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Monday, January 25, 2010

Film Striker Review.

STRIKER, a crime fiction tale about carom player (Siddarth) pitches out hot-blooded gripping anecdote, fictionalized in the underbelly of Mumbai city. For its low profile, bleak face value and zilch promotions, it will be difficult to expect anything that can be termed as musically astounding from it. Against all odds, it lauds out with as many as six different composers. In its packaging of eight original soundtracks, there is listing of composers like Shailendra Barve, Amit Trivedi, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Swanand Kirkire, Vishal Bhardwaj and Blaaze, delivering out the needful. Can the assortment of these potential musicians be able to pile up a reasonable score for the flick? Will this STRIKER be able to hit bull's eye...let's strike this out!

Shailendra Barve's prolific prowess over instrumentals makes surprisingly melodic start with somber ''Sufism'' with vocal delights of Sonu Nigam's enriching voice in ''Cham Cham''. The divine enlightening feel in textures of ''Sufism'' is analogous to Mithoon's ''Maula Mera Maula'' (ANWAR) but the tempo is rather decelerated with prolonged duration that carries slow pitched traditionally classical arrangements with vocals in tandem. Jeetendra Joshi's invigorating wordings about love and divinity brings out contours of subtlety in ''lovey-dovey'' moments. Presumably a background score exhibiting love-chemistry, this subtle-paced ''qawwali'' is another fine exhibit of Sonu's expertise on varying tones with ''classy'' feel attached to it. Barve's aesthetics plays to the galleries well with the flavor of the season (Sufism), getting embroiled well with the decorous romantic sentiments.

CHECK OUT: STRIKER teaches Siddarth how to strike

Lead actor Siddharth take over the mike for tuneful talking about the aspiring escapades in hustling-bustling city of Mumbai in ''Bombay Bombay''. Composed to be narrative background score, this Amit Trivedi's composition boasts of simplistic electronic arrangements with modest Prashant Ingole's wordings to support. It's a visual feel type of experimental number where music is just a ground support to jester out the sentiments.

Yuvan Shankar Raj, a renowned identity in South, comes with his characteristic Tamilian tuneful setting in emoting out situational average score ''Haq Se''. Yuvan along with Siddharth sings out with his peculiar baritones about the dreams and aspirations of the lead protagonist. It's an off beat composition and reminds of a couple of RGV's least heard tracks with minimal impact. Once again, it works more on experimental mode with an off beat melodic works that adds to the gripping moments of the flick.

Surprisingly, so as to speak, this time its lyricist Swanand Kirkire to take over baton of composer with all together feel of racy contemporary Sufi ''qawwali'' in ''Maula''. Kirkire showcases his vocal strength with setting of customary sounding ''qawwali'' feel-good impact. Like all previous tracks, it sounds of an effectual background score with hardly anything sparkling to discuss.

Siddharth as Surya:

Born in a poor family, Surya grows up with few luxuries. The fact that he is a weak child and is frequently unwell keeps him away from school often. While at home he is first introduced to carrom by his elder brother, Chandrakant.

Winning the Junior National Carrom Championship at 11 is not enough to keep the fire for the sport burning through adolescence. Getting a job in Dubai and moving there replaces the passion for the game as Surya grows in to a young man.

Forged by a bogus overseas employment agency, Surya loses all his hard earned money he had saved for going abroad. Reintroduced to the game by his street smart friend Zaid (this time to the hustling scene), Surya starts playing again to not let his circumstances get the better of him, but the other way around.

Aditya Pancholi as Jaleel:

The most dreaded gangster in Malwani, Jaleel is the quintessential anti-hero. Feeding on the bedlam and weaknesses of people, Jaleel has his hands in every law-breaking business conceivable. He spews venom in all directions, and his menacing presence creates fear in the hearts of Malwani's residents.

The flesh trade, drugs, extortion, robberies, etc; Jaleel has a piece in every pie. But his most favored vice is the gambling scene in carrom. A self-proclaimed connoisseur of picking the best in the game, nothing makes him angrier than when one of his handpicked players loses.

Ankur Vikal as Zaid:

Surya's childhood friend and most trusted ally, Zaid is someone with good intentions, but doesn't quite recognize the line between moral and immoral. The lack of a patriarchal influence in his life makes him vulnerable and gullible to evil influences around him.

The desire for quick money and a knack for being street smart; Zaid is fuelled by desire to fulfill his dreams with Surya of changing their circumstances in the near future. He gets involved with Jaleel's gang, thinking it will be as easy to get out, as it was to get in. He is unsure of mind, but is always clear about his loyalties, which are always with his friend.

In his attempt to find solutions to problems, he generally worsens the state of affairs. He is the trigger in creating confrontational situations in Surya's life. His tendency of making light of most scenarios wreaks havoc for both friends.

Anupam Kher as Inspector Farooque:

Inspector Farooque is unlike any other cop in the city. He is honest, tough and smart. Posted in Malwani to curb the ever-increasing crime rate, criminals in the area begin fearing him very quickly.

His goal is very clear- get rid of anti-social elements in the area one at a time. He is not afraid to try radical means to maintain peace in Malwani, even if it means compromising with the very criminals he wants to put down. He is well aware of the shortcomings of being in a society that is corrupt and insincere. But instead of allowing circumstances to frustrate or change him, he rises above and manipulates the same circumstances to do what is best for the people.

Farooque is one of the positive influences in Surya's life. It is because of people like him that Malwani does not explode in the vortex of communal and criminal violence through the many chaotic times seen by the city.

Nicolette Bird as Noorie:

Noorie comes into Surya's life like a breath of fresh air. Her family moves in across Surya's house. She comes from a conservative Muslim background, & Surya is immediately struck by her effortless beauty and innocence.

He has never been in love before, & her addition to his life propels him into action to figure out his future. Her sudden departure coupled with another mishap in his life leave him scathed for a long time to come.

Padmapriya as Madhu:

Madhu is a fisherwoman, who runs a bar and restaurant all by herself. She learns to shed all coyness to deal with the various sorts of customers that visit her bar. She handles her drunken customers with a cool and no-nonsense attitude.

Although Surya frequents her bar often, it is not until much later that he notices her. She treats Surya like any other customer at first. Their interaction begins at a time when he is defeated, broken and at rage with the world. She sees him at his lowest, and what follows is a relationship that is honest and mature


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