JAZZINEMATOLOGY: Chameli (2003)

JAZZINEMATOLOGY: Chameli (2003)

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chameli, jazzinematology, kareena kapoor, rahul bose, sandesh shandilya

It’s the music. It’s the movie. It’s how Jazz colored-up the whole visual experience. It’s our very own recommendation to you. It is JAZZINEMATOLOGY.

kareena kapoor, chameli, jazzinematology, bollywoodIt might be something special when India launched their own India Jazz Festival next year, as jazz has noted a rare genre in Indian music, especially in the cinematic terms, where a soundtrack seems can’t be separated with  a Bollywood movie. But more special than that, there has been an attempt to break this tradition back in 2003, with one artsy-bitsy Bollywood movie called Chameli (means Jasmine). Not only for its half-a-Bolly-movie duration (108 min) which put the songs rather a real background score than a part of its usual style, most of the songs were crazily-jazzin’. Guess you’re right. The movie bombed in the box office although hailed by many critics as a succesfull turnover of one Bolly diva, Kareena Kapoor’s acting career. But not the soundtrack album that actually sold beautifully in the stores. So a change has been made, and this is our recommendation in this week’s Jazzinematology.

The Movie

Got under the skin with the role of a lovable street-whore, Kareena Kapoor runs the whole movie with her incredible persona. It’s a lovestory and a sarcasm critics to the society rolled into one heartwarming drama. Rahul Bose, the Indian actor that built his career in most Indian art movies also shines with their wonderful chemistry. And being the art movie itself, you won’t find the Bollywood sillyness in this one. In Chameli, the flame of love keeps burning even it was lit by a whore. The original director, Anant Balani, died during production and got replaced by Sudhir Mishra who completed the direction, but what really made it mostly shines are the soulfully painful-yet beautiful cinematography, a bit like Wong Kar Wai’s style, by Aseem Bajaj, which won Asian First Film Awards, International Indian Film Academy and Filmfare Awards, together with Rahul and Kareena as best actors/actress. Like Kareena reiterates this time and again, “I don’t care about how ‘Chameli’ fares at the box-office, all I want is that the audiences should come out of the theatres and say – “Kareena was fabulous in the film”. She got her wish.

kareena kapoor, chameli, jazzinematology, bollywood

The Plot

Call it faith when a depressed suave socialite’s car breakdown in one famous redlight area near Kamathipura, South Mumbai . Failed to make a call, this man, Aman Kapoor (Rahul Bose) takes shelter in a nearby building, and that’s when he bumped into a prostitute named Chameli (Kareena Kapoor). This two hurted-soul human beings, one caused by the lost of his pregnant wife in a car accident, and the other for trying to stay alive as a smart street girl that got sold since young to a brothel, then fight their way finding each other’s redemption, and love grows over-imagine.

The Soundtrack

The breakthrough music that brought rarities of  jazz genre to Bollywood Cinema was made by an underrated music director by the name of Sandesh Shandilya. Even hardly heard in most Bolly movies, for once, Shandilya steal his thunder that made the industry sit up and notice his works. The songs featured famous Bolly background singers such as Sunidhi Chauhan, Udit Narayan, Javed Ali, and Tala on the saxophone parts that built its smooth jazz tunes all over, with a little bits of AR Rahman’s kind of traditional beats. The love theme,“Jaane”, comes in three different version, two in a duets and one with Chauhan’s angelic-long range solo, all in a soulfully sweet jazz feel, then in an upbeat “Yeh Lamha”, Shandilya even puts a jazz guitar that sounds like Acoustic Alchemy’s jazz riffs. All closed with an instrumental theme entitled “The Soul Of Chameli” that brought the jazz feeling truly coming out. Like the movie’s warm love story with dark rainfalls atmosphere, this is one soundtrack album you’ll cherish to hooked over and over!

Written by: Daniel Irawan

jazzinematology

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