Posts Tagged ‘Swanand Kirkire’

अलविदा, पुरी साहब

Posted: January 7, 2017 by moifightclub in cinema, RIP
Tags: ,

With Om Puri’s death, we have lost one of the best acting talents this country has ever produced. His body of work is impossible to match – from parallel cinema to mainstream bollywood, from indies to world cinema and Hollywood. Any terrific artist like him always leaves behind a huge legacy. But it’s always our small stories about how we felt connected with them at some point in life makes them more memorable. That connect is individual and sacred. Lyricist Swanand Kirkire shared this memory on his FB.

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जब मैं ११ में पढता था, अर्धसत्य देखी थी रीगल सिनेमा में।

सिनेमा में ५ दिन लगातार, १२ से ३।

अनंत वेलनकर दिमाग पर ऐसा छाया था की कुछ दिनों बाद जब फाइनल एक्जाम हुए और अंग्रेजी के पेपर में यूवर हीरो विषय पर निबंध लिखने को आया तो मैंने दे धना धन अपने हीरो ओम पुरी पर ४ पन्ने लिख मारे।

बाहर आकर दोस्तों को बताया वो हंसने लगे ।

किसी ने जवाहर लाल नेहरू पर लिखा था और किसी ने सुभाष चंद्र बोस

मेरी सिट्टी पिट्टी गुम ।

वो तो भला हो पेपर जांचने वाले का की उसने मुझे ठीक ठाक नंबर दे कर पास कर दिया।

बहोत सालों बाद मुम्बई के शुरुवाती दिनों में मैं जानी-मानी अभिनेत्री सारिका जी के साथ एक किताब पर काम कर रहा था।

पता चला पुरी साहब उनके अच्छे दोस्त थे।

बातों ही बातों में ये किस्सा उन्हें सुना दिया ।

२९ अप्रैल १९९९ मेरे जन्म दिन पर अचानक सारिका जी ने मुझे घर पर खाने का निमंत्रण दिया ।

मैं गया तो उन्होंने कुछ लोगों को बुला रखा था ।

उनमे एक ओम पुरी साहब भी थे ख़ास मेरे लिए !!!!!

सारिका जी ने मेरे निबंध का किस्सा उन्हें सुनाया, खूब हंसे थे पुरी साहब !

सपने देखने और पूरे होने दोनों की शुरुवात ओम पुरी साहब से हुई ।

सारिका जी का जितना शुक्रिया कहूँ कम है ।

पुरी साहब आप का जाना वजूद से किसे हिस्से के चले जाने जैसा है ।

काश कोई मुझे वो पुरानी एग्जाम की कॉपी ला कर देता ताकि मैं आपको फिर से बता सकता की आप मेरे लिए क्या थे । 

अलविदा । 

– स्वानंद किरकिरे

Masaan Music

Neeraj Ghaywan‘s FIPRESCI winner at Cannes 2015, MASAAN releases in India on 24th July. Here, film’s screenplay writer and lyricist Varun Grover talks about the music of the film.

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Masaan  is the most difficult music album I have worked on till now. It has just 3 songs, out of which one (‘Bhor‘) is written by Sanjeev Sharma, and still the amount of distress and self-doubt I went through figuring out the lyrics for the other two was more than me and Sneha Khanwalkar felt on the mammoth ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ album.

Prime reason was the burden of being the writer of the film as well and hence this feeling that lyrics in this film should be ‘extra-special’. As I said elsewhere, “Jab halwaayi ke ghar mein hi shaadi ho toh mithaayi se expectations unreal ho jaati hain aur halwaayi ki zindagi haraam ho jaati hai.’

This self-doubt also made the choice of a music director for the film difficult and after meeting some really worthy composers, we decided to request Indian Ocean to come on board.

1. Tu Kisi Rail Si

As I was low on confidence and the film has an element of poetry (Shweta Tripathi’s character is a shaayari-fan), we thought of using some existing Hindi poetry for the love song. One poem by Uday Prakash saab (Kuchh bann jaate hainI loved in particular and we shared it with Indian Ocean who gave us strange looks as it’s in Mukd Chhand and nearly impossible to compose.

Then suddenly, these lines by Dushyant Kumar saab came back to me and I knew we have a starting point. I had heard these lines first many years ago at an informal kavi sammelan at a friend’s wedding in Lucknow. (Haan ji, Lucknow mein shaadiyon mein bhi kavi-sammelan hota hai.)

I wrote the rest of the lyrics, taking the first two lines from Dushyant Kumar’s ghazal ‘Main jise oadhta bichhaata hoon‘. After many tunes by Indian Ocean, we finally arrived at a consensus on one based on the footage, tempo, tone, and rhythm of the song. Since the footage was already shot and it had to be a celebratory number, these criteria were necessary to be fullilled.

We also got to meet Dushyant saab’s wife (Rajeshwari ji) and his son Aalok Tyagi ji who by a huge stroke of luck happened to live right across our editing studio in Versova! They gave us permissions and blessings for the song.

Dushyant Kumar ji

Swanand Kirkire recorded it in his grainy voice and we had our song ready.

Lyrics: 

Mukhda
Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai
Main kisi pull sa thartharaata hoon
Tu bhaley ratti bhar na sunti hai,
Main tera naam budbudaata hoon.
Kisi lambe safar ki raaton mein,

tujhe alaav sa jalaata hoon.

Antara

Kaath ke taaley hain,
aankh pe daale hain,
unmein ishaaron ki chaabiyaan laga.
Raat jo baaqi hai,
shaam se taaki hai,
neeyat mein thodi kharaabiyaan laga.
Main hoon paani ke bulbuley jaisa,

tujhko sochoon toh, phoot jaata hoon.

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2. Mann Kasturi Re

If the first song killed us, the second one did it twice over. This song is supposed to be the soul of the film, the theme that connects all the stories and characters which meant ‘Anthem jaisa kuchh chaahiye‘. Another problem was that the reference track on the footage was ‘Aik Alif‘ from Coke Studio Pakistan and it was too overwhelming a track to compete with.
For this one too, my first instinct was to run away and leave the job to some great. So we chose Nazir Akbarabaadi’s ‘Banjaranama‘ and Indian Ocean did a fantastic job of composing it into a stunning anthem. The only problem – the tempo of the footage was on another level. Marta kya na karta, I had to step in and attempt writing new words.

Like it happens most of the times, difficult to tell how/when this phrase ‘Mann Kasturi‘ popped in my head but the rest of the song became easy after that. Kabir and Banaras were constant in my head while writing it.

Lyrics

Mukhda

Mann kasturi re,
jag dasturi re,
baat huyi naa poori re!
Khoje apni gandh naa paave,
chaadar ka paiband naa paave,
bikhre bikhre chhand sa tahale,
dohon mein ye bandh na paave.
Naache ho ke phirki lattu,
khoje apni dhoori re,

Mann kasturi re!

Antara

Umar ki ginti haath naa aayi,
purkhon ne ye baat bataayi,
Ulta kar ke dekh sake toh,
Ambar bhi hai gehri khaayi.
Rekhaaon ke paar nazar ko,
Jisne phenka andhe mann se,
Satrangi bazaar ka khola,
Darwaaza phir bina jatan ke!
Phir toh jhooma baawal ho ke,
Sar pe daal fitoori re

Mann kasturi re!

For lyrics in Devnagari, click here.

Full album here:

If you missed our earlier post in this 2013 flashback series, here’s the list – 20 Things We Learnt At The Movies and 13 Unanswered Questions is here, Top 10 Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, and 15 Film Fanatics on 17 Terrific Films That Have Stayed With Them is here.

In this post, Rohwit looks back at some of the best bollywood tracks that we looped this year.

Amidst the 100 crore musical disasters, few albums and some songs tried to stand tall, and that wasn’t tough even for a slightly above average song because thanks to the automatic tunes that come pre-fed in some expensive keyboards owned by some music composers, the ‘average’ bar is pretty low in Hindi films these days.

Here is our pick of 14 songs (ok 16! ok 17!) that made us sit up and sway! The order below is not in a ranking form. Some of the points contain 2 songs. So what? We cannot make up our mind. Yes, we get confused. Music does that to us.

 

1. Yes, it is based on a Beethoven symphony. Yes, it has a very ‘अरे ये पहले सुना है’ feel. Still, I haven’t heard a spookier lullaby in 2013. So take a bow Kumaar for penning this superb song and take a bow Sangeet Haldipur for singing it beautifully! Yes, it is one of the best songs I have heard this year. We are indeed referring to Aaja nindiya raina beeti jaaye rey from Aatma.

 

2. Khamakha hee-Badal Uthiya (Prem Dehati version) – from Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. It took a local Harvanyvi singer (who hasn’t appeared on the again after this album by the way) Prem Dehati to mesmerize us with raw talent and touching melody. Not many songs have the longevity to survive in playlists these days but this song will be there for a long time.

In fact it was Prem Dehati’s splendid participation in Khamakha that lifted the already superb song to a level very few could match this year.

 

3. Manjha (Kai Po Che!) – Every Time A.R. Rahman’s music is about to hit the scene, there is so much anticipation and Amit Trivedi enjoys the same effect on music lovers at large. So it wasn’t a surprise when this splashed all across and we were treated to this song.

Swanand Kirkire has penned one of the best songs this year in Manjha. Simple lyrics, exquisite arrangement and we cannot get tired of Amit Trivedi’s studio singing. The other two songs were no less but somehow Manjha shall always be played before the other two.

 

4. Tum hi ho (Arijit Singh) – So it turns out that Arijit singh is turning everything into gold just by singing it! Easily a much better film to look at than it’s first part, Aashiqui 2 had this mother of a song that was overplayed to the extent of irritation. But can you dismiss it as being one of the stickiest song of 2013? No! Why is it featured on the list? Ask yourself if you don’t like humming it. We know some of you are humming it right now.

 

5. Khoon choos ley (Go Goa Gone) – There is a lot of Monday hatred (or so it seems on all social media platforms), so a Monday song was long overdue. The song in my view was wasted in the film Go Goa Gone and even the half-hearted music video wasn’t promoted well. Still, this has to be one of the best ‘I hate to wake up and go to work’ song we have heard in Hindi films. The nasal start, the ‘rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr’ part and splendid lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya makes this one a treat!

 

6. Badtameez Dil (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) – More than anything, we cannot get over the fact that Amitabh Bhattacharya used ‘dhimka falana’, ‘paan mein pudina’ and ‘moorhi bhaat’ so effortlessly! While the song belonged to RK on the screen (deservingly so), Benny Dayal is no less a rockstar to sing this with so much zest that even people with two left feet were seeing dancing at the mere mention of this song. Kudos to the brass band and Pritam for this one!

7. Raanjhnaa hua main Tum Tak (Raanjhanaa) – Yes. While many of us (including yours truly) started out disliking the million ‘tum taks’ in the song, the second half of the song, the shehnai (and the excellent use of manjeera) redeems this  song and how!

Be it the faint guitar riffs or excellent Jasvinder Singh (who made a guest appearance in the song), the title song of raanjhanaa had all going for it. More so, the emperor ARR was at his yearly best in this album as a whole.

 

8. Ghanchakkar babu (Ghanchakkar) – Amit Trivedi was heard having a ball in this one. While the album was not bad at all, this song stood out (and was on the loop for a long time) thanks to excellent arrangement and superb back up vocals. Trust Amitabh Bhattacharya to give an insightful touch to ‘Nala Sopara’! Top class song! Muuuuuuuuuuwaaaaaaah!

 

9. Monta Re (Lootera) –  The ‘chik chiki chik’ whispers by Swanand Kirkire, the quiet atmosphere, exquisite lyrics and a delicate presentation. This is easily the best song of the album that sounded more like Udaan part 2 than anything. We mean it in a good way. No. Really.

 

10. Mera Yaar – From the fantastic album Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Javed Bashir was given a song that was right up to his comfort zone and he hit it out of the park. We loved the entire album (without the ‘andar kaala bahar kaala PAR sachcha hai sala’ part) and were relieved that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are back to making good music, just like the good old days.

11. D-Day – A fantastic album overall. Be it the definitive Qawwali ‘Murshid khele holi’ or the heart breaking ‘Alvida’,  the album even made Mika tolerable when he attempted Dama dam mast kalandar. (Rekha Ji, सुन रही हैं ना आप?)

 

12. Shudh Desi Romance – Be it those tiny musical bits with Rajasthani sound or those lovely songs, Jaideep Sahni and Sachin Jigar served us a musical treat with  an adorable marriage of contemporary words and folksy-dinchik arrangement. Our pick from the album will remain ‘Tere mere beech mein kya hai’

 

13. Ram Leela – Though the album was filled with grand arrangement and excessive noise throughout, we really liked the adaptation of ‘Mor bani thangat karey’ and Lal Ishq (without the excessive noise towards the end).

 

14. Dil ki toh lag gayee (Nautanki Sala) – As an album, it had a distinct ‘townie’ sound to it (much like Bluffmaster). However, what blew the socks off the senses is Saba Azad’s super hot singing in ‘Dil ki toh lag gayee’. Ignore the horrible presentation of the song on screen though. A fantastic effort, insanely melodious at all times and very very saxxxay! Sing more Saba, we are listening!

We also enjoyed :

– Early morning (Chashme Baddoor) A lot of us debate where is Sonu Nigam and why isn’t he singing more. While we do not have anything to add to that, but we loved the way Mr. Nigam was having fun singing this wonderful song from a not so wonderful remake of a classic.

– ‘SPB ho ho!’ part from the title song of Chennai Express. There are very few occasions that compare to SP Balasubrahmanyam having fun in a song.

Ajnabi (Madras Cafe) The songs were wasted in an otherwise brilliant film but the whispering voice of Zeb left it’s mark. It’s a pity that this song went unnoticed.

 

Very Very Special Mention :

Padmanabh Gaikwad for singing Sapne rey sapna (from Ek Thi Daayan) . A fantastic voice that resonates innocence. We are way too tired of Gulzar saab doing splendid job every time he sits down to pen a song, so we won’t even stress the fact that we are in love with the ‘Bhoore bhoore baadalon ke bhaalu, Loriyaan sunaaye la ra ra ru’ part of the song. Hope to hear more from Padmanabh.

So which songs you looped this year? Let us know in the comments.

Sonali Cable was on our radar because it was selected for Mahindra Sundance Screenwriters Lab in 2012. It’s the debut film of Charudutt Acharya who has been writing for the small screen for a long time.

His bio from Mahindra site – Charudutt Acharya is an award winning writer of Indian TV drama shows like Haqeeqat, Kagaar, Jassi Jaise koi Nahin, Siddhanth, Rajuben &Crime Patrol. He has also co-written Hindi feature films Dum Maro Dum & Vaastushastra. Charudutt is a graduate of FTII, Pune and Royal Holloway, London.

FIRST LOOK OF SONALI CABLE 001FIRST LOOK OF SONALI CABLE 002

 

About the film (from release) –

SCIL (Super Cassettes Industries Limited), Ramesh Sippy Entertainment and NextGen Entertainment announces the release of their film ‘Sonali Cable’ on 3rd January 2014.

Sonali Cable is a ‘David versus Goliath’ story, in the thick of the cable internet turf war in Mumbai. An ordinary girl puts her love, life and survival at stake, when she and her ragtag team come in the way of the expansion plans of India’s largest corporation. The film wants to establish the growing corporate crushing small businesses without any scope for co existence.

The film is written and directed by debutant Charudutt Acharya with an ensemble cast that includes Rhea Chakraborty, Ali Fazal, Swanand Kirkire and Raghav Juyal (aka Crockroaxz), supported by accomplished veterans Smita Jayakar and Anupam Kher.

The film features a varied soundtrack showcasing the talents of Devi Shri Prasad, Ankit Tiwari, Mikey McCleary and Falak, with lyrics by Kausar Munir.

…But were afraid to ask? Well, that doesn’t quite work out. Let’s say, But you were not sure whom to ask.

First came the teasers (Here, here and here).

And then came the official song where we saw Jesus Aamir Christ, who is here to save us.

But what is the show about? Well, like Aamir Khan’s movies, the show is also being guarded as a top secret. No details are being given out anywhere. And that’s why you don’t see anything about the show in the teasers or the song. But we suffer from a strange disease – the more you want to keep something as a secret, it makes us more curious. If you belong to the same tribe, we got all the answers for you. If you are not, skip the post.

– Satyamev Jayate is basically a chat show with guests and case studies from across the country.

– The first season will have 13 episodes out of which 10 have already been recorded.

– The idea is to pick one subject and discuss it from every possible angle – social, political, economic and such.

– The subjects include health, water, marriage, child issues (abuse and other), addiction and other social issues.

– The duration of each episode is 90mins.

– Each episode will end with a musical performance of a new song. All songs have been composed by Ram Sampath and lyrics are by Prasoon Joshi, Swanand Kirkire, Munna Dhiman and few others.

– The series is directed by Satyajeet Bhatkal (Aamir’s friend and director of Zokkoman) but every decision is taken by Aamir Khan. The final edit call is also his. Nothing is finalised without his approval.

– The series was earlier produced by Big Synergy. But they wanted to make it more commercial and Aamir wasn’t in favour of it. Currently it’s being produced by Aamir Khan Productions.

– Imran Khan and Sridevi will appear in two different episodes of the series.

– The pilot episode of the series was rejected by Aamir himself after it received negative feedback from test audience.

– The first episode is on girl child discrimination and female infanticide. Not sure if they have changed the sequence.

– Do expect lots of rona-dhona was they discuss sensitive issues. Aamir will be in full Oprah Winfrey avatar.

Anything else? If you have some more dope on it, the comment box is all yours.

Mr Screeny is back. For those of you, who don’t know him, click here to read his first post. This time he attended the weekend seminar at NFAI Pune and here is all the details from the Day 1. The good, the bad, the ugly and the goss.

The day began with a BIG queue at the NFAI – and with a mammoth crowd of students, film industry people, media professionals, writers directors, and aspirants. Felt a little bored of the over scholarly talk & lectures and didn’t take any notes whenever I felt there was too much to write/too irrelevant/too soporific; but ‘on the whole’ the first day was okay dokay. Had taken down few notes whatever I found interesting, and am paraphrasing it all below

Imtiaz Hussien – FWA committee member (& dialogue writer of Parinda)

The term ‘Melodrama’ originated in the 1780s and means two diametrically opposite things in German & French.

In German it means – a passage of opera with music

In French it means – a passage in which characters say nothing but the music conveys/says everything.

Kedarnath Outy – the chief of NFAI (spoke about preservation of films)

Since the inception of Indian cinema, there have been 43000 Indian films released.

The NFAI has only 5000 odd films!

I passionately request you all to if and when you come across original film material (footage, print, rolls etc) please contact us. The corporate do not bother to give us the prints because they are lying with the film labs. When we request the labs, they say they’ve written umpteen times to the corporate/production houses informing them of their film footage lying around; but the corporate regard it as a recording & archiving formality and do not bother replying back. In such cases, the onus often should be taken by the film buffs and volunteers like us to help preserve film culture.

Anjum Rajabali

The purpose of this seminar is educational so that it leads to a better understanding of cinema. Until 2004 there was no screenwriting courses in India. And then FTII introduced screenplay writing course. Since then we’ve tried to hold as many interactions between film writers/aspirants & the professionals.

We were also trying to get Salim-Javed together for this conference (after a gap of 31 yrs., they would be sharing a platform together). Both had readily agreed to the idea. Javed saab had even said “It would be a privilege to hear him speak on screenplay”. However unfortunately, Salim Khan couldn’t come due to ill health.

Session 1. How it all Began: Genesis of  and Influences on the Early Indian Script

Adoor Gopalakrishnan

When I joined FTII in 1962, there was no separate course in screenwriting. The course was Screenplay writing cum Film Direction. Most people who joined hated screenplay writing then. Today when I see this big an audience for a screenwriting seminar, I feel a lot has changed since then. May be part of this change is thanks to the Bombay Film Industry.

In Malayalam films, script wasn’t the starting point of the film. Many a times it was written on the sets ‘fresh’& ‘hot’ (Taaza taaza). One or two films written this way became successful, and it therefore became a trend to write the script on the sets only! The writer would be sometimes standing in a pose under a tree, busy writing the next scene which was to be shot. Whenever we saw someone standing in a pose on any film set, we knew immediately that he was the writer!

In 1985 a screenplay of one of my films got published, but nobody read it. Nowadays, the sale of film scripts has increased, not for learning how to write for films, but to write for TV. My scripts will be a bad choice if one wants to read them and learn how to write for TV.

When my films get screened abroad, foreign film fraternity often comes unto me and asks “In India, do they make films like you do ? Don’t they only make ‘song & dance’ films ?” For them the only exposure to Indian Cinema is ‘Bollywood’. It takes time for me to explain that I’m as much an outsider in ‘Bollywood’ as they are!

We are heir to a great tradition of Art but have we really imbibed from it ? Very little is taken from our culture except song & dance and melodrama.

Bombay makes high budget rich looking commercial masala films and all other regional cinema makes poor imitations of the same. The commercial cinema is either derived from Hollywood and/or the tradition of Parsi theater.

Coming back to the FTII course then, the 1st 2 yrs. was about writing & basic elements of direction and in the 3rd year we were taught advanced direction.

Many directors have no sense in drama, because they have no interest in writing.

A director has to bring his vision to the script and understand the written form – how to convert it dramatically on screen. Otherwise, the writer will write the script, cameraman will shoot it and editor will edit it – and the film can be made. A director is NOT an organizer of talents – there are production managers for that.

My colleagues wanted to be in Bombay Film Industry; not to be against the ‘system’, but to be absorbed by it.

“You have to READ to WRITE”

Screenplay is the very basic material on which the film is built on. It’s your idea of the film. You can hardly explain the film on a screenplay. It eventually finds its completion in the film that is made out of it.

The other panelists/speakers weren’t too interesting. A word of request to the super arrogant Shama Zaidi…..

….We respect you for your costume work in Shatranj ke Khiladi (Satyajit Ray, Premchand – two greats), your writing in Bharat ek Khoj, Garam Hawa, Mandi and many many such superb films (and your work as an Art director too in many such films). We also know that as a panelist you do get asked some slightly peripheral questions at times. But you could do your HUGE IMDB LIST a great service by replying in a non dismissive, polite, humorous manner. I mean cummon – your paper talks about the roots of Hindi-Urdu cinema and starts from 1853 – Wajid Ali Shah’s court (an interesting though self-important self reference to Shatranj ke Khiladi – one might argue) and if a naïve screenwriter asks you about a question related to the 1920s films, you turn around and needlessly retort “I don’t know about 1920s. I wasn’t born then!”; “I think this question is completely irrelevant” in a tone which would outrival Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s famous two words “Shut up!!!”

And Kaushik Bhaumick – the other panelist. I don’t have any remarks for him, because I slept through his whole lecture.

Atul Tiwari – the audience woke up when he started talking, thanks to his witty one liners, intelligent puns and wonderful Javed Akhtar-ish sense of humor.

During the break, I met Adoor since I have myself been trying to lay my hands on his films for quite some time but to no avail. I asked him where can I see his films subtitled ? No DVD shops in Mumbai/Chennai/Delhi have it. And I doubt if any subtitled copies are available in Kerala. He said the only way to get to see 2-3 (of the whole lot) was through Amazon !!!

I told him it was ridiculous to pay the extra shipping cost when the films ideally could/should be available in Kerala/Trivandrum/Cochin/Munnar any-friggin city down south.

“No. there is no other way” – he said with a rather I-know-it-sucks-I-can’t-help-it expression

Session 2  Dramatic Highs: Melodrama and our Cinematic Form

Clips were shown from various Indian films – Meghe dhaka Tara, Subarnarekha, Kannathil Muthamital, Mughal-e-azam, Shejari, Pyaasa and others and ‘melodrama’ was discussed using terms like “hyperbolic cinematization”, “orchestration & amplification of emotion”, “dizzying camerawork”, “stylized & exaggerated movements” etc.

The other two panelists (not mentioned below) used scholarly english words in their papers which were grandiloquently pontificating with hyperbolic propensity towards 14-alphabets-long-words which might be good to read (if it were a TOI editorial) but listening to them was a unwieldy task thanks to the soporific hallucinogenic monotonous style of speech.

Kamlesh Pandey

When I started screenwriting, I had predicted that the 1st star of the film will be the screenwriter, and ‘they’ used to laugh at me. Today I look at the interest in screenwriting, and I feel very happy.

What is Melodrama ?

My Marathi theater friends would joke that Melodrama is ‘Melo’ Drama (‘Melo’ in Marathi means Dead). i.e. dead drama

I remember an ‘intellectual’ journalist once asked a question to RD Burman –

Q) When the hero and heroine are sitting in a boat in a lake singing a song , it is a considerable co-incidence that they might be ‘good singers’, but where the hell does the orchestra come from ? Orchestra kahaan se aata hai ?

A) Arrey Idiot – jahaan se camera aata hai!!!

Films are for life, and not about framing life. If I want to see life why would I spend 200 bucks to go to theater to see it when I can easily go down to the streets and see ‘life’ for free!

All film language is derivative of everything including real life. The heart of melodrama is big enough to accommodate anti melodrama & realism. Ardhasatya & Zanjeer have the same appeal for me.

Tezaab is Awara set in the 90s. The introduction sequence of Anil Kapoor in Tezaab is the same as the introduction sequence of KN Singh in Awara. It shows how much cinema has travelled in a span of 30-40 yrs., the hero has become the villain.

Dil – I asked the director Inder kumar “If Saeed Jaffrey (rich father of madhuri) is so rich then will he not hire a detective to investigate if Anupam Kher (the poor father of Aamir) is indeed a big industrialist or a raddi-wala ?”

He replied “You are the only one who is asking this question. Trust me, no one else in the theaters will ask the same”

People don’t go to theaters to ask questions. Entertain them, but don’t let them down.

We don’t have a 3rd ACT (the resolution) in life but we need one in films. Life doesn’t make sense. Films however, give us the vicarious pleasure and the hope to live. They help us make sense in life. When we see heartbreak in films, it prepares us to deal with our heartbreaks in real life. Life is what we are. Movies are what we want to be.

Cinema/Theater is a gym for emotional fitness. In spite of having 60 TV channels we still go to theaters.

K Hariharan (Tamil film director)

During the time when there was a tremendous anti North India and anti Hindi sentiment in tamil Nadu, the Dravidian movement found its voice in the ‘new wave’ of tamil cinema. Directors like Bharathiraja, Mahendran, Balu mahendru, K Balachander etc went and made non commercial films and ‘village films’ which were similar in spirit to the ‘parallel’ cinema of Shyam benegal, Govind nihlani, MS Sathyu etc. They existed along with the commercial tamil films until the ‘phenomena’ of manirathnam invaded the tamil cinema screen, and everything ended up looking more aesthetic & ÁD film’ like rather than the raw & visceral.  (wrt the kanathil muthamital title track with simran & the kid) Don’t you think this is an AD film ? I mean you could safely release this song segment titled as ‘Vimal Saris’!!!

We have explored the ‘Sringar Ras’ a lot in our films – art for pleasure’s sake – the entire bandwidth of guy meets girl, love, different shades of it – eventually to a pleasant culmination etc etc. However the current ‘new wave’ in Tamil Cinema (directors like Bala, Ameer, Sasikumar, Cheran, Mysskin) are making films on the less travelled path of ‘Bibathsa Ras’ or the emotion of disgust. The raw violence, the energy, the ambition to not shy away from uncomfortable zone all are the characteristics of this new school of filmmaking and the best part is – these films are successful! 

Chitra Palekar

We make films with ‘heightened drama’. I remember when our first film (directed by Amol Palekar) was screened at a film festival, a foreign film critic argued with us about why we had songs & dance ‘melodrama’ in our film. I replied that in our traditions, we have songs for all occasions, every festival and even every time of the day. It is our culture. “Apun toh aise hi hain!!!”

Session 3 : A Song and Dance About Everything: Music, Song, and Lyrics in the Script

Vinay Shukla (talked about music in 50s-60s-70s)

Songs were a part of the narrative and not an ‘item’. A very good example would be ‘Jab Pyaar Kiya toh darna kya’ from Mughal-e-azam in which an otherwise introverted & shy Anarkali proclaimed her love for Salim in front of the whole world. And we believe it and how! That is the strength of a song

Songs & Melodrama are two distinct features of the Indian script. We are a country of songs. The first film Alam Ara had 7 songs.

The ‘sufi fakir’ singing a song “De de khuda ke naam pe” was another common feature in many film songs even till the 70s-80s eg: Pran singing ‘Kasme Vaade Pyaar Wafa sab’ from Upkaar; where a normal personal drama/situation spreads to a universal appeal thanks to the song & lyrics. Songs universalize a specific dramatic situation.

We also had a ‘theme song’ eg: Kaagaz ke Phool ‘Dekhi Zamaane Ki Yaari’ which was used throughout the film to punctuate the protagonist Suresh Sinha’s journey.

A song can condense or expand time and hence is a very important tool to be used for cinematic advantage. It can act as the ‘bridge’ between the credible & the incredible for the audience to walk through it, willingly suspending disbelief.

Javed Akhtar was to be the chairperson of this session but he couldn’t come due to some reasons. As a result Swanand was asked to be the chairperson for the same. Atul Tiwari remarked “Ek din maine aapse kahaa tha ki aap Javed Saab ki jagah lenge”

Btw – Saaed Mirza & Kundan shah were walking through the aisles when it was announced on stage that Javed Akhtar wouldn’t be coming, and the audience heaved a big sigh of disappointment – “Oh Noo”.

The two filmmakers half muttered under their breath “That is so sad” – “It breaks my heart” – “Oh dear dear dear…”

It was interesting to observe such a private sarcastic disapproval of Javed Akhtar by the two. Clearly they do not think too high of the the man for whatever reasons, some which they spoke about on Day-2 when they came on the panel.

Swanand Kirkire

These days a dangerous trend has started thanks to Ibn-e-batoota. The producers want some similar sounding nonsensical lyrics from everyone.

“Sir ek word de do ibn-e-batoota jaisa. Gaana HIT ho jayega”

When I’m writing my own screenplay, I myself find it strange to put in songs.

The day ended with a rendition of ‘Bawra Mann’ by Swanand (it was almost mandatory wasn’t it ?), much to our delight.

Post on Day 2 coming soon. And it was much better than Day 1.

The theatrical trailer of Pradeep Sarkar’s new film Lafangey Parindey is out. It stars Neil Nitin Mukesh and Deepika Padukone. Produced by Aditya Chopra (Yashraj Films), its written by Gopi Puthran, has music by R Anandh (the limca jingle is also by him) and lyrics by Swanand Kirkire.

He was born to fight…she was born to fly….where are we heading, Dada ? They will fly & fight together!  Deepika delivering tapori dialogues sounds incredibly funny! A Bambaiyya blind babe ??!! And somehow, it doesn’t feel, look or sound like a Pradeep Sarkar film. May be he is trying to do something new. Anyway, Check it out.