I already hear and read people talking\writing that this new video sucks. The newer version is scrap and nothing can beat the older (original) one. I totally disagree with those critics.
This is why I am writing this blog. I want to tell why this version is also great. (also is used in the sentence to indicate that the original "Mile Sur" was great too.)
I am now going overboard to advertise this wonderful new composition.
The concept in the new one like the original, is capture TODAY. Should we think about the old stars of India, when we have to capture TODAY. (Please note that I still consider the oldies as stars…and not insulting them).
Whether one likes it or not, today's stars in India are the Khans, Kapu(oo)rs, Chopras, Padukones, Shettys, Bachchans…So they are captured here. (Its an altogether different argument if one questions their stardom).
But there are other subtle things that one needs to take note of.
TODAY is a blend of traditional and modern lifestyle. And personally I believe that this is shown in the song.
- The song starts with Rahman playing the modern musical instrument - Continuum. (as a additional point, Rahman has used this instrument for a composition in Dilli 6). Still the older more traditional instruments (like tabla) are relevant and are shown in the song.
- We have the very traditional music (Yesudas, Bhupen Hazarika) with the hep film music(Kya Bolti Tu tune for Aamir). Both coexist very well in India today.
- Contemporary dance blending with traditional dance - Shamak and Shobana troupes dancing for the same tune.
- Captures the traditional tourist spots…Qutub Minar, Taj, Golden Temple, Big banyan of Bangalore, Rajasthan palaces, Howrah, Mahabalipuram, Jumma Masjid etc.. But the Modern landmarks are also shown - Bandra flyover (somehow I felt they missed Delhi metro)
- Women power - Solar cells assembled by women when Shilpa sings.
- Care for the physically challenged. - Salman Khan's actions with the children is touchy.
- Respect and care of elderly - Mahesh Babu's Telegu recital with the elders of India.
- Local talents honored - Sand sculpture artists work is shown well (Look at the theme of sand sculpture - National integration), fishermen with the special setup for catching fish in Kerala
- Baton being passed from the old to younger generation - Jr Yesudas , Jrs Kavitha , Jr RaviShankar, Jr Amjad Ali Khan...depicting the smooth transition from traditional to a modern society.
- Importance to rural schools\children - Aamir singing with rural kids
- Lesser known sports are given chance - Bhutia, boxer Mary Kom….Best part is honoring our Olympians.
- Shot in the background of the rich diverse landscape of India, beaches, lakes, rivers, icy mountains, rains, forests, rocky hills etc etc…
One compliant I hear most is the lack of representation of cricketers in the song. Dropping of cricket stars from the song is well deserved after the royal insult by Dhoni and Bajji to the President of India (Remember being in India, they did not attend the award ceremony by citizen No1 of India).
There are also questions asked about Why Deepika and Priyanka are in the song? Whats their contribution to national integration? The answer is the same for the following questions. Why are Tanuja and Sharmila Tagore present in the original version? And both are "Good questions" (FYI - "Good questions" do not have answers.)
Like all other products, this product is also not perfect.
- The sheer length of the song (~16 mins) makes it hard for repetitive viewing and beaming.
- The rich widlife of India seems to be forgotten. (In the original one, the Malyali portion was sung by a mahout on the elephant).
- It could have included people from non-entertainment industry but very few would recognise them anyway.
Unfortunately the youtube links for the video do not work because of copyright issues.