By: Fuad Omar, IndiaFM
Thursday, June 15, 2006
As you stroll into the ballroom of the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, a shiver runs down your spine and a cold breeze welcomes you in a most unique way. The title track of Karan Johar's highly anticipated Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never Say Goodbye) soothingly wraps itself around each guest like a soft mist and gathers everyone in its grasp with each crescendo. The mirrored ceiling reflects gazes of interest, curiosity and the larger than life images of the films protagonists, each one immersed within frosty overtones hiding cracked relations that threaten to destroy the very fabric of family bonds. As any avid film fan will know, this theme is a major departure from Karan Johar's usual bubblegum romance ventures.
Whereas the decor was an ice palace of emotions that could engulf all in an inferno that would be wrought with emotion, the highlight of the venue was the presence of the director himself, his main actor Shah Rukh Khan and a special 'First Look' promo of the film which highlighted why this film is so special and its release a bold and important step forward in Indian cinema.
The First Look is a gripping kaleidoscope of moving pictures from the forthcoming movie which highlight the subject matter: what happens if you marry not for love, but for another reason and then when you're settled in your married life you meet the person you've been waiting for all your life - your soul mate. Glimpses of highly inspiring performances by Shah Rukh, Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherji stood out from this promo as did the music of the film, which continues the tradition of Dharma Productions to provide both soothing scintillating melodies that capture the essence of the film with a few real rocking tracks to dance to as well, but all hinged on the emotional thread that holds the subject matter together.
The highlights of the soundtrack were definitely the title track and Mitwa, a cocktail of sufi-rock that bellows to its listener in no uncertain terms what it is wanting. After introductions by Sophiya Haque and Sony BMG, Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan spoke of the film and its music to a packed room of media representation. Karan clarified the film is not inspired by the Hollywood film Closer, as the rumor mill has fuelled and stated this would be most apparent once the film releases, and he also confessed this was a risky subject matter for Indian cinema but a story that needed to be told.
Shah Rukh stated that the film was a risque subject but then affairs are not uncommon among any group of people whatever their ethnic background. He also joked about the titles bestowed on him such as King of Bollywood and claimed this was played down given he is the Emperor of Bollywood, adding that such accolades are attributed to status in the current market against a star's track record over a period of time rather than fictional titles adopted by egotistic actors.
After a photo call and rush to get last minute questions, the press was left to bask in the mood of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna which is both, somber and upbeat, emotional and hurtful yet truthful. Two things were clear by the end of this very special music launch: That KANK is full of music that takes you on a journey that like life, has many twists, turns and variety and secondly that this film is all set to be the most important film of the year. Because it's from the heart... with an edgy honesty.
The music of KANK is out now on CD with a special bonus of the First Look also featured on the disc and the film releases worldwide in August 2006.