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Sacred Evil - A True Story

By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Friday, June 09, 2006
There is always a surprise factor involved with the music of films like Sacred Evil - A True Story. There is obviously no dancing around trees stuff but usually there are some innovative background music pieces that make for an interesting hear. Sacred Evil - A True Story, directed by Abhigyan Jha and Abiyaan Rajhans, too boasts of one such music album that has ton loads of background pieces/instrumentals. Along with that there are a few songs recreated from the past along with a few original numbers involving different composers. What you get in the end is a stunning musical score that keeps you involved till the very end!

The album begins with recreation of 'O Re Manjhi', a classic by Gulzar saab and S.D. Burman that is recomposed by Kailash-Paresh-Naresh. Kailash Kher croons the number that is given a new touch by adding the strings of guitar in the background to make it sound contemporary. Credit should be given to Kailash who doesn't let the greats down and does a great job in rendering this very well recomposed number. Unlike innumerous remixes of the yesteryear songs that continue to make an appearance at an alarming note with hardly a few living up to the original, 'O Re Manjhi', a song with a strong classical base, is an exception as it holds the listener till the very end and ensures that the number is heard repeatedly. A little later a shorter 'aalap' version of the song comes as well followed by yet another version that is unique in style as there are ZERO instruments playing as Kailash Kher sings uninhibitedly. Brilliant!

Film's co-director Abhigyan Jha picks up his pen to write 'Deep Blue Dusk' that appears in two versions. First to come is the song version by Gary Lawyer who excellently renders this English number. A slow moving melodious track that has clear Hollywood inspirations in terms of style, packaging and content, one wonders why the song is not yet played on up market music channels, especially MTV and Channel V where there is huge demand of English numbers catering to Indian sensibilities. A kind of number that could find an entry into any campus festivals, it is the first surprise of the album and turns out to be highly impressive. With just a couple of musical instruments in use, it was always a good candidate for an instrumental and that indeed is the case with the arrival of an instrumental version.

Theme music comes in the form of 'Intro To Sacred Evil' that (obviously) has a haunting feel to it from the very beginning as the strings of piano create a haunting sound. Extremely slow moving with the context being built around the theme with addition of a new instrument every few seconds, its time for intrigue and curiosity to arrive as the background piece reaches its crescendo. Boasting of international standards, this haunting piece is poles apart from the usual 'masala' fare that we are used to hear in the name of 'scary music' in regular Bollywood horror films. Classy! Next instrumental to come is 'Little Claudia' that is based on the namesake character in the film. European in feel, this musical piece is lively but still maintains the slow and thoughtful mood of the album.

For starters, the meaning of 'unrequited' is unanswered or unreciprocated! When the track 'Unrequited Love' begins, you can't help but look at the dictionary to find the word's meaning and on understanding it, a fare idea about the film's theme is conveyed as the track, in its two instrumental versions, expresses the mood of the film. Piano is at the center stage once again as it continues to create a sad ambience and makes your heart beat slower. In fact the second version suddenly takes a twist in the end to scare the daylights out of you as it changes tracks from being slow to scary. Hear it in the night and you would realize how it feels to be lonely and your love going unanswered...or unrequited!

Next track in the album, 'Once Upon A Time', appears in three versions with a guitar version in the very start. Classy and international, once again, by this time you are annoyed in a certain way. Reason? Why does some good work in such small movies go unnoticed by one and all? If only the film would have come from a top notch banner and directed by someone established, there would have been immense hype about the music. Sadly, in case of Sacred Evil, there is hardly any publicity of the music, hence making such brilliantly composed background pieces getting completely ignored. A passionate instrumental solely based on guitar, 'Once Upon A Time' written by Abhigyaan Jha and composed by Claver Menezes promises to tell an engrossing tale as a part of the film's narrative.

Suzie croons the other two versions of the song, a regular and a 'Sad Rain' version. A song where the film's protagonist wishes for her life to change and love to enter her life, 'Once Upon A Time' is a heartfelt composition that evokes a strong felling of love through its sensitive lyrics, great rendition and a brilliant composition. The 'Sad Rain' version has a faint sound of rainfall in the background as Suzie sings sans any musical instrument for support. Yet another great musical piece!

After 'O Re Manjhi', another yesteryear song that is recomposed is 'Tu Pyaar Ka Saagar' that was originally written by Shailendra and composed by Shankar Jaikishen. But this time around, rather than just changing the musical instruments, the entire tune is changed by Debajyoti Mishra who turns it around 180 degrees to come up with a tangentially different song. Asmita Sen sings the number with a westernized accent to suit the mood of the film while Abhigyaan Jha adds on some additional English lyrics to come up with a version that seems to be set in a church. Needless to say, just like the songs preceding it, this one too boasts of class and makes a good impression.

With a title like 'Encounter With The Dark', you are rest assured that it may not be a good idea to play the song in the night. Surprisingly the start is on a mellow note rather than scary, though you half expect the mood to change after a strong built-up. Though nothing like that happens, the suspense factor really comes across strongly. When a track goes as 'Nightmare', you definitely do not expect a candyfloss outing. It's as scary as it gets as an Enigmatic feel is created in this song that has constant sounds of footsteps running in the background. Yes, it brings the fear alive!

Probably to suit the narrative of the movie and a flow in the album, the track that comes in the end is titled 'Revelation'. Sound of wind chimes in the background with a haunting violin playing on the fore creates a deadly atmosphere to make you completely engrossed in the proceedings. And as the instrumental reaches its peak, both in terms of duration and sound, you know that overall the music of Sacred Evil has worked!

The music of Sacred Evil - A True Story is simply superb and works in a big way for those who are fond of something different being churned out from Bollywood. All this while we have complained of the same old stuff being created when it comes to music. Now This is the kind of music that is indeed different, so what if 90% of it is in the form of instrumentals. If you are fond of such genre of music that also boasts of an international style and class, don't miss the soundtrack of Sacred Evil.

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