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Review

The eclipse throws up stars



Grahan
Time Audio
Rs 34

Grahan is a movie about the darkness in the mind of a mentally disturbed girl, played by Manisha Koirala. This Jackie Shroff home production, scheduled for release two years ago, has only now hit the screen.

Grahan introduces two new stars to Hindi filmdom, southern music director Karthik Raja and model turned actress Anuradha.

The first thing that strikes you about the music is the rich texture. It isn't the usual dholaks and violins. Karthik Raja, son of maestro Ilaiyaraja, experiments with a wide range of sounds in his Mumbai debut.

Kehte hain jisko is the most stylish song in the album. A chorus opens on pizzicato and bass, and a rap beat and rich violins sweep you into the tune. Abhijeet and Kavita Krishnamurthy sing this sensuous love song with a constant chorus in the background.

The violin parts are magnificent and add deep colour. The beat breaks and starts exactly at the right places, confirming the anticipation in the listener. The interludes juxtapose silence and lush orchestra.

Asha Bhonsle and Jolly Mukherjee team up to sing Aaj mein khush hoon. The 3/4 beat is new, and slow. The same tune is repeated again and again. After the second stanza things get a little monotonous. Jolly is restrained, while Asha sounds spuriously happy.

Disco rap is sung by Dominique who until this song was part of the chorus. She sings flamboyantly and gives her all to the youthful spirit the song. The catch words with disco songs of the '70s, Hari Om, is used here too. Songs like this are probably prompted by the success of Chuku buku raile.

Kavita Krishnamurthy sings the semi-classical Nacho jaise with a soft chorus. It starts with a short alap and is built on the Kafi scale. The beat comes in softly. It is pop for the most part, until Kathakali and Kathak bols come into dialogue and work up to a rousing finale.

Chup chup features Asha Bhonsle and Abhijeet. Abhijeet sings with serenity as he tries to quieten the girl. A flute interlude plays staccato phrases. A voice follows, approximating the flute's staccato. The second interlude again goes off into Kathak bols. There are some good harmonies: in the second stanza Asha Bhonsle overlaps Abhijeet with an alap. The beat towards the end rises to a crescendo, perhaps to reflect the turbulence in an unstable mind.

Ye Sochta Hai Kya features a slow but new beat, and a lot of electronic instruments, and the flute.

Grahan has variety. Karthik Raja in his initial eagerness may have made some songs too lush instead of texturing them with contrasting thin and heavy layers. Perhaps experience will teach him restraint. That is where art begins and talent learns.

Divya Minisandram








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