. Rahman's musical presence can be felt in every frame of 99 songs. On the music and technical front, 99 Songs is a hit, but in terms of story, Rahman missed the rhythm.
99 Songs is the story of Jai, a college student who has music in full swing. Despite bitter childhood memories and their father's warnings, Jai wants to become a singer, songwriter, and musician. There are two other people in Jai's life. Her friend Polo and girlfriend Sophie Singhania. Sophie cannot speak.
Impressed by Jai's music concert at the college, Sophie's business tycoon invites father Jai to her house party. Jai also wins the Chief Minister's heart in the party by his performance. After the party, Sophie's father gives a business idea to Jai to start a music streaming service, which Jai will lead. However, Jai does not want to trade music and turns down the offer.
Jai argues that one song in an artist's life can change the world. Annoyed by Jai's refusal, Sophie's father challenges him to produce not one but 100 songs, only after which Jai can take his relationship with Sophie forward. This challenge becomes the motive of Jai's life, in which his friend Polo is helped. Polo takes Jay with him to Home Town Shillong.
In Shillong, Jai meets club singer Sheela. Jai Sheela's band plays the piano. However, an accident happens and Jai is proven to be addicted to drugs and admitted to rehab. Jai breaks into Rehab and gives up hope.
In Rehab, Jai learns the bitter truth of childhood, which caused his father to hate music very much, and because of that hatred, Jai is not able to learn music openly. However, with the help of Rehab director Manisha Koirala and friend, Jai finally composes a song whose music has the urge to change the whole world.
The screenplay of the film's director Vishwesh Krishnamurthy is well within the boundaries of the story written by Rahman. The story is straightforward, so there was no scope for much experimentation in the screenplay. An attempt has been made to make the screenplay interesting through flashbacks and Sophie's narration.
Some scenes touch the mind, wanting to learn music, Nanhe Jai is sometimes taken to a temple, sometimes a mosque, and sometimes to a church and gurdwara, where he stands and listens to the music that is drowned in prayers. There are 14 songs in the film, which have been used according to the situation. But O Aashika, who came just before the climax, is the soul of 99 songs, while Saathiya Saathiya, who plays with the credit roles, is Karna-darling. Apart from music, 99 Songs has the second highest quality cinematography. Tanay Satam and James Cowley have done amazing work with the camera. Visual effects add life to imaginary scenes.
Talking about acting, it is the first film of both the lead actors of the film, Ahan Bhatt and Edilsey Vargas. Ehan has done a good job in the role of a music lover struggling with his past. One does not realize the first film by seeing him in scenes. Edilsey is beautiful in the film. Edilsey has played the character of the voiceless Sophie live with resentment. As a friend, Tenzin Dalha has done the right thing.
Musician Ram Rahim's special appearance gives a decisive twist to the story and Jai's character. Lisa Singer is likable in the role of club singer Sheila. However, his character is not very long. Manisha Koirala's cameo in the role of Rehab director supports Jai's character.
Artists - Ehan Bhatt, Edilsi Vargas, Tenzin Dalha, Manisha Koirala, Ram Rahim, etc.
Director- Vishvesh Krishnamurthy.
Producer - AR Rahman
Star *** (3 stars)
Duration - 2 hours 10 minutes