As Slumdog Millionaire hits the jackpot and the accolades pour in, my curiosity in the film keeps growing. Considering the fact that Christy Bharath, Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Rushdie thrashed the movie and on the other hand my aunt called up from the States to tell my mom that it’s a must watch film, I am anticipating this movie as much as I did ‘The Dark Knight’. Christy is gonna rip me apart for this, but I will take my chances. I downloaded the complete Slumdog soundtrack and that didn’t disappoint me. Loved every bit of it and M.I.As collaboration with A.R. Rahman is the highlight of the album.
The Mangalore connection (Freida Pinto as Latika) to the movie is another factor that draws me towards it. As a Mangalorean I am partial to all things related to my beloved town (even though it’s a city corporation now, I hate polluting the place with that word). Another Mangalorean had recently trailblazed his way to a Booker win recently but after reading his two books I realized I had only succeeded in burning a hole in my pocket. It’s wishful thinking that Slumdog will not go ‘The White Tiger’ way. Of late, Mangaloreans seem to be succeeding in places away from their home town. That gives me a lot of hope in my current position.
GOin back to the Slumdog soundtrack, The singers on the album do justice to the tracks, and after watching the trailers, to the pace of the film. From Rajasthani folksy numbers (Ringa Ringa with Ila Arun, that starts off sounding somewhat like the ‘Choli ke peeche’ number from Khalnayak) to the typical Bollywood strains with Sukhvinder Singh’s vocals, the whole album is a rush of colours and energy. While watching the best music category nominations during the Golden Globes, I realized that the rest of the soundtracks all felt the same – Cellos, violins, typical orchestral conductor material. Slumdog has this cheeky feel to it that teases, taunts and entices the listener to expect more.
A small note on the soundtrack – I first heard about M.I.A. from my Chennai friend a year back and then got to hear ‘Boyz’. The song was all South Indian energy from this British born rapper. From the beating drums to the use of indigenous instruments, the song reminded me of a Vijay starrer with the fanfare of Rajnikanth. The English lyrics gelled well with the whole experience and I was hooked. Now that M.I.A has gone mainstream I am sure we will be seeing and hopefully hearing a lot more of her in the media. The buzz has already begun and fans who had discovered her way before the current lot, are feeling a bit let down due to lack of acknowledgement of their discovery. Hope M.I.A. has some way to get around this and avoid alienating the underground audience that made her. All the best for that.