Afghan jalebi – Asrar – Pritam – Qazi Touqeer | Phantom (2015)

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Movie: This song was included in the movie Phantom (2015), directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and Siddharth Roy Kapoor under the banner of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. The movie starred Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif, Mir Sarwar, J Brandon Hill, Shahnawaaz Pradhan, Midat Sahab, etc.

The story involves the aftermath of the Mumbai Terror Attacks that happened in 2008. The story of Phantom begins with Jude Rosario Aka Captain Daniyal (Saif Ali Khan) being convicted of the murder of an American called Matthew Broody. 6 months back R.A.W. had planned a covert operation to avenge the death of several people in the Mumbai Terror Attacks when Daniyal is pulled out of oblivion for the operation. Nawaz Mistry (Katrina Kaif) is his only team member and helps him find his target, Sajid Mir (Mir Sarwar) at a cricket match.

In the present, Daniyal has landed in the same jail as David Headley (J Brandon Hill), the mastermind behind the Mumbai Terror Attacks. Daniyal gets in touch with Nawaz for 100 dollars to buy batteries, which contain a certain poison, which kills the moment placed on the tongue. The poison is also undetectable because the cause of death comes out as a heart attack. When David is killed by Daniyal, he is immediately released because the man he is supposed to have killed, Matthew Broody is found alive.

Then Daniyal and Nawaz decide to go to Pakistan to kill Sahabuddin Umvi and Haaris Saeed (Shahnawaaz Pradhan). In that country, with the help of a local restaurant owner, Khalid (Midat Sahab) they plan to kill Haaris Saeed by placing an explosive in the mike to explode during his speech. This song is placed in the movie at this juncture.

Song: The catchy lyrics were penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya and the feet-tapping music was composed by Pritam.

The initiation of the song with claps is interesting. Being a Bharatanatyam dancer, I know the importance of talam in music and dance. The claps give the right push to the beginning of the song. I have always been enthralled by languages, particularly French, Spanish, Arabic and Urdu. The Urdu-Arabic language that is used in this song is fascinating. Short catchy phrases, characteristic of today’s songs, help in easily learning the song. The song talks of the singer’s beloved, whom he describes as having the different beautiful qualities, but is not showing him her face. The beloved uses a gun to injure people. But according to the singer, her looks are enough to kill people.

Video: Cinematography is by Aseem Mishra. The choreography is by Ahmed Khan. The picturization of men, dancing with guns, is innovative. Belly-dancing by women is an additional asset to the song’s video. To say that this is an item song would be cliché. In the video, Katrina comes looking for someone at the place where the song and dance are being performed. We may say that the song depicts Katrina’s beauty in a sense because the camera pans to her many times during the song.

Artists: The song is sung by Asrar or Sayed Asrar Shah. Kashmiri Sufi singer Qazi Touqeer has been featured in the video of the song, with many extra artists.

Cultural influence: In my opinion, music is music. If it feels good to the ear, it is good music. Melody or rock, it does not make a difference to me. The genre maybe Indian Classical or Afghan tribal, music for me is like a bulb lighting darkness and a stress-reliever. The song is good and the video is watchable.

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