Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman’s maiden production venture, 99 Songs, a romantic musical journey has hit the screens today. Let’s see how it fares.
Story: Jay ( Ehan Bhat) loves his collegemate Sophia ( Edilsy Vargas) and dreams big to live with her forever. But for obvious reasons, their love gets a rejection by Sophia’s father just because Jay is a struggling musician. In order to gain Sophia at any cost, Jay accepts to face a challenge thrown by the heroine father. On the other hand, as a sub-plot, the musical backstory of Jay’s family will also be showcased. How will Jay overcome the unexpected incidents in the musical journey and win his love? forms the crucial crux of the story.
Performances: The lead pair is adorable on the screen and performance-wise both Ehan Bhat and Edilsy Vargas gave a decent performance.
Looks-wise Ehan Bhat is good with attractive eyes and did his struggling character quite convincingly. Edilsy Vargas is cute and impresses with her innocent facial expressions.
Senior actress Lisa Ray gets a meaty role which comes during the crucial point in the film and pulled off the role effortlessly.
Tenzing Dalha as the hero’s friend did a good job and his presence brings depth to the proceedings in a few scenes in the second half.
Actress Warina Hussain’s crucial mother role in the flashback episode has been projected neatly. Other artists, who did supporting roles gave an okayish performance.
Technicalities: Ace musician AR Rahman came up with a script that is completely based on the music. His idea of interlinking the music with a soulful love story is good but the execution part has a few cliches in it. Director Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy’s presentation is okay but he would have focused more on the writing part.
Editing by Akshay Mehta and Shreyas Beltangdy is okay but would have been even better. Cinematography work by Tanay Satam and James Cowley is rich as the visuals bring a rich texture to the screen.
Music by AR Rahman himself is good as his songs and the background score are an added advantage for this musical film.
Production values for this limited budget film are adequate.
Analysis: True to the title, 99 Songs is a musical journey of an ambitious guy and has a few enthralling moments but if the team has focused on writing a better and racy screenplay by avoiding the dull moments in the plotline the result would have been much better.
Though the film is a musical journey, it addresses various elements like love, family drama and redemption in a person’s life but none of the elements have been established in a proper manner. If the above-mentioned elements are neatly presented, the film would have got unanimous applause.
If you like to watch 99 Songs, keep your expectations low and the film will end up as a decent watch.
Verdict: A redemption journey with few moments