Music Review: ‘Chhapaak’

Deepika Padukone in 'Chhapaak'
For a movie with a strong social topic the music of ‘Chhapaak’ was expected to be a strongly worded and emotional one. With the great Gulzar holding the pen the lyrics are exactly that.. moving and deep.

BizAsia Rating


The hugely talented Meghna Gulzar has had a brilliant 2018 with ‘Raazi’ (2018) winning numerous awards & admiration all around for her top work. She is back with yet another topic that is sure to get the attention of critics and viewers around the world. ‘Chhapaak’ is a true story of acid attack victim Laxmi Agarwal played on screen by the gorgeous Deepika Padukone. Her look and demeanour as seen in the trailers is just sensational thus building lots of great anticipation for this movie with a strong social message. The music of ‘Raazi’ (2018) was terrific, although this forthcoming movie is a lot different in its appeal one can expect some good music from this film too with the genius of Gulzar behind the lyrics along with Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy as the music directors. This same team created some stunning music in 2018 so expectations are high for this new project.

The first song Nok Jhok feature the vocals of Siddharth Mahadevan who almost unmistakably sounds like his father in many parts of the song. Well that is a great thing as his dad is perhaps one of the finest examples of classically trained commercial Bollywood singers that really sum up Indian music for many. Siddharth Mahadevan uses his classical knowledge well in this song and delivers a very well defined performance. His range and vocal nuances keeping good control is worth a listen as he does it so well that it almost sounds simple. The composition is quite complex and the trio have arranged it so simply with basic acoustic guitar that it becomes really soothing to listen to. The Spanish influences are refreshing to hear with a gorgeous melody that gives a lot of openness to the aura of the song. There is a lot of happy positivity in the music but also in the lyrics of the song. Gulzar’s brilliance is on a high with this song as he brings some great poetry induced with cuteness of un-confessed love and infectious positivity to keep smiling through the most troubled times. In a highly commercialised music environment this complex song puts a very simple message out there and is a good one to listen to. It is not brilliant but relatively very good in all aspects of its production. 4/5

Chhapaak – Title Track is delivered with the amazing vocal of Arijit Singh. The real star of the song is Gulzar though as he sums up how easily the identity of a person is taken away by a few drops of acid. The consequences of that moment of rage are so beautifully summed by that one really needs to listen closely to feel the pain of the words. Singh’s vocal also stirs up emotions of the words as he takes the lyrics through a range of vocal pitches. The arrangement is a little bland though as it is not very impactful. The composition is difficult for a song like this but it could have perhaps been better to get this song noticed better. Being a non-commercial song that is almost like a story and educational piece it needed an extra bit of zing to help be noticed. It is a good song no doubt but not one that you are motivated to hear again and it works better as a title sequence song or a background track in the movie. Nonetheless full marks for the lyrics and vocals on this song. 3/5

Khulne Do is a classic Gulzar song that is all about his lyrics. The poetry is the main strength of the song and it has all the elements one expects from Gulzar saab’s writing. It has a deep and complex thought related to the movie that is well laid out in the rhyme. It is a short song at less than three minutes but the idea that it captures is provoking and moving. The music is refreshing with sombre vibes and has a natural calmness about it. The use of soft strings and a few Tabla notes here and there gives it that extra edge. Singh delivers the vocal over a big range going higher and higher as the song progresses. His vocal is as always immaculate! This is clearly a background song in the film and although the song lacks commercial sense it is a decent one to listen to thanks to how it is composed keeping it simple with the lyrics and vocals leading the creative of the song. 3/5


The album ends with a sad background song called Sab Jhulas Gaya that captures just a few lines that sum up the story. These four lines are so well written by Gulzar that they hit the listener hard! Singh’s vocal is exceptionally deep and moving. One can almost feel the pain through his voice and Singh is one of the only few singers in Bollywood today who can do that. His combination with the legend Gulzar is one epic one and it is a treat for any music listener to hear them together. The real smart move that gives the song the real depth is the almost absence of music from the song. The music trio have arranged the words really well into a nice moving melody while keeping the music on a low to let the vocal shine. An emotional ending to the album that doesn’t have quantity but quality of words. 3.5/5



For a movie with a strong social topic the music of ‘Chhapaak’ was expected to be a strongly worded and emotional one. With the great Gulzar holding the pen the lyrics are exactly that.. moving and deep. The last two songs are so strong that they absorb the listener in and are easy to make one weep listening to them which is a quality that not many lyricists of current generation can boast of. Arijit Singh rules the album vocally and must be thanking his stars to have the opportunity to work with the legendary writer. He delivers each song beautifully with his feelings left bare through this voice which is what the strength of each song is. Siddharth Mahadevan’s vocal is a strong one too on Nok Jhok the lead song of the album although that is not the song with the best lyrical work. Shankar Ehsaan Loy do a fair job with the music. They demonstrate their real strength in understanding the lyrics and vocals to handle them in a very sensitive way in composition. Musically there is not much content but the compositions are strong. The album doesn’t have all the colours of music for an entertaining album but it is a soundtrack that sticks close to the movie and stays true to the theme. It is more of a background music album to the film rather than leading the film’s release with a music pull. Rating – 3/5


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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