Commercial success has at last come the way of multifaceted director Vishal Bharadwaj thanks to the dark thriller Kaminey. Its music too is a hit, especially Dhan te nan, and he doesn't want to share the song's success with anyone, not even actor Shahid Kapoor.
"The song has its own value. In fact, the character takes over the screen and the audience is no longer looking at Shahid. He's a brilliant actor and he has completely disappeared into the character," Bharadwaj told IANS.
"All the credit goes to me for the impact of Dhan te nan. Of course, I needed the right singers, actors and technicians. But finally it's my vision that you see in the song. It's not Shahid Kapoor propelling the song forward. It's the entire packaging."
" 'Dhan te nan' was not designed specially for Kaminey. I had first used the catchphrase in a telefilm called Dhan Te Nan," added the director who has also composed the music for the film.
Bharadwaj admits that putting the phrase Dhan te nan in the dance idiom was not easy.
"I'm always uncomfortable composing pub songs. Most often, there is no logic to these items. A pub is so noisy. Why would anyone sing in it? In Kaminey, Shahid and his companion Chandan do not sing Dhan te nan. When they enter the pub, the song is already on and they just lip-sync to the words."
The director admits catchphrases are in vogue.
"We've to admit people want catchphrases, but 'Dhan te nan' isn't the first. What about so many R.D. Burman tracks in the 1970s? What about Apalam chapalam 50 years ago? We need such phrases because somewhere audiences are no longer sensitive to tender thoughts like 'Hai tere saath meri wafaa' and other Madan Mohan ghazals.
"I realise to put across my music I need that one catchy phrase and hookline. If my Maachis didn't have Chappa chappa charkha chale, then Paani paani re wouldn't have been noticed."
Apart from directing and composing, Bharadwaj has sung the title song in Kaminey. "I felt that was the song for me. I don't think anyone can express the various shades of the word kaminey as well as I can. Sabsa bada kamina main hoon."
Speaking of the title, "When I titled my film Kaminey, everyone thought I had gone mad. Today it's become a much-loved title."
Bharadwaj is open to composing music for other directors.
"I came to Mumbai to be a music composer. And when I didn't make the headway I expected, I decided to direct films so I could create opportunities for composing music. I'm glad I'm composing the music I want to and I don't have to depend on other directors.
"Like I did the music for my friend Ajay Devgan's U Me Aur Hum, I'm open to outside offers. I love composing music more than directing films. All my scenes in Kaminey have an inherent lyrical and musical quality. But the music of Kaminey is very special. I've sung the title song and wife Rekha has sung another very catchy number. Given a choice I'd want her song to succeed above mine," he said.
Although Kaminey is a box-office hit as it has earned Rs.330 million in its first weekend at the box office, it's high on realism.
"In all my films I struggle to marry realism with the music-songs idiom. In Omkara, I made Bipasha Basu's character a singer before she breaks into dance for Beedi jalay le. I can't have my characters break into a song without justification."