Wednesday, September 05, 2007

johnny gaddaar: the retro vibe continues

A special trailer's been cut for the title track on Sriram Raghavan's crime caper Johnny Gaddaar and you can catch it over at PFC. The teaser opened with a snarl from the Vijay Anand classic Johnny Mera Naam; the trailer opens with a John Wayne voice bit from McClintok!. It uses Mumbai Mirror headlines to great effect -- they serve as narrative hints as well as marketing blitz. The name of the James Hadley Chase novel's also clear now -- The Whiff Of Money -- and it's quite appropriate. Oz has a post loaded with a pointer to the ultra-cool poster as well as a video of the launch of the mini-disc bearing the sole single (that's Walk Don't Run by The Ventures you hear in the opening of the segment). A speech bit indicates that Sriram Raghavan shares Hitchcock's idea of suspense.

The Big Music CD cover uses red instead of yellow and red dominates the theme in the sleeve and inlay. Releasing singles is a great innovation for soundtracks; the last one-song soundtrack album I remember was Tathastu (discounting the remix of the sole qawwaalii composed by Vishal-Shekhar), but the T-Series CD release padded the disc with other tracks in its kitty from the same genre.

Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have also notched another record by snagging a stake in the royalties for the soundtrack. Ehsaan notes that there are 4 tracks in all (not counting remixes) including a track featuring Hard Kaur.

The title track has an adventurous melody founded on an extremely catchy riff and some nice delicate flourishes on the cymbals and a strong aggressive beat along with chords punched out on the trusty electric guitar. Akriti Kakkar's been a Himesh regular. Suraj Jagan's the more interesting one. Those lucky enough to own or to have heard the unsung Ranjit Barot soundtrack for Brides Wanted will remember the voice on the song zi.ndagii. Reportedly, he used to be the lead vocalist in the Indian rock band Krysis and later (in a second coming) was part of Chakraview; I remember Chakraview for their Marathi rocker aalaa sherapaa zhapaaTalelaa. The band was led by guitarist Dhruv Ghanekar, who's better known for his soundtrack collaborations with Ashutosh Pathak (Bombay Boys, White Noise, Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar aka MP3). The drummer on the track, Darshan Doshi, who has also featured on the soundtracks of Black and Sarkar, is Ranjit Barot's student and a Limca Book record holder. Small world.

It's been a long journey since the first notes in 2005 about the film, the change of guard from UTV to Adlabs along with the hint that the "only two songs" in the film, which were "remixed numbers" might be recorded by Vishal Bhardwaj, the possibility of having a soundtrack from Vishal-Shekhar or from Sandesh Shandilya (who was an early choice).

Time to return to the SEL groove with Jaideep Sahni's loopy lyrics: chhoTii-sii zi.ndagii gaharii-sii jeb hai / baaqii to jaan-e-man baato.n ke seb hai.n [nit: as AJ notes, Suraj Jagan incorrectly ends the first line with a hai.n instead of a hai].

[september 08, 2007]: The vibe continues on the wonderful portal for the film -- that zipper reminds me of the cover of Sticky Fingers.

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