Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mile Sur Mera Tumhara v2.0

3 months!! That's the time from my last post. Thanks to some traveling, cycling, new-year party, workplace and ofcourse to the supremo, laziness. Here I go live again, sneaking out from my blanket on the day after the day India became a 60-year old Republic(whoa..I got that right), waking up to an SOS call for some disaster management. A decade after I watched those children of my age running across in tricolor costumes to depict the Indian flag at the climax of one of Indian history's best shows of national integration or in other words, the 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara', the modern makers of India seemed to have come up with MSMT v2.0 called PMSMT- Phir MSMT. And modern India was more than ever liberal in spreading PMSMT in the form of SOS-tweets and desi-'911'-scraps.

The PMSMT asked for trouble from the word GO. The song being most synonymous with Indian integration was wrongly chosen to showcase what ultimately was merely a show of synthetic glamour. Though I watched it as a kid I could recollect most of the video even today. Here's a taste of that memory

  • The mahout gleefully singing in Malayalam sitting on the elephant back
  • The aerial view of the Taj and Yamuna
  • Balamuralikrishna on the beach
  • People exiting from Calcutta's metro rail
  • Lata Mangeshkar in a tricolor bordered saree
  • Children running in to form the national flag etc
Mile Sur Mera- 1988 release

Viewing it again today, I was humming it in no matter of time and knew who/what came next in the video. It left a remarkably deep foot-print on the Indian society, connecting people of different regions, religions, cultures, age-groups and most importantly it potrayed the common man and had him as the lead player throughout the video. The v2.0 had an equal share of common men too, in the form of makeup men, spot boys and background artists. At one point during the long video, I seriously thought there was a trailer of 'My Name is Khan' being played. I mistook SRK with arms wide open on what looked like a cliff with the Brooklyn bridge in the background!! Wait a minute, that's a sea and and there's only one triangular truss structure visible....Goodness God, I get it's still v2.0.

The interesting aspect the makers missed out is there can possibly, in no sense, be integration amongst the very artists they chose to potray the same. Bringing all the 'Sur-matchers' into one ship would have Ash and Sallu in the couple's lounge, SRK having a drink with Amir, Ranbir sharing ice-cream with Deepika(integration of differentiated lovers) and Jr.Bachchan sharing bed-time stories with Sallu. Now that's an aaaawsome kinda ship that wouldn't require an iceberg to sink it.

The producers seemed to have remembered all of a sudden this ain't the IIFA promo video and saved the dying minute to sports personalities and a couple of seconds to the armed forces. Gopichand and Saina seemed lightning-struck, Baichang quits football to represent India in marathon at the CWG,the Olympians could again be identified(as they appeared together). Sources say the hockey('the' NATIONAL game) players were busy battling for their fees, Sachin couldn't wake up as his alarm-clock failed, Ganguly was reciting a lullaby to his kid and Vishy Anand was teaching maths at NIIT :P

Let's have a look at the 'most-probable' shooting procedure followed:
Take 1: Shot 1-Jesudas and son sing-Shot 2- Mamooty comes out of the hiding-Shot 3- Jesu and son sing again-Shot 4- Mamooty sings-Shot 5- Jesu and son sing last line-Cut It.
Take 2: Shot 1-Deepika in almost-bottom revealing dress stands in a ramp-walk pose-Shot 2- Moving her lips to the tune-Shot 3- Wake up Sid!-Shot 4- I am still in night-pants, that's ok...I look cool-Shot 5-Spreading my arms wide open-Cut It.

The video starts off well with Amitabh setting the tempo appearing before the iconic Taj Mumbai and Rehman composing beside a solar-water heater(has that supposed to say something?Go Green?). A peek deeper saves no grace. The kids could have taught Sallu how to put on a shirt and news is in that boys now prefer to stay away after his not-so-straight intentions in trying to love-bite a boy in the video. In a serious note, the idea of involving differently-abled children and senior citizens(with Mahesh Babu) was novel. Adding to the pile of creative garbage was KJo's entry. Seriously, even dogs fear from his creations and we have him ahead of Manirathnam, Shyam Benegal etc.

It was just another cake-walk for Surya,Vikram,SRK(all opening their arms) and finishing off in one take. Amir repeated a TZP and did a 'Chatur Ramalingam' by blindly following the makers. I find it hard even to credit it as a good 'Philmi MSMT' as there exist too many glitches. The recording was not the best with Mahesh's mouth twisting before his vocals could respond. And there was this unshaven,filthy-alike looking, road-side-rogue-alike with gory hair amidst people around who were waiting to thrash him on the road. Sonu yaa Monu...who cares...He sucked bigtime!! And the 'suferb fart' of the show was India's Kaminey(no wonder, he's named so aptly). Ironmaiden have allegedly signed him up impressed with his act of ROCKing a melodious national song.

The saving grace should have been the musicians but with irrepairable damage done and with amazing creative directors at work they sure had the least say. Anoushka's fingers were no where near the sitar's strings and Zakir's multi-tabla-ing pushes us to say 'Wah...Taj'(as my friend Deepak rightly said).  Shiamak's fusion with Shobana's Bharatanatyam was novel but very poorly choreographed and it looked to be done in a haste due to lack of time. No coordination or sync between the two forms. There are too many loopholes to make the PMSMT leave its footprint and the 16-minute video is too long,boring,unrelated, sometimes pathetic with only pockets of positive points and in no sense replaces the original one. The production home should not have  claimed it to be a remake of MSMT showcasing modern India atleast....India least knew that they would end up watching something else, something gloriously crappy.    
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from soul to heart into the blog said...

I totally agree with you, a try to modify turned to over modification showing max of bollywood stars.Looks like they r posing for a Ad to focus unity in bollywood rather than for an patriotic song focusing unity in India.

PostMan said...

As the blog says,there possibly is no integration amongst the very stars involved...Ash-Sallu, SRK-Sallu etc etc. Could have been a lot better. Disappointed. Atleast let the channels air the older version.
I agree with you...It looked like a Bollywood event promo

Netha Hussain said...

Went through your blog..The posts are pretty interesting..I agree with your opinion..The older version of the song was much better..
Keep blogging..

Arnav said...

True ,
The earlier was one was far better :)

One reason could also be that we have grown up listening to the earlier version ,and are so used to that version that we are not ready to imbibe the new change...

Keep Writing :)

PostMan said...

@Netha Hussain
Thanks for visiting :)

Change is good,provided it can effectively replace the previous entity. I think India can look forward to another make of it, a much better one with focus on the common man.

Nalini Hebbar said...

the 1988 composition was great...thanks for the opportunity to relive it...I think it needs to be played everyday in every house in India and Mumbai for people to come back to their senses.

PostMan said...

Welcome Nalini...and I am glad that you could relive the moment...hopefully DD airs the old version if not other channels...everytime I see the song, it gives me goosebumps :)....Truly,'Old is Gold'

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