Himesh Reshammiya – in his proven multiple capacities as composer, singer and actor – is all set to unleash all three aspects of his talent afresh in 2014. And from among his plum assignments, the one making the maximum news right now is X’Pose, for which he again faces the camera, but this time with National award winning actor Irrfan Khan and Mee Sindhutai Sapkal director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan for company.
A revisit to the film industry of the 1960s in terms of story, this HR Musik production will have Yo Yo Honey Singh collaborating with Himesh on those songs that will be filmed on the rapper, who is himself playing a gray role in the thriller.
Himesh’s debut as a lead actor had taken him to dizzy heights with the 2007 Aap Kaa Surroor. But his follow-ups Karzzzz, Radio and Kajraare could not live up as films, though Damadamm! (2011) did decent business and Himesh’s supporting actor turn in Khiladi 786 (co-produced by Akshay Kumar) won good reviews for his performance, apart from his cult tunes in the film.
Himesh had thus first seemed to hit a cul-de-sac in his career earlier in 2010, but when he was invited in early 2011 to compose for Bodyguard by mentor and old friend Salman Khan, he struck back at the charts with a vengeance. Quickly, Himesh signed Ajay Devgn’s co-productions Bol Bachchan (replacing Ajay-Atul midway) and Son Of Sardaar and Akshay’s own films OMG… and Khiladi 786. Himesh even composed Karisma Kapur’s comeback vehicle, Dangerous Isshq, which emerged as one of his career-finest (though unsung) soundtracks.
After this came a second lull as Reshammiya was left with smaller films – Shortkut Romeo and Policegiri (both 2013) – that came and went without a whimper and killed whatever chances their decent music had, because in this era a film’s success is usually needed for songs to make a mark.
In the forthcoming X’Pose, there is a completely new format of music, according to lyricist Sameer Anjaan, and Himesh will tread new ground in all aspects. Remaining one step ahead of both the times and the competition has been a Himesh USP right from the beginning of his career – way back in 1995 – as a television serial producer, story writer and title-song composer. Remember how he convinced another astute businessman – Jubilee Star Rajendra Kumar – to make his small screen debut in Andaz, Himesh’s own hit debut as a serial producer?
Agrees Mukesh Desai, consultant, T-Series: “Himesh has never jettisoned Indian melody. His capacity to reinvent with times is amazing, which is only possible when you have huge talent. T-Series is working with him in our production All Is Well, we will probably be marketing most of his other soundtracks, and may just do some more of our own films with him.”
All Is Well, helmed by Himesh’s OMG – Oh My God! director Umesh Shukla, is one of the many assignments that will see Himesh Reshammiya dominating the musical scene in the year to come. Starring Rishi Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan and Asin, it is an emotional tale with a message. Off the record buzz is that at least one more Umesh film for a banner under revival will also probably be scored by Himesh.
T-Series itself is no stranger to Himesh: besides producing films like Humko Deewana Kar Gaye and Darling, in which Himesh was invited to step in for one hit song, they have produced his films Karzzzz and Kajraare. Besides this, they have marketed the super-selling Aap Ka Suroor (the non-film album of that name) and most of the composer’s film soundtracks, including the record-smashing Tere Naam and Himesh’s smash-hit debuts as singer, ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ and Aksar.
A Himesh highlight is his long association with filmmakers and stars, which remains unsullied with the passing of times, and strangely, if any of them need to reinvent, it is Himesh who is back with them!
Ananth Mahadevan, for example, has worked with Himesh before in Aksar, and he is trying to get back to mainstream mode with X’Pose. Yet another conquest is Action Jackson, a film directed by b-o. whiz Prabhudheva, no less. The action comedy that stars Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Yammi Gautam and hottie Manasvi Mamgai is produced by Gordhan Tanwani, producer of Reshammiya’s first solo film Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000), who had also worked with him in Taarzan : The Wonder-Car (2004).
Vashu Bhagnani, producer of Himesh’s films like Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998) Himesh’s film debut with just the title-track by him), Vaada and Silsilay, reunites with the composer for Humshakals, a classic Sajid Khan entertainer. The cast is top-lined by Saif Ali Khan, with whom the composer has never worked till now.
In touch with tomorrow
However, Himesh never lives in the past. Like the legendary Dev Anand and one of his composer idols Laxmikant-Pyarelal, he would rather forget his past laurels and concentrate on new things in films to come. Says N.P. Yadav, editor, Entertainment Trade: “Himesh is always dismissive about discussing his past hits, and is very charged about what he is now doing. He believes in working every day, whether he has one film on hand or ten. He is always updating himself and never bothers about the competition. For him, it is his music that must be the biggest appeal of his films. He has stayed at the top despite never working with Yash Chopra, Karan Johar or many other big musical names!”
Add Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan on his list of ‘not-yets’ and we know that Himesh sells on his own terms. “But Himesh has Salman, Akshay and Ajay to back his talent. And there was a time when his solo concerts were more in demand than the star-driven ones!’ recalls Yadav.
But today, Himesh has a whole lot of new associates up his sleeve, like his prize catch – Sooraj R. Barjatya’s next – and in Sajid Nadiadwala’s debut directorial Kick, both starring Salman Khan. He will also compose for two productions of Salman, one of which, Jatt & Juliet, will be also co-produced by Himesh.
Another film for which the composer-producer has bought rights is the remake of Shekhar Kapur’s Gulzar-written Masoom. If things go well, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will star in this film directed by Bedobrata Pain, whose historical drama Chittagong last year received lavish critical acclaim. Reportedly, the Bachchan couple has agreed on principle after Irrfan Khan and Vidya Balan turned down the film because they felt that they cannot better their respective idols Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi respectively. In a first again, Gulzar is likely to do the lyrics here as well.
The way things are going, HR is stated to hold sway over 2014. And we are not even including his international album in English, @The Edge. In Hindi cinema, he is more likely to be @Centerstage!