Perhaps for the first time, here’s a Hindi film song/anthem that is entirely a chorus effort. Addressing the lord as ‘tu’ (you) is usually deemed forbidden in our culture, but the song has a fine rhythm to it.
By Mayur Lookhar
Earlier we listened to songs on LP, cassettes, radio, CDs. Now we largely play them online. It has a charm of its own but nothing can beat the experience of a live performance. Adipurush  makers were clever in having a live performance of the Jai Shri Ram song before it was launched digitally worldwide.
We were honored to watch 30 unheralded chorus artists, bunch of musicians enthrall us before the song was launched. Before that, the music composer duo of Ajay and Atul Gogavale, actor Devdatta Nage were welcomed to dhol tunes by young Dhol -Tasha artists. One of them was a 14-year-old boy, lifting an 18 kilo dhol. We salute the passion, spirit of these humble artists.
With regards to the song, what stands out here is that perhaps for the first time, we have a Bollywood track where the entire vocals are a chorus effort. Much of Maharashtra’s devotional music is a Rhythm Ensemble encore. Hindi playback music involves actors lipsyncing to gorgeous voices. It’s mostly solo or duet. Chorus is part of many a Hindi film track, but an entire song playing over chorus is truly refreshing.
Often mythological music is all about devotion. It’s prevalent in the Adipurush track, too, but the chorus, reverberating music gives it a feel of a powerful, motivational track. There is the opening dialogue by Raghav [Prabhas], which is then followed by the song. The track seems to be playing to a collection of relevant visuals from the film. The image of a sullen Janaki [Kriti Sanon] in Ashok Vatika is then followed by visuals that underline the loyalty, devotion of Bajrang [Devdatta Nage], Vanar Sena to Raghava. War cry is too simple a word, it’s best to describe the song as a refreshing jayaghosh naara (acclamation slogan). The collective voices, they have their lyrical appeal, but it’s also a show of strength in unity.
Ajay-Atul are marquee names in Marathi entertainment space. They have their footprints in Bollywood too. Be it Marathi or Hindi, their big hits often reflect the Maharashtrian culture. Though Manoj Muntashir’s words are in Hindi, but the music, the chorus is tinged with the Marathi flavour. The intro music, words have a more Bollywood feeling, but come the first antara (verse), it’s the Marathi flavour that seeps in. If you observe carefully, the near three-minute song has three tempos. The opening tempo is mellow, then followed by the riveting music (Marathi style), while the third tempo reaches a crescendo. The final crooning of Jai Shri Ram perhaps also has a tiny Western, quasi Opera like tone to it.
The lyrics aren’t overwhelming, and maybe a tad too simple for an epic tale like Ramayana. Ten thousand years ago, the language spoken was Sanskrit. Adipuruh is a Bollywood film, with a large chunk of its audience preferring simplicity over literature. The lyrics are okay, but we’re surprised with the usage of the words tu (you), tujhse (from you) while addressing Lord Ram. Few days after the teaser launch in October, 2022 , director Om Raut had told us that we don’t take the lord’s name and so he has named his three principal characters as Raghava, Janaki, Bajrang – as opposed to Ram, Sita and Hanuman. Going by that logic, it does come as a surprise to hear the words tu, tujhse in the Jai Shri Ram track. Nevertheless, Jai Shri Ram track is thus far the most positive thing around Adipursh .
Watch the Jai Shri Ram track below. The film is set to be released in theatres on 16 June.