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Pritam and his band in Metro

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Courtesy: IndiaFM
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
One aspect of Metro that everyone will take note of is the way in which music is placed in the film. By now its common knowledge that music director Pritam has made a band for the film and given rocking music. What's interesting is that Pritam along with two members of his band, James and Sohail, makes appearance in the songs of the film. And not just in one or two songs, but in all six tracks of the film.

Metro, as such, is a film which has no scope for music. But director Anurag Basu has very tactfully seeped in songs into his screenplay, without any song looking forced. That's primarily because none of the songs are lip-synced by any characters in the film and are just used as transition tracks. And more interestingly every time a song plays onscreen, the trio of Pritam, James and Sohail turn up on screen singing the songs in the backdrop of the actual scene.

The director says that the basic idea of using the band in film was inspired by the long forgotten forlorn folk music coming from the theatre background. "Similar to Bhavari and Banwani form of drama where singers are used as sutradhaar's to narrate the story and take it further, I have moulded the concept to contemporary scenario and fitted into my screenplay," explains Anurag Basu.

While music videos for a film are a common phenomena in Bollywood off late with almost every film playing a promotional track in the opening or end credits, what sets Metro apart is the fact that the songs don't come across as separately shot videos but are integral portions in the film. One does wonder if Pritam and band actually shot for the songs while the making of the film or their portions were separately shot and edited into the film. Anurag clarifies our doubt "It was from the nascent stages of drafting Metro that I had planned to plot Pritam and band. They were actually present during the shoot of the movie and we filmed them simultaneously when the film was shot. In fact during the shoot Pritam was completely harrowed considering the weird and funny spots I have placed him in."

Didn't he meet with opposition with such an unusual concept? "Oh, don't ask me that. When I told people about this concept, they could not understand or relate to the basic idea. Besides Ronnie, Pritam and my assistant who believed in me and agreed to go ahead with the idea, everyone else opposed. But finally I am glad it has worked for the film."

Shooting for Metro has also encouraged Pritam to take his band to the next level. The music director admits, "This band was formed only for the film but after we shot for the film, I felt that we should take this band forward. So we are going to cut another album which will be independent of Metro."

You can't resist asking Pritam about the inspiration behind his songs. The musician doesn't deny an answer this time around. "The whole idea of In Dino Dil Mera has come from Anurag. It's the fastest song I have ever made in my life. Kar Salaam has also got a very funny story around it. It was based on a Bodo tribe of Assam. They have a typical dance form called Bagarumba. We were discussing different dance forms of India and my Assamese assistant was showing me how they do their typical Assamese dance. The melody he was humming with it sounded pretty catchy. So I said let us make a rock version of it. So Kar Salaam is the rock version of thousands of years old Bodo folk song".

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