Location: Drawing Room with IPL commentary in background.
Bro: Where were you?
Me: Went for the Movie cum Documentary of Indian Ocean.
Bro: Why the heck someone would make a movie on Indian Ocean and even if they did why would it be screened in Movie Halls? Damn why would even one watch a movie on Indian Ocean!? What was in it apart from Water & Some Climate Change goers shouting?
Me: (Stunned Silence for a moment) Dude, it’s not about the Indian Ocean which surrounds us, it was about the most successful Rock/Sufi Band we have!
I think this sums up how aware people are and why there is a need for having a documentary on them. I am not going to review it as it would be an insult to the efforts they have put in over the years to reach the place they are at.
It is not about how crisp the direction is, how good the cinematography or art direction is? The story is told straight from the heart of Susmit, the acoustic guitarist, and Asheem Chakroborty, the band percussionist. Adding to flavor is Raghu Ram on vocals and Amit Kalam who, “by profession is a drummer but guitarist by heart”. It’s all about their efforts for being around for last 24 years and unchanged since last 15. This in itself is no mean feat!
The story starts from Karol Bagh rustic bungalow which once belonged to legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. And their nerdy neighbor, who drinks every night and throws the empty bottles on their terrace, thinks that they are using the house for shooting a B Grade movie! In fact, the neighbor goes one step ahead and offers his bedroom for the shooting which fits in as a perfect set for shooting one or two scenes.
The house acts as their playground which not only offers them jamming sessions but also lets them unwind by playing cricket and carrom. The musical journey for the audience begins with ‘Village Damsel’ – an instrumental which was also the name of their first album and carries forward to more famous hits like ‘Desert Rain’ to ‘Ma Reva’.
But it was not until early 2000 when they came up with the album Kandisa (praise to the lord in Aramaic) which made the average Indian person listen to them or as they state “Changed the band’s fortunes forever”. There was no looking back and the success was followed by their next release ‘Jhini’ based on Kabir and finally ending the Bollywood jinx with ‘Bandeh’ from the movie Black Friday.
Sadly they lost their key member Asheem in December last year and very deservingly the movie is dedicated to him.
So how does a band consisting of, as one member Amit says, ‘not the best of either guitarist, vocal, drummer or tabla player’, become India’s greatest band surviving and thriving over two decades? For the answer watch the film!