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Jab Harry Met Sejal song: This 'Radha' fails to strike the right chord

The two-and-a-half-minute video only gives you the feeling that the lyrics, music, singing and dancing are half baked.

Mayur Lookhar

Imtiaz Ali's films tend to have good music. Check Jab We Met (2007), Rockstar (2011), or Tamasha (2015). Naturally, the same is being expected of his next film, Jab Harry Met Sejal. However, the first song from the film, 'Radha', which was released today, is below expectation.

Radha is an important figure in Indian mythology and the Radha-Krishna legend has been used in the past to create wonderful tunes. In the recent past, Javed Akhtar's 'Radha Kaise Na Jale' from Lagaan (2001) and Anvita Dutt's 'Radha' from Student Of The Year (2012) spring instantly to mind. Sadly, Jab Harry Met Sejal's 'Radha' is a far cry from these modern classics.

The video begins with a rather silly theory. Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) asks Sejal if she knows why Punjabi singers sing so loudly. Like Sejal (Anushka Sharma), you may also be keen to know the answer. What follows will leave you taking your palm to your face.

"Punjabis are farmers," he continues. "They operate tractors in the fields and sing at the same time. To hear themselves above the din of their tractors, they have to sing loudly."

You now fear that this 'Radha' might turn out to be a cliched, OTT Hindi-Punjabi track. Thankfully, Shahid Mallya’s voice doesn’t drill into your ears.

The song is basically about Sejal losing her heart to Harry. The mash of Hindi and Punjabi lyrics in the beginning lull you into believing that lyricist Irshad Kamil has penned fine poetry and two lovers are indulging in a simple poetic conversation. However, the subsequent lyrics, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, are average.

Maybe Kamil was short of words, or maybe he was focusing more on rhyming. But what begins as a jovial, contemporary Bollywod track with a touch of folk music goes off on a different plane with rollicking pop music. This change in beat is accompanied by the two artistes indulging in some crazy dance moves more suited for endorsing a popular electrical equipment brand. It is also hard to explain why they indulge in some nagin-style moves.

The frantic music ebbs and you get the sane voice of Sunidhi Chauhan, but there is not much to hear save the line 'mai bani teri Radha’ before the frantic music returns.

Though dressed in Western attire, Sharma does well to enact the classic Radha dance step at the end. But Harry, the self-confessed loose character, isn't impressed and sneers: "Nice, sweet, thoda sister type. Thoda garam gaa sakti hai?”

All through the nearly two-and-a-half-minute song, you get the sense that the lyrics, music, singing and dancing are half-baked. Music composer Pritam and Kamil would probably admit that this is not their best effort. But while 'Radha' fails to strike a chord, it would be naive to term it a disaster without waiting for an extended version. Meanwhile, watch the track here:

Jab Harry Met Sejal is scheduled to be released on 4 August.