Shooting film songs

Picture the song: Gangsters can be romantic too, as ‘Baadalon Se’ from ‘Satya’ demonstrates

Gulzar’s lyrics offer a profound meditation on the state of being in love in Ram Gopal Varma’s otherwise gritty drama.

After Daddy, an admiring biopic of Mumbai gangster Arun Gawli, comes Haseena Parkar, the story of Dawood Ibrahim’s sister, who reportedly ran the fugitive crime lord’s operations in Mumbai until her death in 2014. Shraddha Kapoor plays Parkar in the September 22 release, which has been directed by Apoorva Lakhia.

Like any other mainstream gangster drama, Haseena Parkar has songs, including the romantic track Tere Bina, featuring Parkar all a-shiver and a-quiver from the affections of her husband (Ankur Bhatia). The message is clear: gangsters have love lives too, especially during the carefree period before the consequences of their deeds catch up with them.

In Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya (1998), the titular anti-hero (JD Chakravarthy) lives parallel lives – he rises steadily in the ranks of Bhiku Mhatre’s gang, and gradually captures the heart of his neighbour Vidya (Urmila Matondkar), who is unaware of his real profession. Varma finds ingenious ways to weave Vishal Bhardwaj’s marvellous tunes into a gritty and unsentimental account of crime and punishment. Goli Maar Bheje Mein perfectly matches the mood at a drunken celebration by the hoodlums, while Sapne Mein Milti Hain captures Satya’s desire to marry the woman he loves and step away from crime.

Badalon Se marks the point when Satya and Vidya go public with their affections. Bhupinder Singh’s plangent voice booms over visuals of the pair visiting the romantic spots that numerous Mumbai couples have haunted before and after them. In the tradition of the 1970s middle-class dramas set in Mumbai, especially Chhoti Si Baat and Gharonda, Satya and Vidya walk along the Marine Drive promenade, hang around the beach and eat street food, discovering the joys of the city and the pleasure of each other’s company.

Gulzar’s profound lyrics are among his best, filled with abstract symbols and complex metaphors that express the wonderment of being in love. What has happened to me, Satya wonders in his head. It’s the perfect idyll before the perfect storm, which lies just beyond the magnificent sunset before which Satya and Vidya embrace.

Baadalon Se, Satya (1998).
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