SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is one epitome of international success that needs no big introduction. This Danny Boyle's 'rags to riches' (adapted from Vikas Swarup novel 'Q&A') saga is significant in all measures and respects for Bollywood musical fraternity. After highly acclaimed ELIZABETH -THE GOLDEN AGE, maestro A.R Rahman's finesse of conglomerating out various moods, sounds and genres for international project makes its presence felt worldwide. It connects to global audiences too with M.I.A (real name Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasam), UK based pop singer making her way out with her UK No.1 track ('Paper Planes') in this album. Will SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE be surpassing all maestros' last previous international works? Does the global musical feel encapsulated in the album will have enough captivating potency to lure Indian listeners? Let's be considerate listeners to find the musical secrets behind those enthralling scenes that make it phenomenon international news...!
A.R Rahman's is at fiery best in serenading out the rustic feel of street-side hullabaloo with effervescently racy and pulsating instrumental flows in the introductory track 'O...Saaya'. It conglomerates M.I.A with Rahman for the first time where bombastically thumped drumming and thriving percussions takes the aerial route in lifting up spirits. This outrageously loud number works like edgy but pulsating background score that script out the hustle-bustle of Mumbai city with a sentimental choir in Rahman's fluid vocals. M.I.A slender vociferous has bouncy inputs that gives it an international outlook. 'O...Saaya' can be well one among those soundtracks that speaks volumes about Rahman's prowess as musician than composer. Just play loud and feel its racy gush...! 'Riots', a thumping and daunting instrumental number brings out different beats and sounds that collage together to emote out an intimidating thrive of gory happenings. This brief instrumental has North African style drumming with electronic tunes that sets an everlasting impression of events.
East Meets West! The subtlety of Eastern musical flair meets the solemnity of Western feel with rigorously plucked 'Sitar' amalgamating up animatedly with rhythm loops, aggressive percussions and guitar riffs in 'fusion' feel track 'Mausam and Escape'. It's one gem of instrumental works that elates out the classical feel of 'Sitar' in brightest possible ways. The track initiates out with serene notes in the prelude and then pompously races up to aggressive 'Sitar' plays that get accompanied with thunderous westernized percussions and rigorous guitar works. 'Mausam and Escape' is 'fusion' music at its best and can well be served as textbook piece for all enthused musicians who crave for something creatively classical in their work. Outstanding 'Jugal-Bandi'!!! M.I.A most chartbusting and album's most cherished moments comes with international super-hit track 'Paper Planes' that makes its away in its original version. This alternative hip-hop number comes out with peculiar political lyricism and can well be workout as consequential background score in the bon-voyage of protagonist as he finds his way out in a journey. It gets a thematically melodramatic outlook with gunshots, trigger lock and cash register clinging sounds getting mixed in the sluggish-tempo music and upfront lyrical works. Despite some controversies, this upbeat track made itself as UK No.1 track and now is the centre-spread of this much acclaimed cross-over flick. 'Paper Planes (DFA Remix)' is heavily loaded with trance feel electronic beat patterns with stylish 'turntablism' (hip-hop DJ) making a cool maneuvers in making it a rollicking 'club' remix number. Outrageously zippy!!!
After international talk-a-thon, the mood swivels to early 90's stylized Bollywood genre where Laxmikant-Pyarelal's much talked 'Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai' (KHALNAYAK (1993)) gets revamped with similar folksy thrust in 'Ringa Ringa'. A.R Rehman confessed it to be 'inspirational' and used the same vocals of Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun with Raquib Alam's chirpy wordings to emote out a typical raunchy Bollywood appeal for international audiences. The final product is enticing, engrossing and tantalizing enough to deliver out the desired blaze into the narration of the flick. The soul of Indian classical vocals gets melodic eruption with racy orchestral flows in consequentially played instrumental number 'Liquid Dance'. It has fiery and passionate vocals from purists like Madhumita and Palakkad Sriram that get fiercely interwoven in wildly punched percussive elements to create a ferocious feel for the compelling situations and moments of the flick.
'Latika Theme', a rhythm divine 'alaap' in sultry tones with rhythmic flows comes out as fresh whiff of air where experimental moves excels to its acme. Suzanne D'Mello hums it gracefully with somber tonality of mild orchestral works. It's simply amazing in its totality as sounds and humming works expressively in gesticulating out solemn emotions. A brilliant background score by all standards that not only glorify out the finesse of vocalist but also honor the craftsmanship of musicians.
There's action, painful romance, a dash of humour, life in the slums and the underbelly of crime. Everything is neatly packaged and delivered to the viewer. Yes, some scenes are unpalatable, but then that's the reality of life. And Danny Boyle is pulling no punches... he just delivers them in style.
Dev Patel who plays the central character of Jamal is a fine actor. In fact, he overshadows Anil Kapoor and the rest of the cast. The younger actors who play Jamal and his brother Salim are simply awesome. They take you on their journey with such glee not knowing what's in store at the bend. Freida Pinto as Latika is a class act. She lets her eyes do most of the talking. Mahesh Manjrekar, Irrfan Khan and Saurabh Shukla all lend credible support. Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala the boy who plays a slightly older Salim (Jamal's brother) is a revelation. Ditto the boy who plays the role of a slightly older Jamal.