Saw Khoya Khoya Chand (2007) last night. Very pleased. Starring Soha Ali Khan, Soniya Jehan, Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, and Shiney Ahuja, and set in the 1950s and 60s. And with a rather good soundtrack accompanying it. Wonder why we didn't hear of this one as much? Seems like a classic case of a niche film living up to what it was labeled as, thus not reaching the masses.
What drew me to Khoya Khoya Chand was its soundtrack. I remember sampling it one night while on a long drive back from work on a Friday evening, tired, and suddenly feeling energized by the tunes, some of which have a pretty good sing-along quotient to them. More on the soundtrack below.
In a nutshell, the film is about the aspirations of a young woman to be a leading actress in the film industry. She goes through injustices (some of which are self-inflicted, as in accepting casting couch as long as it gets her stardom) and love affairs, and through the highest of highs and lowest of lows in the film industry. And the constants through them all are three characters played by Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, and Shiney Ahuja.
Without giving too much away, let's just say that the film is very well made, and the performances are, for the most part, rather good. It would have been interesting had Vidya Balan played the role of Nikhat instead of Soha Ali. And that's not to say that Soha did not do a good job, for she carried the film to its rightful portrayal. I just think Vidya would fit the role better. And amid all the talk of beautiful actresses, let's not forget Soniya Jehan -- this is her only movie I have seen -- who is one of the more beautiful actresses in the industry today.
Overall, a very good film with its share of strong moments. It is a remarkable display of Bollywood reflecting on itself, and of some jokes that the Bollywood inner circles (or the Bollywood-crazed fans like yours truly) would appreciate more so than others.
Notes on the soundtrack, composed by Shantanu Moitra, and with lyrics by Swanand Kirkire. The title song is great. O Re Paaki (Sonu Nigam) and Thirak Thirak (Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghosal) are excellent. But the best track is easily Sakhi Piya (Pranab Biswas and Shreya Ghosal). Two thumbs up for Shreya Ghosal for her vocals to Chale Aao Saiyan, a classic mujrah track which fits in perfectly with the movie.
Movie rating: *** (Very good)
Music rating: ***1/2 (Very good)
My classification: A/R (for plot and content)