Raanjhanaa is a 2013 Hindi romance film, directed by Anand L. Rai and written by Himanshu Sharma. The music of the film is composed by double Academy Award Winner, A. R. Rahman. The film is produced by Krishika Lulla under the banner Eros International. The film stars Tamil film actor Dhanush in his Bollywood debut and Sonam Kapoor in the lead roles. The film is scheduled to release on June 21, 2013. The dubbed Tamil version of the same film titled "Ambikapathy" is scheduled to release by a week of its Hindi counterpart.
Actor Dhanush plays the character "Kundan" who has passion for his city Banaras and "Zoya" (character played by Sonam Kapoor). It depicts him a young boy and then a teen, who turns into a sensitive adult. Sonam Kapoor quoted her character as, "'Zoya' is child-like and unpredictable. She can be cold and at the same time, objective. She has every quality that makes her desirable to a man." In an interview, Kapoor revealed that for playing the role of a school girl in the film, she drew inspiration from the character Jaya Bachchan played in the 1971 film Guddi. Actor Abhay Deol as "Akram" plays a secure yet confident university student, socialist and a budding politician.
In June 2012, A.R. Rahman was signed to compose songs and background score. He agreed to compose post script listening that was re-written entirely in English by the director and the former kept the script personally. The composition of the song "Banarasiya" was ready by September 2012 but wasn't recorded with a singer as the director was biased with vocals, none matching to Sonam Kapoor's voice. The film director attributed the melody and beauty of the particular song to Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai from the 1973 film Bobby. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Rahman stated that he'd be emphasizing the folk-classical genre in music as the film brings out a fascination for Benaras through the music and most of the songs are character driven. The song "Tum Tak" is claimed as a blend of romantic and spiritual elements.
The track shows the passage of five years through five festivals."Tu Mun Shudi" is a contemporary track sung by Rabbi Shergill and the composer himself. In the story line of the film, it is placed when the Kapoor bridges the rift between the other two lead male characters, one being rustic and other urbane and so the track. Later, the composer stated that he had used the sounds of shehnai in almost every song thereby paying a tribute to Ustad Bismillah Khan. Whilst his reconnaissance for the film, director Anand Rai recorded the live aarti chants for the score, however, the patch recordings were fit into a complete song composition titled "The Land of Shiva". Six songs were recorded by November 23, 2012. The soundtrack album composition was completed by early March 2013.The audio rights were acquired for a sum of 6 crore (US$1.0 million).
As promotional one, the track "Tum Tak" sung by Javed Ali, Keerthi Sagathia & Pooja Vaidyanath was released on 6 May 2013. The title track sung by Jasvinder Singh and Shiraz Uppal was released as a promotional video on 16 May 2013. The third promotional track "Tu Mun Shudi" sung by A. R. Rahman and Rabbi Shergill was released on 30 May 2013. The song features Sonam Kapoor, Dhanush and Abhay Deol.
The soundtrack album has nine original tracks.The music of the original version of the soundtrack was released on the co-branded record labels Sony Music and Eros Music.on May 31, 2013. Pakistani singer Shiraz Uppal and our own Jaswinder Singh create a crescendo of melody in the title track of Raanjhanaa. The song carries all classic Rahman elements superb orchestration combining elements of the milieu and story in the soundtrack. The song brings you a whiff of Benaras and also the love story centred in and around the city. It marks a stupendous beginning to the album which grows and grows on you and never lets go. Banarasiya, which follows carries the flavour forward. Sung superbly by Shreya Ghoshal, Anwesha Datta Gupta and Meenal Jain, it carries the flavour forward. Especially pleasing to the ears are the tabla, flute and sitar interludes, so reminiscent of the classical tradition of Benaras.
Bryan Durham of The Times of India gave the album 4 out of 5 and summarized, "In totality, it also needs to be said that if Rahman's music is the language of this film, it would be quite short on a vocabulary without Irshad Kamil's beautiful lyrics." Jyoti Prakash of Indian Box Office Online also gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and said, "The music of Raanjhanaa is of supreme quality.A typical AR Rahman album which is romantic and entertaining yet pure and divine."
Music Aloud critic Vipin assigned the soundtrack 8 out of 10 and noted, "A mixed bag from ARR that is more urbane than folk-classical. Rumnique Nannar of Bollyspice gave the album 4.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Raanjhanaa is a brilliant return to form and originality for A.R. Rahman, who proves his detractors wrong with an album that captures the energy of its city and its lovestruck Raanjhana.
The songs may just take time to grow on the listener, but that’s the joy in it, to savour all of the arrangements and voices that add up to a terrific and rustic album for the ages. Sakhayan Ghosh of The Indian Express summarized, "Irshad Kamil's lyrics provide a perfect foil to the music. And this is Rahman's finest turn since Rockstar, seeing the maestro enter exciting new musical territories." He gave the album 4 out of 5.
Joginder Tuteja at Movie Talkies claimed, "There were good expectations from the music of Raanjhanaa and they are pretty much met (and at places even exceeded) with A.R. Rahman, Irshad Kamil and their singers coming together well to meet the shared vision that was spearheaded by the makers." He gave the album 3.5 out of 5 and added that the music "Works Quite Well As A Packaged Affair". IANS gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars and observed, "Like any other album, the music of Raanjhanaa has few low points, but otherwise it is thoroughly entertaining." At Koimoi, critic Manohar Basu rated the album 3 on 5 and noted, "Very unlikely to be a Rahman composition, the music yet again lacks a soul stirring capability which made him a maverick once! Technically it is both brilliant and fine but the midas touch of the musician is strikingly missing."Critics review board at Behindwoods quoted, "A joyous wonder from Rahman" and gave it 3.5 out of 5.
It took number one position on "Top Albums" category after a week of its release on iTunes India. It also made its place in Mirchi Top 20 charts.