Madras Cafe Music Review: Truly deserving soundtrack of a hard-hitting film
John Abraham co-produces yet another hatke film after Vicky Donor and this time around he chooses the volatile Sri Lankan political situation as the backdrop. Madras Cafe, directed by Shoojit Sircar is expected to be a film which treads the fine line between art and commercial cinema and therefore, one cannot expect the soundtrack of this film to be massy. Rather, the expectation is that the music would be one that would be so intricately woven into the screenplay that it helps to carry the story forward as against ending up just as a space-filler. Shoojit chooses Shantanu Moitra for this task with the lyrics being provided by Ali Hayat Rizvi, Zeb and Manoj Tapadia.
The album opens with Sun Le Re which sees Papon behind the mike. This serenely paced number is about the protagonist in search of the truth and has a very likeable melody, though it does seem to have traces of “Tune Jo Na Kaha” from New York. That apart, the song works mainly due to Papon’s soulful rendition and one cannot but deny the fact that his exquisite voice actually helps in raising the beauty of this song a few notches higher. The Reprise Version of this track throws yet another lovely surprise. It is not often that one comes across multiple versions of the same song sounding equally good. Sun Le Re’s Reprise version is one such rare exception. Just when one gets used to the slow and serenely paced version of this track, the Reprise version comes and gives the listener a pleasant jolt. This racy guitar based melody is just as endearing as the earlier version so much so that it is actually tough to pick a favourite.
Khud Se gives the humble violin equal importance along with the usual suspects like guitar and piano. This poignant number sees Papon yet again taking centre-stage and he does not disappoint the listener. This is the kind of melody that will grow on the listener over time but its longevity will be directly proportional to the success of the film as a whole.
Ajnabi is a song, the kind of which one has not heard of in recent times. It is almost like an unplugged version of a song with very minimalist use of instruments thereby giving full scope to the singer, Zebunnisa Bangash (of Zeb and Haniya fame) to exercise her vocal chords, which she does to the fullest. The resulting effect is such that it slowly draws the listener into this magical world from which one wishes never to return. Full marks to Shantanu Moitra for creating such a magical number!!
The rest of the four tracks in this album are instrumentals. The first one Conspiracy is credited to singer Monali Thakur but it is more of a humming in the background than actual singing. But that together with the ominous sounding music manages to create the effect of fear and imminent danger. Slightly A.R.Rahmanesque, but manages to have the desired impact nevertheless.
Entry to Jaffna is a Violin dominated piece but at one minute or so it is too short to leave a mark on the listener.
The Title Theme starts off on a very peaceful note with one stringed instrument after another creating a false sense of tranquillity but as the momentum progresses, the sense of fear builds gradually reaching a crescendo towards the end. Brilliant!
The final instrumental is the Madras Cafe Theme which picks off where the Title theme left but uses a wider variety of instruments compared to the latter and thus the effect is just magical, even if the theme is impending doom!
Overall, the Soundtrack of Madras Cafe is a brilliant effort from the team. Shantanu Moitra and company deserve a pat on the back for coming up with a soundtrack that is bereft of commercial short-cuts instead which is something that is truly deserving of a realistic hard-hitting film such as this one.
Our Picks: Sun Le Re, Ajnabi, Title Theme and Madras Cafe Theme.
Release Date : 23 August 2013
Director : Shoojit Sircar
Genre : Thriller
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