|Khalibali - Shivam Pathak / AM Turaz / Sanjay Leela Bhansali|
Although Khalibali sticks out like a sore thumb in the Padmaavat storytelling structure, as a purely audio experience it is individually distinct for its mid-eastern flavor and deranged celebration from the rest of the soundtrack.
For those unaware of Hindi film formula, you may well ask, when did Alauddin Khilji learn to dance like that?! Khalibali comes out of the blue in the film. Nor does Alauddin's onscreen lustiness compliment the song's lyrics, there is a clear disconnect. Did the violent anti-film protests affect creative freedom on the songs too? Or is it merely an entertainment gimmick, to give the audience a more likable villain?
Ranveer Singh's mere presence sparks up the audio-visual. Otherwise, the song is more of a filler, and suddenly Padmaavat looks like a musical. They might have made a full-fledged musical out of Padmaavat, considering the superb Sanjay Leela Bhansali compositions, Shahid and Deepika's dance skills, it would have been lovely to watch.
Khalibali stands for chaos, and explains the king's state in a repeated rousing chorus:
taar-vaar dil ke sab toot se gaye
neendon waale jugnu rooth raaton se gaye
(all strings of the heart are severed,
the fireflies of sleep had a tiff with the night)
At the time of writing, the 21-minute-odd run of the Padmaavat soundtrack is sounding rousingly impressive and epic on repeated listens. We may have our first great Hindi film soundtrack of 2018 in Padmaavat. More of that in subsequent posts. Until then, happy listening!