Monday March 18, 2013

To the makers of Samhita, the Marathi film – who did you make this film for?

Posted by Karthik

Composer Shailendra Barve was mentioned on Milliblog only twice, so far. First, for his song, ‘Mera jahaan’, from Taare Zameen Par (yes, he composed one song from the film – I’m assuming this is Amole Gupte’s remnant before he exited the film unceremoniously – or, was shown the door by Aamir Khan, again, unceremoniously). And then, for the 2 songs – ‘Cham cham’ and ‘Pia saanvara’ from Striker. I was never fond of the former (though I loved the song’s picturization), but the songs from Striker were wonderful!

So, when news trickled in today that he has won a National Award for best music – for the Marathi film Samhita – I was really curious to listen to the music. The note from the jury (page 7 in this PDF) says,

Versatile and soulful presentation of songs based on Raagas, backed by Indian instrumentation arranged in a manner that enhances the film.

Fine, sounds good. Where is the music? No! It looks like it is not meant for commoners like you and me – it is meant only for the National Awards jury and their ears alone. Yes, from what I gather, the music of Samhita was never released – yet – either as audio CDs or as mp3s, online. This is preposterous, to say the least. Not only is the music elusive to the end audience, it is also selectively shared with the jury – a privilege – and we (who never had an opportunity to listen to the music) are told that it has won the award.

Sorry, the makers can’t claim that no audio label was willing to release the music – there are avenues to release the music online these days; so that’s not an excuse at all. I’d perhaps pin it down to sheer apathy – the award is probably more important for the makers than making it available to us, the common folks on the road who are willing to pay money to buy the music.

Samhita’s Facebook page, on November 2, 2012, says this:

But of course, there’s no follow-up.

Today, the same page proclaims,

Like how we are still waiting for the movie, we await the music as well. This, even as the makers have passed on both, in complete secrecy befitting a spy thriller, to the awards jury. Ugh!

Just like the rule for movies – “The film should have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) between 1st January 2012 and 31st December 2012” (Page 4 in this PDF) – there should be a rule for the music release too. Otherwise, I find this a highly pretentious and selective affair. And massively unfair to audiences… on whom such film makers are usually dependent.

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