Man vs nature – 127 Hours and North Face

127 Hours

Christmas rolled around and I still had not seen 127 Hours. So with much trepidation that was the movie chosen for Christmas eve. Of course the story of Aron Ralston, the intrepid mountain climber who got his hand stuck under a boulder in a rock fall, is very well known so one has a good idea what to expect from the film. Continue reading

A. R. Rahman’s marvel of light and sound – but where’s the music? (part 3)

The concert was incredibly sophisticated and more entertainment than pure music. It reminded me of a Cirque-du-Soleil type show. A combination of lights, on screen projection of images, slick choreography and accompanying singers who knew the dance moves and had been clearly been chosen for screen presence over voice quality (with perhaps Hariharan as an exception) made the show a visual spectacle.

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A. R. Rahman’s marvel of light and sound – but where’s the music? (part 2)

I have so much to say about the AR Rahman Bay Area concert, a show that was stunning as a spectacle, but thin on the ground as far as music went.  You cannot have Benny Dayal, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali, Shweta Pandit, and Blazee as showcased singers and get a good music program.  OK there was Hariharan, but he sang maybe three songs and was hardly present.  The one exception, and possible late addition, was Shaan.  But Shaan has not sung much for ARR so we did not hear any of his signature songs!

Rahman himself sang some of his gems and one such number was Khwaja Mere Khwaja from Jodhaa Akbar.  Dressed in traditional costume, with a turban, and sitting on the steps on stage with a harmonium, Rahman did do justice to the song!  The crowd was in transports even though this is not a song that can elicit much audience participation because of its introspective nature.

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A mother’s love – Peck on the Cheek (Kannathil Muthamittal)

I finally snagged a copy of Kannathil Muthamittal through Netflix and spent a wonderful evening watching an amazing drama unfold. It began with Shyama (a winsome Nandita Das) getting married to Dhileepan in the backwaters of Sri Lanka and then a war took over their romance. Shyama has to flee to India and landed in a refugee camp where she gave birth to a child. Several years later we see Amudha, a playful well-loved child (P. S. Keerthana), who is the darling (or burden) of teachers, parents and fellow schoolmates alike, in a very “How to Solve a Problem Like Maria” (Sound of Music) sequence. On her birthday she is told by her parents Thiru (Madhavan) and Indra (Simran) that she is not their biological child, she was adopted. This tilts her confident love-filled world and she constantly dwells on why her birth mother left her. Several attempts at truancy later the adoptive parents take her to Sri Lanka to try to find her birth mother. The country is torn asunder by a raging civil war and the trio are inevitably caught up in the mess. But this also leads to their meeting the new Shyama – one who finally is confronted by Amudha and asked why she abandoned her daughter.
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Lyrics from the heart – Dil se!!!

As Gulzar, A R Rahman and Mani Ratnam come together again for Raavan, I thought it was time to revisit one of my favorite albums from the trio, and to focus on the sublime lyrics by Gulzar Saab. So here for you is my translation of the lyrics of Dil se!

CHAIYYA CHAIYYA (the train song – Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi)
Amar meets a girl at the train station and is instantly attracted to her but she leaves on another train….

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