I remember watching a film called 'Walk the Line' over half a decade back which was about the rise, fall and rise of a musician. Though years have passed by ever since then, memories of that film haven't faded yet. While I look forward to whether Ranbir Kapoor's 'Rockstar' is based on similar lines, closer home arrives 'Soundtrack' which has a similar theme to it with some quick references as well (most of them being officially borrowed from another Canadian film 'It's All Gone Pete Tong' that had actually released a year before 'Walk The Line').
Rajeev Khandelwal plays a DJ who, after getting popular, gets sucked into the world of rock-n-roll, sex and drugs. While he has Mrinalini Sharma for company when it comes to his physical needs, there is enough music and smoke all around him to keep him engaged. With a mentor in the form of Mohan Kapur, he could well have gone either ways - either get totally destroyed or scale heights of popularity in the world of music - if not faced with a serious ailment that resulted in him deaf. For a man who excelled in making music, it was that very aspect of his life that was leaving him forever - the power of 'soundtrack'. How he rises like a phoenix with support from Soha Ali Khan, herself a disabled youngster, is what forms the crux of 'Soundtrack'.
First things first, the film does have moments where you do get totally glued to the drama. Rajeev's wild ways are interesting and showcase the different side of his persona, something that wasn't seen in his otherwise extremely serious affairs like 'Aamir' or 'Shaitan'. In fact some such sequences here are plain humorous even as you start pitying his character because you can see his downfall coming from distance. However what turns out to be the most interesting part of the film is that point in the film where Rajeev realises that he is losing his sense of hearing. Picturised with utmost sensitivity and ensuring that the drama goes all time high, the scenes are narrated quite well by first time director Neerav Ghosh who catches audience attention.
This is the point from where the film could have gone either way. This means that either proceedings would have become entirely dull and dragging or they could also be further elevated with human spirit turning victorious against all odds. As it turns out, 'Soundtrack' falls somewhere in between. You don't start crying with joy or clap in unison when Rajeev starts finding a way to bring out his excellence in the world of music all over again. However you do listen to his tale with good attention as he goes about exploring a new way of living life while finding an able partner in Soha.
Of course there is this entire surreal world created around him with this 'inner demon' touch to the narrative, something that only aids in bringing the film into an 'arty zone'. No, one doesn't blame the intentions of the director or the writer here; after all they said what they wanted to convey. However if the film was to be targeted for a larger audience base, a move like this always comes with it's own handicap.
Moreover what also pegs the film down is the music, not just because it is unconventional but also because it makes an impact only at places. Yes, occasionally it does end up leaving a good impact, especially as a part of the film's narrative. However at times it only sounds a little too indulgent and makes one start missing that quintessential track that would have made this 'Soundtrack' a long lasting and ever-so-memorable affair. Even otherwise the film as a whole isn't what one terms as 'an entertainer which is a must watch for all' since it has that 'niche appeal' to it which restricts its all-around appeal.
What one does take home though is Rajeev's performance which is easily his best till date, hence surpassing his earlier efforts. He is someone who has a knack of getting the characterisation just right and in case of 'Soundtrack'; he demonstrates it all over again. As for the ladies, both Soha and Mrinalini do their job well while being ice and fire respectively in Rajeev's life.
Eventually 'Soundtrack' turns out to be a film which works more for its thought and concept, something which does manage to make an impact due to it's uniqueness and originality.