u Notes from the Underground: Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Everybody is cribbing big time about Phir Mile Sur Mera Tumhara (Part 1, Part 2) - snarkmax but funny putdown here.

Let me stick my neck out and say that I liked the video.

First, let me get the obvious out of the way: Bollywood definitely
used this to feed their ego - SRK, Aamir, Salman, Deepika in skimpy
dress, Ash and Abhi, Sonu Nigam (!), Shahid, Ranbir, Amitabh - don't
need *so* many of those in there, with their own segments that too.
And excluding Sachin, Dravid & co. from the video? That pisses me off too.

But you can see how the video tries to clearly make the point that we
have a new and different India from the one 25 years ago. India is
nowhere exoticised (the original Mile Sur did exoticise India a wee
bit), and in general we see a much richer, cleaner, posher looking
India. Even with the much abused Shiamak Davar - Shobhana
Bharatanatyam segment; I can clearly see how they're trying to make the
point the new India is not
competing but is coexisting and is sort of paying homage to the
traditional India (although the execution was poor, because Davar sucked big
time and Shobhana was all awesomeness). And then there's the new, urban, hip India - being represented by the
Shahid Kapoor segment, as well as the funky instrumental segments
- Rahman, Sivamani, another couple of guys with shades I don't know in
the 2nd part.

There was also criticism
that by showing mostly the children of stars - Anoushka, Abhishek,
Deepika, Amjad Khan's sons - etc. were they suggesting that only the
people of the already successful can make it big in India? I think the point
was to show generational change, passing of the baton etc., and
showing parents and children together is the most universal way of
showing that.

I definitely loved that the various regional language segments are now
longer, and the segments of Telugu, Tamil did sound nice to my ears (the
lyrics of the Telugu segment have changed, and are quite good). And
although Salman did his best to ruin the segment with the deaf/mute
kids, I still found that scene quite touching.

And the video having its cheesy bits is, on the whole, not that bad. Indian
movies are hajaar cheesy anyway, so SRK, Aamir and Salman doing their
respective stereotypical acts is kinda appropriate, no?


At 4:25 PM, January 28, 2010, Blogger Gubbi said...

Watched them just a few hours ago.

The original video had an intent behind it... which I think was to spread the message of unity (as evidenced by the lyrics) and an inclusive message where everyone feels they have something to contribute and that they are proud members representing their cultures.. It was made for the Indians.

I didn't like the new version much.

1. It is like a top 10 chart. Bollywood and other states which have decent movie industries. Everything else doesn't seem to matter.

2. Seemed glamorous and exhibitionist, made for others than for Indians.

3. The new music doesn't really blend well, it's like many separate music videos variations of same song put together.

4. The voice of singer and the actresses doesn't match one bit... it feels weird to hear a much elderly voice for priyanka and deepika.

5. Don't know why they made Sarod players sing.

6. Lots of male bollywood stars than their female counterparts...

Part 2 is much better than part 1, the old version still being my personal favorite.

I liked AR Rehman's musical instrument. :) and the segments of all the 3 khans, shreya, sonu, shahid...

Kannada segment, older was better though it was shorter...

The new music itself isn't that great.

All said, if it becomes to the new generation, what it was to our generation, then it would have done it's job. The target should be the younger generation. Our generation's bickering is not that much of a concern.

But I doubt this one will standout much to be noticeable by the next gen... especially given the number of times the old version used to play.

At 4:39 PM, January 28, 2010, Blogger Gubbi said...

You should read some comments in those youtube videos. Ultra creative. :P

The fact that so many people don't like this, says it doesn't actually represent them like they want.

At 12:43 AM, January 29, 2010, Blogger Venu said...

Re point 1: Am pretty sure the coverage
of different states & different visuals of India was at least as good as the original. They even had a segment for deaf/mute kids! Even the original was quite film/celebrity-centric.

Re point 2: I *liked* the glamor :-). Glamor is the opposite of drab. Why does it mean that if it is glamorous, it is not meant for Indians but for outsiders? Are we supposed to make drab stuff for ourselves?

Re point 3: May be a bit, but not gratingly so. Have to give it a few listens, really, to judge this aspect.

Re point 4: Agree about this. I also remember that Lata Mangeshkar's voice just didn't gel with Hemamalini's in the original.

The original so clearly stood out because everything else that came on DD sucked big time. Now with so much choice around, it's tough for the new one to dominate the airwaves similarly.

At 11:55 AM, January 29, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that link to krishnok.wordpress. I was ROTFL (the part about Salman and Gabbar was ulti and touche!). I felt that PMSMT has atleast the credit of having generated such funny posts and comments! It seems to have created some kinda "feel of integrity" or empathy among people by uniting most of them in bashing it :-P

Well, I agree with Gubbi that the music was bad - seemed too discrete and out of flow. The female voice actually sounded sultry at inappropriate places. Deepika looked like she was doing a luxury-soap ad.

I liked the sculptures, monuments and scenery. I wish they had more junta around too - why, we have such a huge population - but certainly not the way they had a mob around Sonu! The culture depiction of South-India was quite reasonable. The later part of the second half is good actually. I wish they'd shown more technology too. If they had wanted to show a change of mind-set from traditional to modern, they should've depicted it through technological changes, empowerment of women, vibrant youth. The concepts must've been floating, but the execution was not good; I just feel that they're capable of producing much better quality stuff.


At 11:58 AM, January 29, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And btw, is this post just about standing out from the crowd?

At 12:02 PM, January 29, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops! Parts of my comment have vanished! Here's some:

The point of showing Shiamak and Shobhana was to show a fusion of dance forms - which was good. But they didn't do it well - his moves were bad, clothes inappropriate. There are better ways to show fusion or the current contemporary dance forms in India.


At 12:38 PM, January 29, 2010, Blogger Venu said...

And btw, is this post just about standing out from the crowd?

No, I am not being tongue in cheek, or deliberately provocative, or anything like that.

I agree they could've had more people in there and fewer stars.

I guess I tend to be lenient in my judgment of such things.


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