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Monday, September 3, 2012

Movie Music Monday: To "Fakht" or not to "Fakht"?

Film Flam Flummox

Shirish Kunder's sci-fi tinged Bollywood comedy Joker was released in cinemas worldwide this weekend and appears to be completely dead on arrival at the global box office (my review coming later this week), but it certainly hasn't been for lack of publicity, however (allegedly) unintentional. The film received a storm of attention back in early July when one of the film's tunes, "Kafirana," was leaked in its entirely on the Internet--but it was not so much the leak itself that caused much controversy than the tune's lyrics (penned by Kunder himself; Gaurav Dagaonkar composed the music), which featured the repeated hook line of... "I want fakht you." Despite the seemingly, rather boldly naughty sound of it,"fakht" is a Marathi word literally meaning "just" or "only" in English, and the profane pun was clearly no accident by Kunder, given the provocative item dance by Chitrangda Singh that accompanies the tune in the film.

However, the version of the song that appears on the film's soundtrack album and in the final released film itself is considerably less catchy, with the word "fakht" now replaced by "just." Kunder's wife and the film's producer/choreographer, Farah Khan, has gone on record saying that the lyrics were changed long before the song leak, and that her main cause of outrage at the leak was because it was a version of the track that was never intended to be used in film. While I have my doubts about that excuse (after all, being English fluent, the filmmakers certainly were aware of the double entendre, not to mention Singh and the cast repeatedly lipsynching "fakht" during the shoot clearly meant that was the intended lyric) one thing is for certain: while Singh still sizzles in the dance, and playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan sounds as sultry as ever, the less punny, less funny "Kafirana" is considerably less catchy and memorable without its brazen and ballsy (yes, bad pun intended) original chorus--and how could it not be, with the chorus now repeating the tame, lame chant "Just you!" at the end? You be the judge...

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