Friday, January 19, 2007

notes on the songs of Game

(buried in a lot of information about Bapi-Tutul and Sandeep Nath)

Lyricist Sandeep Nath and the brothers Bhattacharya Bapi-Tutul started off together with din hai na ye raat in Bhoot, Paisa Vasool (for which Nath reportedly signed on before Bhoot) and then Ek Hasina Thi, where Bapi-Tutul managed a coup with Pt. Jasraj lending his voice for the cue in puuryaa dhaanashrii over the opening credits. The RGV camp that marked Bapi-Tutul's foray into Bollywood also boasted other collaborations on Sarkar and si.nduurii aasmaan in James.

Sandeep Nath also managed to collaborate with Shameer Tandon, Madhur Bhandarkar's music director of choice, on Page 3 and Corporate. He even collaborated with Robbing Hood Pritam on Agnipankh (where Pritam converted Abrar Ul Haq's bhiigaa-bhiigaa-sa into a patriotic chant a year before he filched it more brazenly in Chocolate).

The composer duo scored with Khosla ka Ghosla last year and reunited with their songwriting partner on a couple of films that would probably interest B-mongers: Hot Money (whose distinction, despite delivering the goods, was of being directed by Rakesh Sawant, and sporting an item song featuring his sister Rakhi "Item" Sawant) and Game (featuring Mona Chopra, who figures in the eagerly-awaited-and-still-unseen Naughty Boy that would mark the return of Rahul Roy).

All this now brings us to Game, which earns some witless cribs from the Capitulating Critic:

With absolutely nil hopes from the album due to the genre of the film and other credentials, one plays on the album with much apprehension. In the end it turns out that it was good to be apprehensive in the first place itself since Game indeed doesn't have much to offer.

We must remind you that the extract above came from a music review.

All this seems to be unfairly building up to the song of the post, chhuaa mere dil ko, which owes a big debt to Mark Knopfler. When Vishal-Shekhar reinvented themselves with the lounge/club shower of Musafir, they gave us tez dhaar, which blended elements from Knopfler and other famous axemen. But Bapi-Tutul's effort leaves us without doubt. When you first hear that short turnaround lick from Sultans of Swing, you're inclined to credit the guitarist with a quote. But at the 3 minute mark, a prominent riff inundates the song; it's a riff that marginally differs from the riff that swells up in On Every Street. This doesn't take away the merits of good arrangements and rendition from the song, although one wonders if a now older Shaan is positioning himself as the new Kumar Sanu. I could have sworn I was hearing Sanu with a clear nose when the voice broke in.

bhiige nainaa gives KK another nice melody to swing his voice about; I haven't come to terms with Deepshikha Sharma's voice on the female version of the song. Shreya Ghoshal ruins the duet version of chhuaa mere dil ko by deciding to phone in her patent-pending screeching girl child impression. Sunidhi Chauhan faithfully renders yet another song in her item kitty, maregaa maregaa bewafaa maregaa. Listen carefully and you'll hear part of the sample that figured prominently in A R Rahman's hammaa from Bombay.

Time to dig out Hot Money and listen to daulat hai nashaa and dhakkam dhakaa.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

coming soon: black friday

This has definitely got to be a first. Imagine saying this for an Anurag Kashyap film. It's about time, I say. February 09, 2007's the day. Those who've seen the bootleg can take heart that a longer cut's on the way. Prayers rise and fingers cross. Meanwhile, here's a PFC post featuring a video of AK unveiling the film's poster and a wonderful shot of the poster itself.

previous item in thread: Anurag Kashyap begins blogging on PFC.

update:[jan 12, 2007]: Adlabs has acquired the worldwide distribution rights for the film. One prays that they don't sully the print with their watermark -- it destroyed Mixed Doubles for me.

Friday, January 05, 2007

whither chhatrii

It's cloudy outside and there have been short spells of rain, but, as JR woefully tells me, there's no sign of The Blue Umbrella (contrary to expectations). However, there's a two-part interview with Pankaj Kapur over at Rediff [Part I, Part II ]. My favourite nugget:

You do commercial cinema very rarely. But then after a film like Maqbool you go ahead and do a Dus. Now how does a role like that compare to your repertoire? Or do you merely look at is as a fun assignment?

As far as Dus is concerned, I think it was a fairly etched character. Excepting the end development of the character, about which I had a series of discussions with the director [Anubhav Sinha] about where he is taking the character eventually. At the end of the day, it's the director's call. As an actor I can only suggest, discuss and leave it to him.

To me, whether I am playing a part in commercial cinema or, if you'd like to call it, middle-stream cinema, my attempt is the same. It depends on how the circumstances of the director permit him to understand what one is pointing out to him and incorporate the same into the script or not.

And sometimes even the best efforts of the director and actor may not sketch out the way you would imagine them to be for various constraints, but then you have to live with the kind of world you are in. And you tell yourself, 'Okay, there would be a Maqbool, a Blue Umbrella, but there would be a couple of commercial films as well.' And the idea of doing those films is to reach a certain audience that maybe does not, in the immediacy of time, watch a Blue Umbrella. For them, it is to make them aware that I exist in that cinema as well, so that maybe at some point in life they sit up and say 'oh, the same actor is there in this film, lets go and have a look at it.' So it is to maybe, partially increase the number of people who watch your work in the other kind of cinema.

In rather unrelated news, Sakshi Juneja unveils the first part of a 5-month old interview with Anurag Kashyap, just about a year after a nice interview with Kay Kay Menon. Aside from some more insight into the genesis of Paanch, the chief trivia tidbit would be "I left Mission Kashmir half way because I was not happy with the way things were shaping up..."

addendum: JR's gentle nudge (a comment on Sakshi's page) and an old blog post that leads from Socha Na Tha to Star Bestsellers offer more information about the short film that Kashyap did with Kay Kay. Now if only I can get my hands on the series ...

And here's a much-delayed pointer to a clip from "Four Step Plan," Chaitanya Tamhane's documentary critiquing the plagiarism in Bollywood.

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