The success of Gully Boy (2019) seems to have pushed the love for rap music overboard among composers. The latest track, ‘Aukaat’, from Badla is another heavily rap influenced composition that tries to make the septuagenarian Amitabh Bachchan speak the ‘hip’ new language to appeal to a younger demographic. Composed by Clinton Cerejo, the song has lyrics by Siddhant Kaushal and a rap by Jizzy.
The video of the song seems to portray the darkness, with sharp shadows thrown by neon lighting. The scenes build the feel of Bachchan singing in a grunge nightclub.
The actor should preferably not try that in real, for his voice does not suit rap. Once known for his baritone, Bachchan’s age seems to have caught up with his vocal chords as well. Though he tries, it is obvious that the treatment of the song does not suit him. The actor misses certain cues which require more energy. But few can fault the 70-year-old of doing less.
Cerejo’s composition is not without its highlights. The song has pace, and an impressive guitar chord running through the spine of the composition. Played by Cerejo, the song does have a punch. But the pace also plays against its lyrical strength. At times, the lyrics do not gel together, and move too fast for the listener to even experience the meaning of the words.
The power of a rap composition lies in the depth of its lyrics, the flow, and control of the rapper. While it is too much to expect Bachchan to have complete control at such pace, the lyrics fail to do enough justice. While the idea of ‘Badla’ used alternately as revenge and change work, it seems to be superficial. To segue into the theme of an individual aspiring for change and improvement seems contradictory to the thriller-theme of the film. The rhythm is built effectively, but the impact is lost.
In all, the song is a one-time listen, but nothing to rap on about.
Badla is directed by Sujoy Ghosh and will be released on 8 March 2019.