Xclusive Splash's: Tamasha Movie: My View Point; Tamasha Music Review; Bhaag Johnny Music Review; Stories By Neelesh Misra. More Music Reviews Splashing soon !

Sunday, October 2, 2016

M.S.Dhoni:The Untold Story: My View Point!

There is a scene in the movie when M.S.Dhoni (played exceptionally by Sushant Singh Rajput) is being informed by his friends about his selection in the Indian Team whilst he was in the midst of a Badminton match and asked them to let him finish the rally first and didn’t reacted to this Big Good news until the point was over, this short scene had many layers beneath it, the dedication (badminton here), the humbleness, the simplicity. The same personality can be seen when his friend comes to meet him at the hotel after he is the captain of Indian Cricket Team and mocks him that today also he is acting to be talking on the phone just to make a fool out of him reminding him of a instance of his TTE days, its impeccable to see how calmly and patiently Dhoni handles that moment without getting this to his ego and agree to his friends remark and then when he talks about the way that girl was dressed who helped him to reach the room, he says: 'Haa Hum Dekhte Hai, Karte Hai Kuch Bhaiya'. 

Neeraj Pandey (Direction, Story, Screenplay) has a certain trademark style where he invests patiently in long scenes and let the heavy background music and character speaks instead of mushy dialogues. For instance, just before interval we see MSD frustrated with his TTE job while he sits on a platform amidst the rain, suddenly a train comes, it stops, a door opens and then he can hear the "Dhoni.. Dhoni.. Dhoni.." chant in his mind and then the train starts to depart, he thinks for 5 seconds, then rush to the train and enters that door. This was a very powerful scene where he chooses his gut feeling at that time while quitting the TTE job, he identified the door of opportunity and before it was too late, he grabbed that it with both hands. That's what happens in real life also, Luck as defined by Mr.Harsha Bhogle is nothing but preparation and recognition (of opportunity).

Preparation: The movie depicts the school life of Dhoni where its commendable to see how he manages his three hours exam in two and half hours and rush to the railway station, board a train and then play the tournament, this is what it takes to be successful, this is the amount of hard work and dedication required for someone to achieve big in life. 

Cricket is not just a sport but it’s a Religion in our country, it was highly emotional to relive the 2011 world cup victory in the climax, no one can forget the contribution of Maahi in that match, his instinct as soon as he sees Muttiah Murlidharan at the bowling end, his brave decision to come up before Yuvraj at such big moment which could have gone anywhere, he seized that moment with his performance, raised his game when it was needed to and that is the quality of a great sportsman who is well prepared physically and mentally, identifies the right opportunity and hits the ball out of the ground! Feel lucky to be born in an era where a Helicopter shot was invented!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Melodies of 2015!

 Bollywood Music has changed a lot over last few years; EDM/club numbers have dominated the music industry with some non-sensical lyrics. 2015 revived the magic of melodies and offered various lyrically rich numbers that made peace with our soul although there was nothing groundbreaking stuff but still there were compositions which melted hearts.
Here is my list of some of the better songs to come out in 2015, not all compositions gathered the commercial success which they deserved but definitely these are worth a hear!

1. Bezubaan (Piku):  Composer, singer, lyricist - Anupam Roy - made his dignified debut in Bollywood with this soundtrack. This composition is not your usual commercial bollywood music albeit it's like a breezy sunset evening with a hot cup of tea and your thoughtful imaginative world, a slow build up that grows on you, something that gives your philosophical thought process wings. A special mention for the in-depth lyrics (Nange Paanv Daudi Aankhen Meri) and the gorgeous arrangements, especially when Sarod is heard at 01:53 and then goes solo from 03:50 to 04:30, what a gorgeous amalgamation of classical and western arrangements, pure musical bliss! 

2. Aayat (Bajirao Mastani): Remember 'Laal Ishq' from 'Ram-Leela', this composition takes that legacy one notch higher. It starts off (and ends too) on a ghazal'ish alaap with classical instruments in the backdrop elegantly arranged and orchestrated, Arijit Singh joins in and pierces your heart at first go, what with the interlude at 2 minutes with gorgeous tabla and Qawwali beautifully interwoven around a poetry that justifies that Love needs no boundaries, no religion, no reason, in fact Love is a religion itself. I don't remember any composition in a long time that kept me on loop like this gem from Bhansali!

3. Agar Tum Saath Ho (Tamasha): As a soundtrack 'Tamasha' was not at par with A.R.Rahman and Imtiaz Ali previous ventures but the songs justified the Director's vision. This composition takes your breath away with the innocent charm that it carries, the extraordinary overlapping effect where the renditions of Arijit Singh goes at never heard before vocal level and an ultra low octave at the same time, quite innovative. This is one of those serene pieces from Rahman that is going to stuck in your heart and mind for long time.

4. Humnava (Hamari Adhuri Kahani ): Although the song lands in the familiar trademark territory of Mithoon but the presence of Papon imparts a refreshing aura where the melody captivates you and tugs at your heartstrings. Melodically intoxicating!

5. Jeena Jeena (Badlapur): Sachin-Jigar and Atif Aslam makes a deadly combination and hardly disappoints. Guitar strums dominates the song with some painful lyrics that makes you hit the 'Repeat' mode straightaway. 

6.Kinna Sona (Bhaag Johnny): Sung by Sunil Kamath, this is not the usual-melodious-Mithoon, in fact Mithoon revisits the old world Sufi charm with this one, the same magic that he unleashed with 'Maula Mere Maula' (Anwar-2007). Give this one a try; it will mesmerize your musical imagination!

7. Sapna Jahan (Brothers): An engaging melody with some terrific arrangements (especially the second interlude and the use of tabla), add to that magnetic charm of Sonu Nigam, sprinkle some sublime renditions by Neeti Mohan and some beautiful lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya, there you have, a composition that leaves you in trance, that takes you through a journey where you discover the beautiful feeling of love, a feeling that is the most beautiful gift of God!

8. Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha): Anu Malik surprised everyone with this classical composition that rides high on Papon's pretentious singing (what a classically trained textured voice!) and some fabulous orchestra lead by flute and harmonium. What a spellbinding, peaceful work by all the artists!

9. Main Hoon Hu Hero Tera (Hero): Amaal Malik became a household name this year with several hits in his bag, if not for the melody, definitely Sooraj Dooba Hai (Roy) would have been on top of my list but this soft romantic number touches heart, be it the simple yet effective lyrics or saccharine filled vocals of Armaan Malik, everything creates a soothing aura that makes you feel the warmth of love.

10. Tu Hai Ki Nahi (Roy): This composition by Ankit Tiwari ruled the first quarter of 2015 with his trademark auto tuned lazy vocals, a soaring melody and some wonderful arrangements, not to forget the haunting whistle part.

As far as innovation is concerned Amit Trivedi’s ‘Bombay Velvet ’ was a killer of a jazzy soundtrack that quenched the listeners looking for something Hatke; also I loved how beautifully Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy orchestrated 'Girls Like To Swing' from 'Dil Dhadakne Do'. If I were to choose my best melodious heart touching soundtrack, it would be ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ where each and every composition was soul stirring and came with a strong repeat value. Sadly the movie bombed at the box office and as a result the soundtrack didn’t received the appreciation that it deserved. Anyways, let’s see what’s the trend of music in 2016 and what these magicians has in store for us.

The blogger is a music analyst at www.kiagia.com

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tamasha! My View Point

"Its like a creative painting on the canvas where you will either appreciate the in-depth of every artistic brush stroke used or you will see it as a mere sheet of paper with several colours spilled on it."

Remember, when you were a small kid, you did silly things, things that excited you, things that made you curious and all that was done without any motive, without any fear, nobody told you to do things, if you liked something you did it..That’s the basic notion that came to my mind when Ranbir Kapoor talks to his family in the climax and described his 'Bachpan' as the only thing that praised him, only thing that said 'Hey! You are Special' and how we let that phase die when we grow up!

There are several moments in the movie that are heart wrenching, one of the most amazing of them comes post interval where Deepika confronts Ranbir and seeks forgiveness upon realising that she has tickled the most complex emotional part of him which is followed by a brilliant composition ( Agar Tum Saath Ho). No one in this industry justifies a scene with a song with so much grace and perfection like Imtiaz Ali, such that the overall result is so honest and genuine that it touches your soul. Music has always been an important aspect of his ventures and same goes here where it’s used as a narrative to enhance the inherent drama of the situation, Matargashti, Safarnama, Tu Koi Aur Hai are the soul of the movie and depicts various moods in the narrative.

The story unfolds in a non linear way where we see the transformation of Ved as to how he is fascinated by mythological stories and weaves his childhood imagining them at every step, people around him are merely characters from some or the other stories he had heard before, then we see him as a person who has killed his wildness, his passion, his stories and has now become blunt to be a participant in a race whose cause is undefined, to be a part of the society where people are competing and running for financial security without giving a second thought as to who they are from the inside and what they want from life as a result he becomes a person who works nine to five, is well behaved, even when it comes to sex. There is one small scene where Ved talks to an Autorikshaw driver who explains how he wanted to be a singer but couldn’t due to monetary reasons, very simply stated: 'Andar Se Kuch Aur Hoon lekin Bahar se Majboor Hoon'.

Later on we see a split personality of Ved who gets shattered when Tara comes back and reminds him that in trying to belong he has lost his own identity somewhere, he has forgotten who he is, it’s not that simple as it takes the undoing of his entire life's experience and the energy. There are several scenes where we see the angst and outburst of Ved in between his normal conversations, note how he switches emotions when he confronts Tara (after somewhat called as breakup) at her home or when he freaked out his boss, that’s a psychotic behaviour one would associate with Jordon of Rockstar, Ranbir stands out in these several scenes where Deepika scores big with her expressive eyes and vibrant energy. Imtiaz Ali belongs to that rare breed of Directors that brings the best out of each artist they are working with.

Tamasha grows on you like a vintage wine, something that stays with you for long once you move out of the cinema, something that needs to be explored more and more after you watch it again, the proceedings at that time would become an experience, an experience that is very seldom felt in Bollywood may be due to fear of niche segment that such genre focuses on, a specific reason why certain audience have thrashed this badly. Honestly, I don’t remember any movie in the last two decades which affected me at this high level and left me overwhelmed and in awe of every artist involved in it.

No matter at what stage of your life you are, no matter what your are doing at present with your life, you can always change the END, you can fulfil your dreams, you can create your myth, your own story!

PS: The blogger is a music/movie analyst at www.kiagia.com

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Movie) - My View Point

Remember 'Hum Saath Saath Hain', that was Sooraj Barjatya 16 years back where he conquered hearts with basic human goodness instilled in a family melodrama quite convincingly, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo runs on the same line, add to it some English speaking characters with too many apples ( i Phone and i Pad) and Haldiram's. It’s a familiar tale that has gone on to become rusty and outdated and doesn’t look convincing in 2015, how did Vijay Singh survived the accident is still a mystery to me!

Brotherhood, forgiveness, family re-union, these are all familiar known territories that doesn't work anymore, that doesn't have the power to make one cry anymore, this is something that would have worked a decade ago and to make things worse the weak script is bombarded with some average compositions one after another where only Jalte Diye and Bachpan Kaha leaves an impact up to an extent.

It fails to evoke emotions for the Royal King and his family, it doesn’t have moments where you pray for a happy ending for the family, the dialogues are strictly below average, the humour is missing, the characters are never fleshed out adequately. The charisma and star power of Salman Khan is the only saviour where he carries the Bajrangi (Bajrangi Bhaijaan) charm forward; he is in terrific form indeed. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tamasha Music Review

There are thunderous expectations from the soundtrack of "Tamasha", after all when Director Imtiaz Ali collaborates with the maestro A.R.Rahman with some visionary stuff from lyricist Irshad Kamil; the musical world seems to be a magician's den where everything works in slow motion mode. Music has always been a vital part of Imtiaz Ali directorial ventures and no one in the industry justifies and picturises a composition like he does, case in point 'Main Kya Hoon' from 'Love Aaj Kal'  followed by 'Jo Bhi Main' from 'Rockstar'  to name a few. With 9 compositions including a remix and an instrumental, let’s dwell deep inside the imaginative world of these artists! 

'Ranbir Kapoor in Tamasha is someone who is enchanted by stories, has grown up hearing them and expresses himself by performing them'- Imtiaz Ali
"Matargashti" as the name suggests is craziness at its peak with some insane narrative lyrics by Irshad Kamil that defines the madness and throws light on the character of Ranbir Kapoor. Percussions dominates the proceedings here except the sweet little harmonica portion from 2:31 to 2:37. Mohit Chauhan is infectious as always and goes a pitch higher in both the anatara’s which gives a déjà-vu feeling of 'Sadda Haq' from 'Rockstar' (from 1:50 to 2:08 and then again from 2:43 to 3:00) albeit only for a short duration as one recollects that both compositions has nothing similar and are poles apart. The highlight of the song is the tribute to Dev Anand where the composition suddenly takes a retro u-turn with violins coming in and Mohit Chauhan efficiently switches gears, notice how elegantly the song shifts from the retro part to the 'tang tang dinga dang tang', quite brilliant stuff.

A feeling of pain expressed in a celebratory way with a Punjabi tadka or we can call it 'The Happy Sad Song'.."Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai" lands somewhere around the territory of 'Katiya Karun' from 'Rockstar' considering the Punjabi base where Mika Singh does well aptly supported by Nakash Aziz for the chorus and the 'Aaye Haaye Oye Hoye' part in between that gives it a Qawwali touch. The second interlude has some classic jugalbandi of Desi string arrangements that makes one tap their feet and applaud at the same time. Irshad Kamil's Hinglish verse depicts the sadness in a funny way "Loo (Toilet) mein jaana Mushkil Hai, Baji Padi Hai Band Heer Ki, Ab Iss Band Pe Naache Kaun, Ya Woh Utter Mad Hai, Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai''.

Sublime piano notes starts off "Agar Tum Saath Ho" which stands tall with Rahman's very own 'Aye Hairathe' from 'Guru' (2006). Alka Yagnik brings on the innocent effortless charm with her renditions sounding a bit like Lata Mangeshkar; one can sense that she is the perfect choice for this number considering the simplicity it demands. Arijit Singh joins in after 2 minutes and takes your breath away, the compositions flows like poetry, notice the extraordinary overlapping effect where his renditions goes at never heard before vocal level and an ultra low octave at the same time, what with the gorgeous tabla at 4:25. This is one of those piece of art from Rahman that is going to stuck in your heart and mind for long, by far my 'Song of 2015'!

'Music in the film has been used as a narrative to enhance the inherent drama of the situation without dialogue'- Imtiaz Ali.
The word 'drama' here is what the next song "Wat Wat Wat" is all about which takes some time to adjust to the unusual arrangements where one of Rahman's favourite instrument Shehnai takes centre stage throughout, especially during the long interludes, these portions somewhat took me back to 'The Dichotomy Of Fame' from 'Rockstar', just the Shehnai and nothing else. Sashwat Singh does most of the vocals in the Mukhda where Arijit Singh is in his elements with the anatara’s. The funny Bhojpuri lyrics with a crazy fusion of various rhythms give the composition a unique edge in terms of creativity and style.
Surprisingly we have one more version "Wat Wat Wat-Vengeance Mix" where the Punjabi element has been replaced with some cool techno-trance EDM stuff. If the original one was pure Desi this is pumped up western stuff with synth replacing the Shehnai. 

'We took six months to mix this song, when I asked myself, how do I take this song further? I knew the answer, it had to be sung by Sukhwinder Singh'. - A.R.Rahman

"Chale Kahani" is for the theatre act with several mythological stories interwoven around it, brace yourself for a grandiose visual treat. Flute starts off pleasantly with the energetic vocals of Sukhwinder Singh and then some exquisite semi classical orchestra. Haricharan and Haripriya joins in for a soft part later, this is one rare composition in Bollywood where so much is happening, it has so much to offer in these five minutes, as Imtiaz Ali said, this song is indeed an 'Achievement' in itself!

"Safarnama" is about a man's search for his love, Lucky Ali amazing vocals instantly connects and transports the listeners in a spiritual dreamy world where one can embark on a journey within. The long arrangements reaches a new high after the Mukhda with Mandolin strums and acoustic (read gorgeous) guitar chord progression and how can one forget the accordion, notice how it is used throughout the composition and the impact is even more captivating in between the phrases, for instance from 00:35 to 00:38 etc, take a bow Mr.Rahman!

Devotional Folk type alaaps creates confusion at the start of "Parade De La Bastille" but one minute into the song, the gear changes and there you go; lots of bagpipes, mandolins, violins, accordion, percussions and some 'Matargashti', which is justified as both of these songs are composed for the scenario when both the lead characters are in Corsica. This is one of those rare instrumental pieces that wins you over and finds a place in your playlist.

'Sometimes in trying to belong, you lose your edge, you become blunt and you forget who you are unless someone comes to remind you, someone who has seen you at that time. It’s not that simple because it takes the undoing of entire life's experience to get in touch with yourself and the wild energy.'- Imtiaz Ali
"Tu Koi Aur Hai" is undoubtedly the soul of the movie rendered evocatively by A.R.Rahman himself. It builds up the journey of 'self discovery' slowly with minimum orchestra, then goes a opera-ish way supported by Alma Ferovic and Arjun Chandy, ending on a hypnotic take on Safarnama with violins and chorus that evokes out a lot of emotions and leaves one speechless! A masterstroke to end the soundtrack!

To conclude, the soundtrack leaves the listeners spellbound, the sheer richness of the orchestra, the in-depth lyrics, and each and every composition. Tamasha may not be at par with previous golden soundtracks of A.R.Rahman that he has given in the past 2 decades but it’s by far the best effort put in by a musician and lyricist to justify what the director is trying to convey, to justify his philosophical thought process behind each composition, this is where we can say that music is the greatest form of art that exists, it’s like magic that needs the right stage and situation where the magicians can weave the magical web without any limitations. To give a rating for such art would be injustice to the arists involved. Period.
''All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely player"

PS: The witer is a music analyst @www.kiagia.com

Monday, September 7, 2015

Bhaag Johny Music Review

RATING  ★ ★ 1/2
One is not sure what to expect from the music of "Bhaag Johnny" where as many as four composers have been roped with the likes of Mithoon, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Arko Mukherjee and Devi Sri Prasad. Suddenly there is an anxiety level as these names are always associated with some good chartbuster tunes.

Devi Sir Prasad (DSP) who’s 'Dhinka Chika' from Ready is still a rage, recreates his own Telugu Hit for "Daddy Mummy” with the lyrics being lifted from the Tamil Version. MM Mansi vocals are energetic and remind of Mamta Sharma at places due to the heavy texture, DSP aptly supports her with the rap portions in between, though what makes this number catchy and foot tapping is the pulsating techno arrangements that stays with the listeners for long. Overall this one may enjoy a short stint amongst the party lovers.

Arko Mukherjee last ost 'Jism 2' is one of my favourites, the song 'Abhi Abhi' has the power to melt hearts even after three years, now when he re-creates Sajid-Wajid's and Sonu Nigam's 'Deewana' iconic number "Iss Qadar Pyar Hai", one expects something gorgeous and innovative. The melody and hook line is kept the same with a welcome change in the lyrics by Faaiz Anwar, Ankit Tiwari croons this one with all heart albeit the auto tuned effect which somewhat limits the vocal talent and emotional connect, also it ends absurdly and quickly after the second Antara. A re-hash version that could have touched new heights only results as a good number and nothing extraordinary.

Yo Yo Honey Singh's "Aankhon Aankhon" suffers from the same old pulsating music (minus the rap) throughout which lands in the same old familiar territory that we have heard in the past so many times, 'Angreji Beat' (Cocktail) to be very specific. The hindi-punjabi lyrics though are quite catchy and the hook line becomes addictive after a while, luckily the song doesn't go ear-defying over the top in the arrangements and maintains a decent rhythm. Although the composition lacks innovation and offers nothing fresh but who cares this is going to be loved by Honey Singh fan club and is to be played in discotheque's for some time to come.

Remember the magical 'Maula Mera Maula' from 'Anwar' that swept the listeners off their feet..that was Mithoon about a decade ago, now most of his compositions are somewhere weaved around his chartbuster 'Phir Mohabbat' from 'Murder 2' or carry the same 'safe zone' template and refrain from innovative imagination..That’s where "Kinna Sona" wins you over with the same magical charm. Sunil Kamath textured vocals carries the Sufi-pop flavour brilliantly and that too with a classical touch, watch out for his high notes which reminds of the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab. The lyrics by Amitabh Verma oozes love and emotions with every word, his work flows like a soothing poetry alongside the fabulous tabla beats and mesmerize the listeners, make no mistake, this one has is here to stay and has in it to enjoy a long shelf life. Keep this one on loop and enjoy the peaceful romantic ambience that it creates!

Mithoon brings the immensely talented Rahul Vaidya for the last track "Meri Zindagi" and to much surprise he seems to put in a lot of effort in his renditions which makes him sound unusual. This one is a sad situational number that misses the chord on the emotional level and ends the soundtrack on an average note.

All in All, Bhaag Johnny has some decent numbers with a magnificent 'Kinna Sona' that is a delight for the music lovers. Overall: Enjoyable!

The writer is a Music Critic @ www.kiagia.com, find the edited version here


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