Blue (2009): Behind-the-Scenes, Music Review, and the Great Soundtrack Giveaway

The film 'Blue' releases on October 16, in time for Diwali. Let's call this a preview post, if we may. There's exclusive video from the sets (courtesy the film's action director, James Bomalick), some of my thoughts on a soundtrack (A. R. Rahman) I'm having a lot of fun with, pictures from a recent Kylie Minogue concert, and a really cool giveaway (my first; courtesy Saavn) which I hope you participate in -- among others, you can win one of 10 copies of the album!



A quick visit to the official website at BlueTheFilm.com is all it takes to get a sense of what its primary value sell is. Given the scope, then, and as discussed in this Q&A with Action Director James Bomalick, Blue is primed to set a new Bollywood benchmark for action. It's made to be seen on the big screen. As a fan of Hindi cinema, I'm just glad it's been made. Check out some behind-the-scenes footage from the sets, made available here courtesy Mr. Bomalick. (As always, thank you James!) Should translate to much fun, don't you think?

video

For some perspective and to see bits of how some of the action sequences in the video above are used, try catching them in this theatrical trailer (and "hubba hubba" the way of Katrina Kaif and Lara Dutta...it really should be Haaye Allah!):


A big asset to the film is its soundtrack (A. R. Rahman). I'd mentioned in this post on Bhoola Tujhe (here's its trailer) that this is one of my favorite soundtracks of the year. It's one of only two from 2009 I find myself listening to from start to finish, without skipping a track (the other being Delhi-6). Of course, a lot of this has to do with the music. But it is the lyrics, often overlooked, that make this soundtrack relevant. That three lyricists are involved is impressive, because there are several parallels to be drawn with the plot and among the songs, some of which are noted below. (Soundtrack notes, including vocalist and lyricist info on each song, available at this ARRahman.com link.)

For example, the Blue Theme (trailer here) talks of "bleeding blue when not red", and that there "lie as many secrets in the heart as there are treasures in the seas". 'Rehnuma' (Guide/Leader), as much as it reminds of a James Bond theme, also serves a reminder to 'Dil Ka Rishta' from Yuvvraaj (2008), in its last third. The lyrics stand out here, with Shreya Ghoshal perfect in giving voice to the seductress (a clue to shades of Lara Dutta's character, perhaps?). Sample these, in no specific sequence:

- Your ocean is a benevolent guide, a caravan, a companion.
- Burn a little, melt some, in desire for me.

- Engulfing embraces (like waves), Venomous glances.
- Life under your protection might only be attained after death.
- There's no shore for the sea of my destiny.


'Aaj Dil Gustakh Hai' (The Heart's Rebellious Today; trailer here) is a love song which features vocals by Ghoshal again, this time with Sukhwinder Singh. It's a delightful and diverse composition with elements of jazz and trick-hop, which complement the theme. Sample these, in no specific sequence:

- The heart's rebellious today, the water's on fire.
- A flood of breaths leads to rhythmic dreams.
- Why is time in such a rush?



After seeing its trailer, I'm not sure what purpose my favorite from the soundtrack -- 'Fikrana' (Carefree) -- is going to serve, and am hoping it's reserved for the end credits. "We're in blooming gardens, in twinkling stars, in fiery flames, and in wayward winds." Regardless, I hope the song in the film doesn't prove they've seemed to have reduced a track perfect for speed on water and pavement (e.g. with the frame below), to one that King Kong would fit in. The music is brilliant, the lyrics pure fun, and it's a tribute to the versatility of vocalist Vijay Prakash that he follow up a 'Manmohini Morey' in Yuvvraaj last year, with a song such as this...splendid!



'Maar Diya Dulhaniya' (You've Killed Me, My Bride; killed as in 'knocked me out') will likely be used to the effect Haan Ji was in Sanjay Dutt-starrer Kidnap (2008). The weakest link in the album is actually pretty good, with Udit Narayan making a comeback of sorts. The integration of hip-hop and R&B elements is a worthy experiment in this otherwise conventional track for a Hindi film. The lyrics, while clearly giving the appearance of a wedding song, have a tie-in with 'Rehnuma'. Is Lara Dutta as loyal as others think?

Finally, there's a rather atypical 'Chiggy Wiggy' (trailer here). It's unique not only because it features Kylie Minogue (in voice and appearance, but because of its lyrics. I know, I know, it could be a good name for a brand of chewing gum too (Winterfresh, perhaps?). But to those who do not like the song, where's your sense of fun? Fun because we are free to believe what we may about what 'Chiggy Wiggy' means. Is it merely a dance step? It could mean so much more, right? Are 'wig' and 'gy' simply dangling syllables? (Kylie's been touring the U.S. this month, and San Francisco and Los Angeles this past weekend; pictures courtesy a friend has asked to remain anonymous; here she is discussing Blue; and yes, I might be a Kylie fan from way back in high school :)




Much more than just another commoditized dance track, it's choreographed by Farah Khan; (here's a video on its making). The sound is perfect for its ambiance, and the transition from western dance to traditional bhangra -- perfectly timed with an appearance by Sonu Nigam -- is just what the song needs to better align it with the film. Bhoola Tujhe spoke of devotion to God. Here, devotion of another kind is introduced. Bits from Sonu's paragraph:

Is your beauty a blessing or curse?
Is loving you worship or sin?

What *you* say is the truth,

What *you* call me by (and *only* that) is my name.

Talk about devotion! :D Listen to the complete song at this link.

Any fair assessment of a 'motion-picture soundtrack' must consider the film it's in. The music to Blue is hardly ordinary, but the movie is anything but typical. For its purpose, I think time will tell it's a fine complement. Four stars and then some to Rahman and everyone who's worked on it! The background score should be just as interesting. (Also see: Soundtrack review at Darshit's blog)

THE GREAT SOUNDTRACK GIVEAWAY

Let me start with a big shout-out to Aditi Sharma from Saavn.com, who wrote with this giveaway offer for readers of this blog. It's one I thought you might enjoy.

Saavn are giving away (via online download) 10 copies of the complete Blue soundtrack, and 10 copies of 'Chiggy Wiggy'. All you need to do to avail of the giveaway is to send an e-mail to bluemusic at saavn dot com, and tell them you read about this giveaway at theBollywoodFan's blog (please include the specific link to this post). The first 10 e-mails received will entitle senders to the complete album, the next 10, to the song. So send your e-mails in fast! (Note 10/21: This giveaway is now closed.)

Please note I am in no way affiliated with Saavn, or with the film Blue. As the disclaimer at my blog suggests, your participation in any activity or communication here or at sites linked to is entirely voluntary, and absolves me and this site of any liabilities related to resulting damages, no matter how material. Please also refer to the Saavn Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


13 comments:

bollywoodfoodclub said...

Adab! Thanks for this informational post nawab! I love this music!
All the best,
Sita-ji

Darshit said...

Mast Mast !!
Enjoyed the post a lot. What info and vids, making me super excited to see the movie.

Pretty convincing analysis of all the songs. Though Rehnuma sounds a lot like Bond, its growing on me now as a mysterious/seduction song. And true abt dil ka rishta bit in it.

And yup, Kylie fan here too :P

Aditi said...

Great post!

bollywooddeewana said...

i haven't been to the cinema in ages and blue is the film i can't wait to watch just as good next friday is just around the corner, i seriously hope this film does not disappoint, i'm actually a bit scared for them

Anonymous said...

Nice post, but not sure if im gonna watch a Bolly action movie, that too any movie with Akshay.

theBollywoodFan said...

Sita-ji and Aditi: Thank you, and good to know you're enjoying the music just as much!

Darshit: Thanks. Rehnuma has that neat quality about it, doesn't it? Helps to have Shreya and Sonu in top form. I think for what it is, it's rather good. I'm just excited to see it on the big screen for, among several other things, how beautifully shot it is.

As for Kylie, for some reason, she seems to be more popular in Asia and Europe (even Africa) than in the U.S. Never figured out why, but that's been my experience (from people I've met). She's certainly just as vibrant as anyone in her art.

theBollywoodFan said...

BollywoodDeewana: If you're a fan of action films, this should be a great film to check out in theaters. There's always a chance a film doesn't live up to expectations. If that happens with Blue, I don't think the action, music, or acting will be why. Which leaves us with the story and dialogue to be concerned about. Fingers crossed.

Anonymous: I wouldn't expect this to be like a typical Bollywood action movie. It's certainly miles ahead of the likes of Dhoom/Race/Cash, etc. The trailers certainly showcase quite a lot that has potential for fun.

As for Akshay...he's such an incredibly talented actor, but I wish he made better films. Singh is King, Chandni Chowk, Kambakkht Ishkk etc. belong to a different genre. Here, I think he'll be just fine -- action is his strength. Besides, he's not the one lead hero -- there are Sanjay and Zayed too!

Joss said...

I really love the music from Blue, and have been listening to it for a few weeks now. Now that I've seen some of the lyrics, however, I think I am going to enjoy it even more. Taken out of context like this they look really good. These will be your translations, will they, tBF?

I went on the Blue website and amongst the images I defintely saw a train. Wouldn't that be something, if they had a song where they danced on a train which was at the bottom of the Pacific!

avdi said...

Sizzling ! I liked the promos n hope the movie is as good

theBollywoodFan said...

Joss: We can certainly appreciate that the lyrics are well-aligned with the film and its theme. (Yes, these are my translations, they all are unless otherwise noted.)

That's a really cool thought involving the train, by the way...imagine singing in the Chunnel! (Wrong ocean, but still... :)

Avdi: Hello and welcome. Hoping for the best from Blue, let's see if it lives up. Thanks for stopping by, and do visit again.

Anonymous said...

HI BollywOOd!
Great post!!! :-)
Thanks!
Back tonight, no time to read all now but will do it greedily and peacefully after work! lol!
I enjoy!

Jamila

ajnabi said...

I think this looks like a lot of fun, but then again I loved Dhoom:2 so perhaps my standards are very, very low when it comes to the things-go-boom-while-pretty-people-run-fast genre. ;-) Thanks for the translations, as always!

theBollywoodFan said...

Jamila: Thank you, and I'll hope to hear from you soon. Have you had a chance to check out all the Lagaan posts?

Ajnabi: You're welcome, as always. I cannot emphasize enough that the action in BLUE will be unlike anything we've seen in Hindi movies. I quite like Dhoom:2, but only because of Ash and Bips, of course. ;)