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Sunday, 25 January 2015

The HIndie Awards 2015: Music Awards

The HIndie Awards 2015


Like with any awards show, let's begin the first official HIndie Awards with the music awards. Now, music is an integral part of Hindi cinema. It's what makes it such a unique brand in the world, our movies are full of color and filled with some thriving and moving music.

This decade however has seen an influx of mediocrity where music has been simplified into basic lyrics and vulgar meanings. Still some really awesome soundtracks and scores elevated the films they featured in.

So let's start with the awards.

HIndie Award for Best Soundtrack

There were some fantastic soundtracks all year round, from the peppy filmy songs to the narrative infused ones. Certain soundtracks got lost due to the placing they had in their film, derailing the pace of the whole narrative.

Here are the nominees;

Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari for Ek Villain

(Galiyan by Ankit Tiwari, Banjaara by Mohd. Irfan, Zaroorat by Mustafa Zahid, Awari by Adnan Dhool and Momina Mustehsan, Humdard by Arijit Singh, Galiyan 'Unplugged' by Shradha Kapoor and Ankit Tiwari)

Tiwari and Mithoon knock it out of the park once again.

Barring the fact that the film is a terrible rip-off and the music is oddly placed. The music itself is sensational.

Galiyan rose through the ranks this year to give the duo another all-round year chartbuster. Like with 'Tum Hi Ho' the year prior, it became the anthem for Bollywood music in 2014. But the others songs are equally fantastic.

Zaroorat is one hell of an awesome rock ballad, Banjaara and Humdard are soul stirring romantic tracks and even Awari is a nice change of pace. Thanks to the soundtrack we also got to find out about Shardha Kapoor's talented voice.

All round a great album drowned amidst a terrible film.

A.R. Rahman for Highway

(Patakha Guddi by Nooran Sisters/Female Version and A.R. Rahman/Male Version, Maahi Ve by A.R. Rahman, Kahaan Ho Main by Jonita Gandhi, Wanna Mash Up? By Lady Kash, Krissy and Suvi Suresh, Sooha Saaha by Zeb and Alia Bhatt, Tu Kuja by Sunidi Chauhan, Heera by Shweta Pandit)

How can a Rahman soundtrack not be one of the best of the year?

His last collaboration with Imtiaz Ali, unearthed the magical brilliance that is Rockstar. This year Highway featured some of the most moving and profound music. The visuals themselves are stirring but the lyrics, tunes and melodies add weight to the striking imagery. 

Rahman's own singing is some of the best in this film with Maahi Ve and Patakha Guddi. It's however the newbies Nooran Sisters and surprisingly Alia Bhatt who stand out with heart rendering singing. 

From head to toe, Highway is amazing and the music is not only its greatest strength but a powerful force driving the narrative. 


Vishal Bhardwaj for Haider

(Aao Na by Vishal Dadlani, Bismil by Vishal Bhardwaj, Khul Kabhi by Arijit Singh, Gulon Main Rang Bhare by Arijit Singh, Ek Aur Bismil by Sukhwinder Singh, Jhelum by Vishal Bhardwaj, Do Jahaan by Suresh Wadkar and Shraddha Kapoor, Aaj Ke Naam by Rekha Bhardwaj)

Can Vishal Bhardwaj do any wrong?

The well known Bollywood auteur began his career in music and he has since become a master of the game. The Haider soundtrack is one of his finest, not only in tune but hiding depths of symbolism and meaning in its words, movements and melodies. 

The Mousetrap (play within a play) is wonderfully adapted into the riveting and mind capturing Bismil with some very revealing lyrics, Aao Na is one hell of an electric rock tune that energizes the soundtrack while acting as an interesting song within the film featuring the gravediggers.

The other songs are not far behind. Arijit Singh croons the words of Ahmad Faiz stunningly in Khul Kabhi, giving the one moment of romantic bliss to Haider. Jhelum, Gulon Main Rang, Do Jahaan and Aaj ke Naam hide revealing pain under some soothing music bolstered by the pen of Gulzar. 

Gulzar and Bhardwaj are a lethal combo, add to that a variety of top class musician and you get one hell of an album fitting of the vengeance Haider undertakes. 

Amit Trivedi for Queen

(London Thumakada by Labh Janjua, Sonu Kakkar and Neha Kakkar, Badra Bahaar by Amit Trivedi, O Gujariya by Shefali Alvares and Nikhil D'Souza, Taake Jhanke by Arijit Singh, Jugni by Amit Trivedi, Harjaiyaan by Nandini Srikar, Kinare by Mohan Kanan, Ranjha by Rupesh Kumar Ram, Hungama Hogaya (Remix) by Asha Bhosle and Arijit Singh)

The last time Amit Trivedi headed some fantastic music it was in Lootera. There he had to provide a romantic track with spices of an old world and Bengali feel. 

Here he goes peppy and wonderfully succeeds. The songs here are refreshing and an inspiring set just like the whole feature. London Thumakda is the ultimate party/wedding song thanks to it's breezy lyrics but it's not just that, there's a lot of detail to the music about weddings and first nights that will be fun to catch. 

The other songs are woefully underrated in comparison. The Hungama Hogaya remix helps plunder the emotions that Rani feels and allows it to be exuded thanks to the songs funky and raging feel. Badra Bahaar is strong and a moving piece in Rani's narrative that works wonders thanks to the lyrics and flow of the tune with the visuals. 

Taake Jaake and Jugni are peppy numbers that lift your spirit like Rani's journey does. 

Harjaiyaan is another emotionally moving song but fresh one, thanks to the soothing vocals of Nandini Srikar.   

Overall this is an inspired free spirited soundtrack that exemplifies who Rani, the Queen is. 


Vishal Bhardwaj and Begum Akhtar for Dedh Ishqiya

(Dil Ka Mizaaj Ishqiya by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Horn OK Please by Yo Yo Honey Singh and Sukhwinder Singh ,Hamari Atariya by Rekha Bhardwaj and Begum Akhtar, Zabaan Jale Hai by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Jagave Saari Raina by Rekha Bhardwaj and Birju Maharaj)

Barring the fact that Vishal and co. forgot to credit Begum Akhtar for her stunning work with Hamari Atariya (which Vishal adapted for this film), the composition of Dedh Ishqiya is sublime and true to the heart and soul of the film. 

The shayaari is aptly supported by this classy and golden music that is as sufi as it needs to be and as quirky and rustic as the original Ishqiya feature. 

The title track (Dil Ka Mizaaj Ishqiya) is romantically inclined and equally touching as Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji (from Ishqiya). Horn OK Please is a fun track that is one of Honey Singh's best so far and is wonderfully stylistic to Sukhwinder's vocals. 

Begum Akhtar's supreme composition is smartly captured by the gorgeous moving voice of Rekha Bhardwaj. Zabaan Jale Hai is so passionately sung it attaches the viewer to Khalujan's quest for Begum Para's love. 

Finally there could have been no better song then Jagave Saari Raina to portray the stimulating dance of Madhuri Dixit. 

And the Winner is...

Vishal Bhardwaj for Haider!

HIndie Award for Best Background Score

From moody pieces to chilling atmospheres and from spirited melodies to stirring tunes. Hindi cinema's scores in 2014 were absolutely fantastic, so much so that quite a few great ones missed the list. 

Those such as Highway, Queen, Ankhon Dekhi and Mary Kom couldn't make the cut in favor of the next five world class pieces of music that elevated the scenes they played through. 

So here are the nominees. 


Vishal Bhardwaj for Dedh Ishqiya

There's a moment in the powerful sequel to Ishqiya that exemplifies the profound impact of the background score.

As Khalujan finally sees Beghum for the first time (or so we think), the music plays to its own moving romantic tune. It begins to tell the story, in no way that words or visuals can (Despite the flashback's edited in).

It's basically what Dedh Ishqiya's music does, it takes those moments that the weighty poetic words and the humorous dialogue cannot express. It weaves itself and sets itself as the true storyteller of the film.

It's a technique you will see many times in Hindi cinema, even in the most overt sense. But it's never been used to move the audience truer than it has here. That's the power Bhardwaj masterfully conveys without his greatest asset; words.

Brian McOmber for Ugly

There's something deliberately frightening about the chilling score that steps into each scene of Ugly. It's telling music that screams out to the truly despicable nature of these characters and keeps the thrill of the narrative up. 

Money is the standout point, where the greed of well money shows how fearsome, low, desperate and above all Ugly the so called protagonists can get. 

Vividly moving and aptly matching to the tunes of the neon cinematography and dreary subject matter. Ugly's score is ironically a beauty to behold. 

Vishal Bhardwaj for Haider

The stand out of the background score is the electric tunes set to the music of Aao Na, it provides Haider that chilling atmosphere to shock and awe when things go haywire for the protagonist and all those around him. An equally rising score accompanies the arrival of Irrfan Khan's Roohdar, push the plot and the characters towards their inevitable doom. 

It's the slower moments however where the score truly effects the core. The music seeps into your soul and wrenches every emotion out of you. The despair that Haider feels, the anger, the sadness, the confusion and finally in a bombastic finale; the regret. 

The background score is always there, keeping a check on all the proceedings and pushing the viewers to engage with all their heart. That's the power of amazing music. 

Mathias Duplessy for Finding Fanny
A genuine stirring is what Fanny's score provides. The music is lyrical without having to express itself in words.

Sure at one point we really get to know about the love and longing these characters have, especially in the case with Freddie for Fanny.

But the music is much more focused with the strings and tune that adds dimensions to the laughter but more importantly that poignant and melancholy touch to the subtle dramatic revelations. The best thing is that it's there, it sets the mood but never forces itself on the viewer or overpowers the setting and narrative.

Kip Uhlorn with Cloudland Canyon, Robert A.A. Lowe with Lichens and Ilayaraaja for Miss Lovely

The silences in Miss Lovely are so somberly profound that they threaten to steal the show. A shot of Sonu seeing Pinky for the first time and then for the last, tell a story that in paper is thrown into the wind. 

The screenplay might have a listless motion but the music really impacts you in those points where nothing is sad or felt by the viewer. 

Yet you can never overshadow the prowess of Ilaiyaraaja, who bring his own meticulous brilliance to the score. Ashim Ahluwalia's music choices range very wide, there are tunes that are lyrically soft. Others are mesmerizing and most are a wonderful throwback to exploitation cinema of the world. 

There's no theme of the film that the music doesn't move its beats too, thus entrapping the viewer in the acidic magic of Miss Lovely. 

And the Winner is...

Kip Uhlorn with Cloudland Canyon, Robert A.A. Lowe with Lichens and Ilayaraaja 
for Miss Lovely!

That's all for the music awards, next up a detour to the special acting awards for the big breakthroughs and huge ensembles.

Next: One hell of a funny and one hell of a dramatic debut nab awards alongside the most sublime but despicable cast of actors and characters in 2014

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

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