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Bending over backwards to entertain

`Bend it like Beckham', a film about a football-crazy Indian teenager in Britain, has emerged as a surprise success. At least a part of the reason is its evocative and catchy soundtrack.


BENT FOR MUSIC: British director Gurinder Chadha poses for photographers. at the 55th Locarno festival.

`H - INDIAN' FILMMAKER Gurinder Chadha released her latest film, `Bend It Like Beckham' in the U.K. earlier this year, the results surprised her as much as the movie-going public. What was expected to be another minority interest "ethnic fodder", turned out to be a popular mainstream attraction, attracting young and old native Britons in large numbers. But then, it had a potent and unbeatable mix: football and teenagers.

The fact that the main characters were Indians settled in Britain, became incidental.

The three young female actresses Parminder Nagra, Shaznay Lewis and Keira Knightley soon became household names with viewers.

Things were also pleasantly different when the film was released in the major metros a few weeks ago. In places like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai, young crowds continue to pack the halls well into the sixth week. At least part of the reason must be the catchy sound track replete with the earthy sounds of the subcontinent.

Twenty-one miscellaneous tracks make up the soundtrack album of `Bend It Like Beckham' (Universal Music; Rs. 55).

A lively mix of English, Hindi and Punjabi songs will suit everybody's taste in music.

Quite a few of Bally Sagoo's songs can be found on the album - remixes of old-time hits like Noorie, Kinna Sohna, which had inspired Anu Malik some years back and Punjabiyaan Di Shaan.

More desi stuff like Tere Bin Nahin Lagda by Partners In Rhyme featuring Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Jind Mahi by Malkit Singh share their places with English tracks like Inner Smile by Texas, Atomic by Blondie and Independence Day by Mel C.

But, all said, one song stands out in the album - an old song which, thanks to BILB has been re-released and has created a frenzy all over the nation, yet again. Yup, it is Hot, Hot, Hot by Bina Mistry.

Highly infectious and energetic, this song has tremendous repeat value - mainly due to the extra Bhangra accomplishments added for the soundtrack. Guys, you are sure to catch this one in your own school or college fest!

Another interesting thing about the album is the handful of one-liners from the movies - dialogues which have been part of the promos and have become synonymous with the film.

"I was married at your age, and you don't even know how to cook dal!" or the famous "Aloo Gobi" dialogue.

All in all, a good mix of trends - Desi pop, Bhangra, `angrezi' music and yes, `Aloo Gobi'.

A. VISHNU

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