Kangana Ranaut is making her Telugu film debut opposite Young Rebel Star Prabhas in Ek Niranjan. In a departure from her wild and crazy Bollywood characters, Kangana will be playing a sweet, young guitar teacher and Prabhas is the emotionally distant loner who wins her heart. Directed by Puri Jagannadh, who also directed Prabhas in the superhit Bujjigadu, Ek Niranjan also stars Jodhaa-Akbar's Sonu Sood as the villain. Releasing October 29th, Ek Niranjan has all the makings to be a masala classic.
Music director Mani Sharma knows this territory very well, after all, he did the music for Prabhas's blockbuster Billa, which released earlier this year, as well as such modern masala classics as Pokiri (recently remade in Hindi as Wanted). Ek Niranjan is a solid entertainer packed with the kinds of up-tempo numbers that will certainly be used to showcase Prabhas's superior dance skills.
The album begins with the title track Ek Niranjan, a catchy, rhythmic tune that mixes some heavy distorted vocals from Ranjith with some softer instrumental flourishes like Spanish guitar and violin, along with a twee female chorus. The result is a fun tune that should get your feet tapping.
Next up is Gundello, a duet by Hemachandra and Geetha Madhuri. Although it starts with a heavy electric guitar, the song is actually a shimmery dance song built on a standard club beat. It's fairly predictable, using all the tricks of the dance mix, but still enjoyable. If the picturization is good, this one has the makings of a hit single.
The mood changes with Sameera which is a yearning song that alternates rhythmic verses with sweet choruses. Sung by Karthik, the song is the highlight of the album. The verses masterfully build up tension that is released with the crooning lyric "Sameera". A cheeky female chorus and Spanish guitar breakdown complete the song.
Although the first three tracks are dominated by the male point of view, the female gets a turn in the sweet Evaru Lerani sung by Malavika, which makes one immediately think of pastoral imagery and saris flowing in the wind. Malavika's vocals are doubled and tripled in places, giving her voice a pleasingly organic sound that is echoed in the flute that follows her lines.
Taking us from Elysian Fields to the beaches of Goa, Mahammari opens with a sample from that old club standby "Calabria 2007" setting the mood for this all out dance track. Mani Sharma throws everything he has into it and the result is a jumbled but not unsatisfying dance number. The song perks up during the chorus but is dragged down by some kitchen-sink instrumental breaks.
Finally, the album ends with a half-baked tribute to Michael Jackson in Narthana Thara. The picturization should be amusing but 'Narthana Thara' itself is lacking both a melody and an interesting beat. Samples of classic Michael Jackson songs are thrown in at random. Prabhas's dancing should salvage this in the film.
Overall, Ek Niranjan is a solid effort. There are some sour notes, most specifically 'Narthana Thara', but the rest of the album more than makes up for it. his is another winner for Mani Sharma!