Saturday, April 27, 2013

the utterly vanilla Bombay Talkies title song





I have been underwhelmed with everything associated with this movie except for the basic concept of the film itself, so let's discuss the similarly disappointing title song.



  • The idea of the song is great—who doesn't like a big cavalcade of stars sort of number—but overall I find this bland. Even the way each person's "themesong" was sampled in is unimaginative. But on the other hand, the whole song is very consistent. But on the other other hand, "consistency" is not what I personally look for in a Bombay talkie. Arre yaar, masala kahan hai?
  • I don't have a problem with no Big B since he's such a feature point in the film itself. 
  • Similarly, I would prefer Rani not to be in the song since she's in the main film. This kind of casting confuses things. It's like when Rajnikanth plays both himself and Chitti in Ra.One. You can't do that.
  • Dear Ranbir Kapoor: you seem to be everything I need in a hero—in an actor, even. Please, please, please be careful of your family's devastating problems with alcohol and keep yourself in acting condition for the next five decades. 
  • Hmm. Now that I think about it, could Ranbir have done this whole song on his own? I guess not, since an awards show already gobbled up his tribute to Kapoor lineage. 
  • I will say I'm intrigued they included "Jai Ho," and I'd love to know the reason: because it's Anil's most recent big hit? to nod to Slumdog as signifier of the influence of the foreign (whether as audiences or music or collaboration or filmmaking styles or whatever)? 
  • The only parent/child pairing they could come up with to honor the decades-old industry tradition of overemphasized family connections was Anil and Sonam? Oh wait, on second thought, that's perfect. Useless offspring zindabad!
  • The one feature I truly, un-snarkily love is the end. SRK is the right person to wind this down and of the people they included he's the right one to lead into the tear-jerk of the end, and he has the right popularity creds to be the finale (mega-popular, also somewhat of an elder statesman when the particular selection of stars in that song is considered). Ending with the actual audience member is the smartest thing the song does. The audience feeling a direct, personal, emotional, even unique connection to the world on screen is an essential ingredient of popular cinema (not just Hindi, not just Indian, but most, I'd argue, off the top of my head), and it is absolutely right for the song to celebrate that and splash it up on the big screen. 






(This seeds of this post were planted when Pulkit Datta posted the song on facebook and asked a few friends what we thought of it. Thanks for the prompt, Pulkit!)

4 comments:

anishok said...

Agree with all the points (especially the last one...hehe)...and it's weird that this song turned out to be so disappointing, what with the hottest composer & a lot of talented people backing it up. Eh...maybe it was all done in a rush (the botched CGI suggests it).

Ellie said...

Astonishingly bland, you're right. Sweet, but sort of flavorlessly sweet. Agree with your SRK point, but you know I'd watch him in an ad for lawn fertilizer and probably be moved, so I'm not what you'd call objective.

Mansi said...

Tepid is the word!

PS: The only good part - Shahrukh in the end, in his signature style with DDLJ's title track on the mandolin playing in the backdrop. I can never get enuf ;-)

korak datta said...

Sad but true: This sounds more like a school project. If the objective here is to celebrate the 100 years of Indian cinema, sadly, this song isn't the thing. Hope the film is better, way way better.