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Music Review: Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo Daro

Screen grab of T-Series Youtube page


When three great minds come together, there is bound to be magic. A R Rahman, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Javed Akhtar have teamed up after 8 long years (their last work together was Jodha Akbar) and boy-o-boy, the soundtrack of Mohenjo Daro has left me speechless. ARR does not fail to weave an experience of surreal hypnotism with his myriad sounds.

Last time I wrote a music review on my blog, it was Raanjhanaa. I proudly belong to the Rahmaniac cult, but not always does the music of ARR touch your heart like it did with Mohenjo Daro. Like Lagaan and Swades, ARR and Ashutosh gift us their romantic best with haunting melodies.

And the wizard is at his acoustic best in this album. I am not an expert in history and cannot profess on the evolution of music in the Indus Valley Civilization. But the element of tribal music infused throughout the album, with the mix of drums and percussions, will be nectar for your ears.

It is no easy task to compose music for period films. ARR has always excelled and delivered beyond expectations – whether it was the rudra veena in Lagaan or the baul composition in Mangal Pandey, the Mozart of Madras redefined music with his eccentricities. What sets Mohenjo Daro apart is the calmness of the compositions, as if divinity resides in the notes.

The album begins with grandeur, a celebratory composition. The title track ‘Mohenjo Daro’ would remind you of Azeem O Shan Shehenshah. The loud, confident and boisterous drums will clearly make you want to get up and shake a leg. The confluence of various elements in this melting pot of music will transport you to a state of trance. Sung elegantly by Arijit Singh, this amazing melee of myriad instruments is sure to make a mark in your hearts.

The title track is followed by ‘Sindhu Maa’. The serenity of the song reminds me of compositions by Tagore where his devotional songs and love songs became indistinguishable. Rahman’s music, combined with Akhtar’s poetry creates a long-lasting memory that sends shivers of joy down your spine. The voice of Sanah Moidutty, accompanied by the melodious flute, will dive straight into your heart, lock themselves in and throw the keys into an ocean of melody.

And as you recover from the trance, Sarsariya will grip you firm in its notes. You have no recourse but to give in to the catchy beats of the semi-romantic number which has mesmerising drum beats. In fact, as the song builds up pace in the beginning, you cannot help falling in love with the honey-laced vocals of Shaashaa Tirupati. Shashwat Singh is a great find by ARR.

‘Tu Hai’ has driven me crazy ever since I first listened to this album. A toned down version of Sindhu Maa, this song is the next ‘Tum Saath Ho’ with its heart-wrenching melody and love-laced lyrics. In the league of Marudaani, Medhuvagathan and O Rey Chhori, the song’s gravitas is heightened by ARR’s vocals. The flute interlaced with the tribal-military sounds, the melodious chirping of birds, the fantastic chorus in the end – every element just fits in to produce the best acoustic experience of a lifetime.

Whispers of the heart/mind are instrumental pieces where Arjun Chandy lends his vocals in a beautiful canvas of music. Every instrument used in these pieces are like palettes of colour that come together to paint a vibrant landscape that acts as your gateway to the world of fantasies. Similarly, The Shimmer of Sindhu is an instrumental rendition of Sindhuu Maa where the guitar and the flute string a note of ethereal bliss. The album ends with Lakh Lakh Tora, another instrumental version of Sarsariya. Tapas Roy strikes the notes of perfection with his mandolin and leaves you crave for more.

Mohenjo Daro is the kind of album you can listen to on loop from dawn to dusk, yet feel an emptiness overpower you after you press the stop button on your iPad. After a long time, here is an album that boasts of pure, unadulterated melodies sans the nerve-wrecking, mindless noise in the name of chartbusters. The honesty in the composition and the serenity of the notes will surely strike a chord.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Own Copyright

Movie Review: Raanjhanaa

Movie ReviewIt is not an unknown fact for my readers that i am a Rahman fanatic. For the love of his music, i have also watched Tamil movies without subtitles. Naturally, when the music of Raanjhanaa was released a few weeks ago, the excitement in me had been palpable. Not just Rahman sir’s music, the trailer itself made me wait with wide expectations for the film. Well, the expectations put the nail in the coffin of the film.

Even before the release of the film, Twitter was abuzz with criticism of Raanjhanaa, solely based on the lack of “hero looks” in Dhanush. I am glad that Dhanush has magnificently silenced all his “critics” with a spell binding performance in the film. Raanjhanaa works because of Dhanush. For a film which has a sloppy plot, cliched style of story-telling and a screenplay that often borders on the absurd, a stellar performance by Dhanush, a quirky lines penned by the dialogue writer make you feel your money was not all wasted.

Sonam Kapoor cannot act, and she reinforces the fact yet again in this film. It is hard to believe that there is someone among the contemporary actors, whose face is more expressionless than Deepika Padukone. That is why, during the climax, where the script demands a powerhouse performance, Sonam just fizzles out. Even Abhay Deol’s short cameo in the film could not lift the standards of acting. It is quite an irony that Mohd. Zeeshan and Swara Bhaskar will be remembered for their contribution to the film than the lead female actor.

I’ve already reviewed the music of Raanjhanaa, and need not reiterate how good the compositions are. Mostly used as background score, the songs are totally out of sync with the screenplay, barring the Sufi track sung by Sukhwinder Singh. The last time i felt infuriated at the colossal waste of Rahman sir’s music by a director was Bose – The Forgotten Hero. Dhanush’s lip-sync was disastrous during the song “Tum Tak”; the song suited more as the score for end-credits. In some scenes, it was a little too hard for me to believe that Rahman sir composed the score; the disappointment shattered me.

For a film that started with innocence of love, soon became unbearable and overburdened with religion and politics. As the fabled cow climbed the top branch of the fictional tree, i emerged out of the theater with a heartache, for even the last scene of the film looks lifted straight out of Kai Po Che.

My Rating: 2/5 Stars

P.S. I have a Tamil friend who was born and brought up in Kolkata. He speaks flawless Bangla, without accent. Could someone not have dubbed for Dhanush?

DISCLAIMER – All Images Used In This Post Have Their Own Copyrights

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