Eleven years after Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), Sanjay Leela Bhansali has returned to T-Series with the music of Guzaarish that he has composed himself. Bhushan Kumar, chairman, T-Series, says that he bought the rights long ago, without even listening to the songs, his confidence boosted by Bhansali’s track record and the star power of Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. That was till he learnt that Bhansali was the music director too.
“I admit I was a little hesitant initially because Guzaarish was a big investment. But Sanjayji’s passion and his out-of-the-box taste in music reassured me to an extent. Then I heard the songs and I was blown away. In this era of peppy, Punjabi songs, here was a soulful score that promised a long shelf-life,” exults Kumar. “I even told him that we’re starting two new productions and he could compose their music too. But he’d probably like to keep his compositions to his own movies.”
Quiz Kumar on the decade-long break with Bhansali and he points out that in the case of Devdas the quoted price was too high, so he didn’t think it prudent to pitch for the rights because he was unsure about recovering his investment. “Saawariya was presented by Sony, it was obvious that they’d market the music themselves and Black had no songs,” he reasons.
Point out that soulful music doesn’t play at discotheques and is not ‘big’ with youngsters, and Kumar argues that there’s a market for romantic songs, even those from yesteryear hits like Aashiqui and Lal Dupatta Mal Mal Ka, on radio, TV and mobiles. “Even among the latest hits, ‘Tere mast mast do nain…’ from Dabangg and ‘Tum jo aaye…’ from Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai are among the most downloaded songs,” he informs.
But the trade is apprehensive about a film that portrays action hero Hrithik Roshan as a paraplegic. Isn’t it too big a gamble? “Hrithik is not in a wheelchair all through the film. There’s a back story that has him as a magician who dances through space. But a Dhoom machade… or an Ek pal ka jeena… would have been out-of-place in a film like Guzaarish,” he explains.
“It’s a different mood, with a strong emotional connect. I love the songs, particularly the title track. Love songs are the most difficult to compose but the good ones are forever.”