Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bombay Talkie Quiz #2

Again in the title sequence, a magazine/newsstand is being shown.

Quiz # 2: Name the three actresses on the magazine covers ?

1. Filmfare - ???
2. Film World - ???
3. (Top right) - ???

Good Luck!

Bombay Talkie Quiz #1

I was watching the opening credits sequence, and noticed some movie billboards up behind the Helen Poster.

Quiz # 1: Which 4 films are being displayed on billboards in the background of the Helen credits? (I already found Abhinetri)

1. Upper Left - Abhinetri
2. Upper Right - ???
3. Lower Left - ???
4. Lower Right - ??? Starts with "B"?

You can also checkout the opening sequence itself.

Hope you can figure it out!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shankar Jaikishan: Bombay Talkie (1970)

Bombay Talkie is quite a find. The music, by Shankar Jaikishan, is the only collaboration between themselves and the famous Merchant-Ivory film team (Ismail Merchant and James Ivory). The english film, starring Shashi Kapoor, his wife Jennifer Kendal and Zia Mohyeddin, mostly takes place in Bombay of the late 60's early 70's. Vikram (Shashi Kapoor) is an aging hero stuck in an unhappy arranged marriage with his wife Mala (Aparna Sen). Lucia, a three time married middle age novelist, takes a liking to Vikram while Hari, a Bombay screenwriter, madly in love with her, does as she pleases. This has to be my favorite Merchant-Ivory film ever! But I won't say any more than that, as I will probably review the film one day. For now, let me talk about some of the soundtrack's great songs.

The tracks comprise, mostly of various versions of the Bombay Talkie Theme, "Title and Theme" can be heard in the Title Credits along with "Tum Mere Pyar Ki Duniyamen" a few seconds before that. In this particular sequence, the "Title and Theme" is played as hand painted portraits (filmi style) of the cast and crew are shown around the streets of Mumbai.

Besides the theme variations, five, of what we can call conventional, songs are found on the record. Along with the previously mentioned "Tum Mere Pyar Ki Dumiyamen" you have to start with the great and famous "Typewritter Tip Tip Tip" song because, well, just because. With the fantastic Helen and Shashi dancing on a giant typewriter, what else do you need. A young and spunky Usha Lyer gives us two versions of "Hari Om Tat Sat" (हारी ॐ तट सात). One is the orchestrated version which is
the film version and the other version is the "official" version. She also sings the vocals to the Bombay Theme tune "Good Times, Bad Times".

As for the variations I enjoy the "Rajput Suite" "Now I Shall Call You Ma" and especially "Picnic in the Cave" with it's new wave synthesisers.

Overall, though it's not entirely a commercial Hindi film soundtrack, it is very enjoyable and interesting to listen too. As much for it's filmi songs, instrumentals and some rare Usha Lyer (now Usha Uthup) tunes. Just listen for yourselves!

Oh, and once your done listening to the music, those who have not seen the movie yet, rent it or buy it NOW!


Side 1

1. Instrumental - Title and Theme
2. Mohd. Rafi - Tum Mere Pyar Ki Duniyamen

Variations of theme:
3. Instrumental - Incidental Music
4. Instrumental - Devotion
5. Instrumental - Rajput Suite
6. Instrumental - Now I Shall Call You Ma
7. Instrumental - More Incidental Music
8. Usha Uthup - Hari Om Tat Sat

Side 2

9. Usha Uthup - Hari Om Tat Sat (with Orchestra)

Variations of theme:
10. Instrumental - Picnic in the Cave
11. Instrumental - Birthday Party 1
12. Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar - Typewriter Tip Tip Tip

Variations of theme:
13. Instrumental - Meeting and Birthday Party 2
14. Usha Uthup - Good Times, Bad Times

Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri, Usha Lyer/Uthup only for "Hari Om Tat Sat"

Stella_1's score: 4/5

Get the music now: Shankar Jaikishan Bombay Talkie