Thursday August 14, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey (Music review) – A R Rahman

Posted by Karthik

Ghatam and strings… and then a single violin peeks in to give the ghatam some South Indian company in Hassan Learns French Cooking. It all ends in a mellow flute note, distinctly Indira-style and the tune playing something akin to ‘kodutha sandhangalil… en manadhai… nee ariya’ from MS Viswanathan’s ‘Sippi Irukkuthu’ song from Varumayin Niram Sirappu! The Village of Saint Antonin occasionally refers to delectable Charukesi before traversing a decidedly more Western tone. New Beginnings and Mr.Kadam play different melodies one after the another and seem disjoint. Vintage Recipe‘s short, engaging sitar-led melody morphs into a pleasant strings piece!

The Clash sounds like Rahman took the clash a bit too literally as a predictable Indo-European musical clash, where Indo is sitar. Destiny, Fire, War is a great companion piece to Rangeela’s Hai Rama and a seamless amalgamation of styles that works well, before it veers into a 3rd act that, again, seems too melodramatic and pandering to conventional desi-style sound. The Gift‘s central melody is beautiful, and You Complete Me‘s poignant and endearing melody brings to mind the flavor of Kandukonden Kandukonden’s title song. The End Credits Suite recalls Indira’s Thoda Thoda almost instantly and is perhaps the soundtrack’s best.

India Calling and Reunion breeze through with limited appeal, while A La Hassan de Paris is the soundtrack’s most progressive, and very groovy, very Fanah! My Mind is a Stranger Without You (Toi C’est Soleil) is a gentle melody handled fantastically as a duet featuring Argentinean-Armenian singer Solange Merdinian and Rahman! The song echoes in Alone In Paris too, as a track that could have jumped out of Rahman’s score for Deepa Mehta’s Water! Afreen is rousing, no doubt, but the tune sounds at best like a rehash of Rang De Basanti’s title song. It is hard to shrug off the disappointment in an imaginative composer like Rahman harping on the terribly dated sitar-led Indian’ness. But, when he lets go of that, the soundtrack does get interesting.

PS #1: No, this is not a 300-worder (it has more than 300 words by the way!). This is, in my view, a 100 worder. I did want to capture my thoughts on all the tracks (as many that enthused me).

PS #2: I haven’t seen the film. I don’t intend to rush to see it either. So, I have no idea how the soundtrack is ‘used in context of the film.

Keywords: The Hundred-Foot Journey, A R Rahman, Not a 300, 100.



  • Rukesh D

    Karthi, to me Afreen has traces of Tu Mun shudi ..from Ranjhanaa

  • rnjbond

    Interesting thoughts. Never got around to hearing the soundtrack until I saw the movie today and I’ll say it worked very well there.

  • Samhan Sal

    Milliblog – the 100 word review blog *

    * – Conditions Apply

  • 12345

    “this is not a 300-worder (it has more than 300 words by the way!). This is, in my view, a 100 worder.” was that statement even necessary?looks more like an insult to a beautiful soundtrack

    • milliblog

      I do not think so. Added that disclaimer because most music reviews on this blog are in 100 words. Some 200, and very few 300. This would, given the number of songs, cannot be contained into a 100 worder – that would be an insult, actually. But this review is the spirit of a 100 worder.

  • _rivj

    Rahman did only songs for Water. It was Mychael Danna who gave the score for the movie.

  • Sai Prasanth

    Did you get to watch the movie? IMO the soundtrack lifted the movie’s feel and was a pleasant watch.

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