Mai Hoon Shahid Afridi’s soundtrack: Lollywood in the garb of Bollywood

Published: July 30, 2013
It seems the composers were given a heavy dose of AR Rahman and Lagaan music for inspiration. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

It seems the composers were given a heavy dose of AR Rahman and Lagaan music for inspiration. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

It seems the composers were given a heavy dose of AR Rahman and Lagaan music for inspiration. PHOTO: PUBLICITY Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’s soundtrack, has some catchy numbers but even those are repetitive. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Lollywood soundtracks with their deafening vocals and jhankaar beats better brace themselves. The music of new-age films is crisp and fresh and will definitely give them a run for their money.

The stir that was caused by Shoaib Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye (KKL) in 2007 changed the face (and genre) of ‘Lollywood music’ to one that moves within the range of pop, rock and mellow tunes. KKL’s original and distinctive music album became a chartbuster not only in Pakistan, but also in India with album copies selling in equal numbers in both countries.

Six years down the lane, the soundtrack of one of the most expensive Pakistani film’s in our cinema’s history, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, has been released. But while the music of actor-turned-film-maker Humayun Saeed’s film is not your run-of-the-mill dose of Lolly beats, it could have been better.

Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’s soundtrack, has some catchy numbers but even those are repetitive. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Like the entertainment-packed film, the soundtrack is also heavily inspired by Bollywood. While it’s Bollywood-inspired trailers and storyline will attract hordes to theatres, the music suffers as it  follows the same-old formulaic treatment, making one feel that although the songs are catchy, the tune is repetitive.

The album consists of five songs. Jera Vi Hai Aanday has been written by Shani and Nadeem Asad, while Malal, Teri Hi Kami and a cocktail of two songs Angreja and Beautiful Night have been written by Sabir Zafar. An undisclosed item song Teri Hi Kami is also on the soundtrack. The music has been composed by the young Pakistani duo Kami and Shani.

Judging by the one item song (Teri Hi Kami), the soulful ballad in the voice of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (Malal) and the upbeat, motivational/ patriotic song (Jera Vi Hai Aanday) by Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan which is sure to give you an adrenaline rush, the film’s music has everything to make it a hit but nothing as such to make it memorable. There is no denying that apart from Beautiful Night (which is lacklustre), Kami and Shani have created music which is as good if not better than the music of any Bollywood film. Having said that, there is nothing awe-inspiring about the MHSA soundtrack. It is good for Bollywood, but average by Pakistani standards — we have always made better and original music.

Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’s soundtrack, has some catchy numbers but even those are repetitive. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Our inclination towards Bollywood music is rather shocking. It seems that the composers were given a heavy dose of AR Rahman and Lagaan music as inspiration, which is reflected in the safe and orthodox song writing. Khuda Kay Liye, Bol and even Chambaili had the signature Pakistani sound, which is why they stood out and this will be considered an extension of the Bollywood music we hear every day.

Where Angreja has the groove, rebelliousness and punch to be blared from car woofers — courtesy of Punjabi lyrics —  Beautiful Night, an English song based on the same groove and mood released separately is rather irritating and quite exaggerated. Club music, it seems, is strictly a no-go area for a country that grew up singing and listening to mehendi songs. Artists need to confront this reality and get over it because so far, all attempts at making English-desi club music have been pretentious.

Owing to its catchy melody and lyrics that suit the music of a rebellious theme for a cricket loving nation, Jera Vi Hai Aanday remains to be our favourite.  Lines like “mae ki jaanaa tuk tuk karna, mae tae yaar lapetaan (I don’t know how to play tuk tuk but I can hit the ball hard)” not only address the ongoing Misbah-Afridi competition, but also encompass our sentimentality as a nation.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • pulseller
    Jul 30, 2013 - 6:51PM

    This is correct, we must strive to excise all Indian/Bollywood/Hindu influence from Pakistan. Only once we have a cathartic release of these pagan practices will we begin to develop our own identity.


  • Deepwater
    Jul 30, 2013 - 7:39PM

    I don’t understand one thing – the reviewer says that the Bollywood-style music from the film “will attract hordes to theaters” and then says that “Pakistan has always made better and more original music”. If Pakistan is music is better and more original, then why wouldn’t Pakistani music attract people? Does that mean the Pakistani audience has no taste or that their taste has evolved while the reviewer’s has not? Should every film have a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan type qawalli?

    A typically elitist review disconnected from ground reality. Also, looks like no Pakistani reviewer can do their job without bashing Bollywood.


  • Sonia
    Jul 30, 2013 - 8:13PM

    lol wut? That 53-year old Mahnoor B is the heroine? :D


  • khan
    Jul 30, 2013 - 8:31PM

    music g

    ,music is ha ram in islamxRecommend

  • someone
    Jul 30, 2013 - 8:37PM

    I wonder if Pakistani music is so better than bollywood music, why do these people keep playing bollywood music instead of Pakistani music in their TV shows, talk shows, news channels, marriages, functions etc.?


  • LUMS
    Jul 30, 2013 - 8:45PM

    @Sonia: Does she look 53 to u?


  • A Abid S
    Jul 30, 2013 - 9:07PM

    So we make one movie in 6 years and start competing against bollywood….??? Its like gormet cola saying their stuff is better than pepsi and coke…or mobilink says its better than reliance or air tel…Come on author have some sense…Indian music and movies are much better than ours…at any given time they have 15+ top quality original song of different beats (and the list gets renewed every month meaning they are consistent)…This movie is a pure copy of Indian movies..the story line, camera angles…colors…dressings..everything…since when does our cricket had that much glamour let alone domestic cricket…I think VAAR will be much better at least its more realistic…I know its movies and they are suppose to be fascinations but you cant show CN tower and say that Pakistan….that would be stupid…


  • MC
    Jul 30, 2013 - 9:51PM

    Humayun saeed and Mahnoor baloch …soooo boringggg !!! how about giving chance to new young faces who are real popular on tv these days. I see lots of cute faces and good acting on Hum TV.


  • maestro
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:05PM

    Pakistani music has always leaned more towards rock or classical or a fusion of the two as demonstrated by the popularity of Coke studio (the original Pak version) and our plethora of rock bands. Plus, our female voices like Qurat ul ain Baloch, Tina Sani, Abida Parveen, late Nazia Hassan, Sanam Marvi, Meesha Shafi, Zoe Viccagi, Zeb and Hinya, Hadiqa Kayani all differ from the usual bollywood singers like Lata and Asha in that they are not high pitched but more classical and husky, heavy voiced. I hope we don’t completely give in to bollywood style commercial singing but remain with our roots of music.


  • Abu salim
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:18PM

    Let me remind writter of this article, that you are making a good movie once in 7 or 9 years and already comparing with bollywood. If pakistanis don’t like bollywood songs then why would in Pakistan TV shows, news, marriages and everywhere we play bollywood songs. And, also calling english music as a club music and calling it not good. Think some ten times before calling other countries music as worse or not good. Writter has written as though pakistanis have achieved greatness in whole world. I must say writter is half knowledge and full of hatredness to India and English music.


  • Plantalk
    Jul 31, 2013 - 12:09AM

    Pakistan has great singers and musicians but film music is a whole different kettle of fish. Music in filmmaking is the thread that stitches together the fabric of a filmmaker’s vision. Barfi, Raanjhanaa, Lootera and many of the other recent films are prime examples this.

    Bollywood films have only recently learned to incorporate music in the very essence of their films and has moved beyond the songs merely being a musical interludes. That skill takes time, effort and skills to develop.

    Please do not deride other industries and cultures to make yours look better. You are doing a disservice both to others’ hard work and to your own country’s immense talent as well.


  • akbr
    Jul 31, 2013 - 12:34AM

    yes, while watching one of its video, i got very embarrassed tht the video was made by sme 1 after watching aloo0000oot of indn movies,,, if u spending such amount of money atleast come with orignal ideas, that seems pakistani,,, so 1 cannt feel its inspired from some where else. we want pakistani cinema revival but it should reflect and portray our culture our stories,


  • Behlol
    Jul 31, 2013 - 7:52AM

    Let us stop the use of the term LOLLYWOOD!


  • Sumbal
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:29AM

    Actress Mathira angrily left the event of film Main Hoon Shahid Afridi


  • KSRI
    Jul 31, 2013 - 9:21AM

    Making film is just one aspect. With conservatives running with guns/knives and just a few hundred theaters, how are you going to market the film to get back the money with a reasonable profit margin?


  • choclet
    Jul 31, 2013 - 10:26AM

    can imagine the music while reading the review. and tunes aside the execution of the film would be half an half: bolly and holly. the indian influence is also seen in local tv commercials which don’t have indian models. watching the clip of jera vi with saeed crowned with hair transplantation can’t figure what is the age of his character in the film? he doesn’t look in his 30s.


  • Professor
    Jul 31, 2013 - 11:02AM

    The “identity” that you have built over the last 67 years is plenty obvious. He who forgets history will be trampled by it. All the cooked-up curriculum taught in schools has left entire generations totally oblivious to their roots. They don’t have a clue about their antecedents and this is visible in a lack of identity and pride. The Arabs don’t accept you as their own simply because you are not. You don’t share anything with them except a religion. History has shown that religion is not a persuasive narrative for nation-building. In fact Pakistan is the first in the world to attempt it and it remains to be seen if it will succeed.


  • Jul 31, 2013 - 12:01PM

    The very tradition of music alongside the movie, not just in the background, is an Indian concept. We have not only modified the regular musicals, we have transformed them.

    So, saying, among all this, one element(music) resembles Bollywood and hence bad, ignoring the entire concept was air lifted from India is very strange!

    Since, Pakistan has so much cultural similarities with Persia and Arabia, I wonder why they don’t follow their model of film making? Iran has some very good film makers, by the way.

    Song and Dance is India’s thing. Adding some Pakistani flavour music will not transform the entire foundation and turn into a Pakistani way of making movies.

    If you despise Bollywood so much and want Pakistani way of doing it, why copy the Indian model and crib about one element – Music – not being Pakistani enough?

    Isn’t this contrasting?


  • hazarawal
    Jul 31, 2013 - 12:33PM

    Supeeeeeeeeeeeer …..flop :)


  • Bilal
    Jul 31, 2013 - 1:30PM

    Lol I can bet that all these comments bashing Mahnoor Baloch are from women! I have seen this reaction before! Idk why, but most women can’t just seem to like her.


  • someone
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:01PM

    Honestly, if you leave bollywood/hindu/Indian influences out of your music, movies, society, all you would be left with is Taliban and the ilk.


  • OldSchool
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:33PM

    Although 53 is an exaggeration, I am sure Mahnoor is around 40 years old because she started acting in 1993 drama Marvi at the age of 20. Why do celebs not realize that it’s hard to hide your age esp if you have spent most of your life on-screen?


  • saad
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:46PM

    no we do not do it better than bollywood,have you ever come acrooss composers like amit trivedi and a r rehman,they are different genres of music and bollywood does them all


  • majid khan
    Aug 4, 2013 - 3:09AM

    will be a great movie of two superstars humayun and shahid


  • Sorry
    Aug 8, 2013 - 3:05PM

    @LUMS: She’s still 53.


  • shahbano
    Aug 25, 2013 - 11:12PM

    I think all the critics of the movie should be ashamed they call them selves Pakistanis so they should watch and support thr own content ,Atleast we should be happy that we have at last started to make some of our own stuff, I thing the music is good ,Rahat has given Indian cinema its best which made thr flopped movies music a Hit, We need to stop pointing fingers on our people .Its easy to say that our Lollywood sucks rather doing sumthing about it, Our television dramas are the best they are way better then others. Its time to make ur cinema Lollywood industry grow by young generation ,Mahnoor maybe is 53 but she looks stunning than anyother indian actresses ,She acts Far better than Katrina kaif which is just a ‘Chiiti Cream” a British face. Its a start people stop pointing fingers Promote ur cinema spread the word ,People who are talking about Islam here ,What happens when u watch Sheila ki Jawani and Munni Badnaam or any Indian songs, ?What happens when u watch there vulgar movies,?Apnay cinema ko Promote kartay huay, Apnay Artist and industry ko grow karta daikh kar ap kay andhar ka Maulvi jag jata hai !!! Its better to watch ur movies and improve ur industry so that our lollywood becomes a huge investment of our country and Pakistan makes money rather then giving ur neighbors money by promoting thr stuff, Do sumthing for ur country .Music ia really good admit it ,If we dance on honey singh Angreaji beat on Mehindis Why not dance on Angreaja teri ??? Who cares If we are copying Bollywood all movies are copies of Hollywood, Atleast our industry will grown and Inshallah be huge in sum years .Give It a Start ,Well done Hamuyun and the Cast ,Go Green Go Pakistan!!!


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