Saturday November 29, 2008

Music review: Slumdog Millionaire (A. R. Rahman and others)

Posted by Karthik

It’s one thing to Sitar’ize everything going Westward and entirely something else to infuse drama with violins so beautifully in a maniacally racy, Sitar-driven track – the strangely titled Mausam & Escape perhaps offers the best example of what Rahman sets out to achieve with the soundtrack of Slumdog Millionaire. The predominantly instrumental pieces – the moody, North African sound in Riots; the superb jadhi-meets Middle East, Liquid Dance; Suzanne’s magical humming in the heart wrenching Latika’s Theme; the TV them’ish techno ditty, Millionaire – work amazingly well. Not to be outdone, the actual songs are even better! Starting with the Rahman-M.I.A combination in the rousing O…Saya to the crowd pleasing Jai Ho – which in all honesty is dilettantish – the soundtrack literally sizzles. Suzanne has another ace in Dreams on fire, built like an engaging ballad while M.I.A’s Paper Planes and its DFA remix just add to the soundtrack’s eclecticism. Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s Aaj ki raat sticks out annoyingly, as much as the imaginative, but completely filmi Choli ke peeche reworking, Ringa Ringa and the very tame Gangsta Blues. Shorn of the customary Indian’ness, Slumdog’s soundtrack is extremely accessible and engaging. And Rahman’s best international work to date!

Keywords: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, A. R. Rahman, Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Vikas Swarup, M.I.A

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