This is a constant struggle I have with my love for music. My world of music is defined by the kind of music I listen to, the kind of music I grew up on, and the kind of music I still listen to this date. And most of it was film music, with a good mix of albums, ghazals, and classical music. The conflict is with regards to the film music. I don't know what my music life would have been if I did not have the memories of listening to "Jalte Hain Jiske Liye" or "Dil ke Jharoke mein" or "Abhi Na Jao Chod Kar" or "kaanto se kheench ke ye aanchal" more recently "Mere Paas Hain Tu". I mean just pick a song in any language that I am familiar with and it is part of my memory and partly responsible for making me who I am. I can see how critical the creation of these songs is to the music lover. In Indian context, if there were no movies to support the music, some of these songs may or may not have come to light.
But at the same time, as my preferences are evolving, I enjoy my movie watching experience to be one that is not frequently interrupted with songs and music. If music lends itself to the situation and blends into the background like a location or a prop, that is well and good. But if the character starts to do uncharacteristic things, for the sake of fitting in a foot tapping number, my ability to relate to the story is diminished.
Have you been faced with this dilemma?
Then I listened to this interview (below) by Mani Ratnam, where he makes a case for music in indian cinema. I am almost convinced by his logic, the key word being "almost".
Yes, I agree that it provides an arc in story-telling that cannot be reached by any other aspect of movie-making but a poorly placed departure from the story is an abrupt jerk. I am still not sure where I land with my dilemma. I don't want to invalidate all the songs that are part of my musical journey but I want the music scene to evolve to a place where the song's placement is not so in-your-face.
I feel like the musicians have the capability to take the music to back ground and still deliver a punch. I think it is the makers that are not willing to make that complete shift.
What about lyrics? You ask? How about we leave the bits without lyrics in the movie and release the albums with lyrics ahead of the movie as promotional material. The same thing they are doing currently for the promotional piece but then they completely remove the song with words from the movie and somehow include an essence of the song.
Of course, it is easy to be an armchair philosopher. But if I cannot discuss my wishlist on my blog, where else can I, right?