Jeet Lo Dil
Review by Nader Thiasi
Ah! Collaborations! What can you say about them? So much promise, such an amalgam of talent-and yet, almost always the sum of the parts never seems to equal the whole. They emerge from the production studios like the proverbial white elephants and fans from both sides don’t know where to look, or who to blame.
Caution was however, thrown in the wind in the face of the much touted peace moves between India and Pakistan. The duo from Karachi took the cue and arrived in India post haste to get the peace pipe bubbling.
Now I’m all for these people to people contacts for all there worth, but does that mean that ‘peace songs’ should be deemed above the law? Of course not! Infact if anything these ‘ambassadors’ have an even greater duty to try an not make a fool of themselves-a tall order for our attention deprived ‘super’ stars on there forays to the promised land.
With so much resting on the outcome of the collaborative effort between Strings and those half a dozen strong members of Euphoria, the outcome was all the more disappointing. Not only did it fail miserably as a song, it’s thoughtless picturisation may infact have only further entrenched religious divisions between us-a far cry from the do gooder song it was made out to be.
To be honest, I’m still a little shell shocked from my unprotected first hand experience of ‘jeet lo dil’, the song certainly wasn’t something to write home about-the video on the other hand, was certainly nothing less than an unqualified disaster.
The song on its own could have perhaps fared better, but the work of what is apparently India’s best video directors sealed its fate. And understandably so, with the current direction of the pop genre, its become increasingly difficult to study these two in confinement. More and more, songs and videos are twos sides of the same coin. The lines are so now so blurred that its now widely considered that a video makes or breaks the song. In essence, the media that pumps the sappy pop songs into the hearts and minds of those faceless MTV millions (or in this case, the IM thousands) now takes almost equal importance to the creative output of the artist. Decry as you might the fundamental inadequacies of our socially engineered global economy-this is a fact you cant escape. I digress, getting back to strings and there song(ish).
More than anything else, the video strikes one as not only certainly very clichéd, but also rather half baked, with the weak plot hardly developed at all, falling all over itself with really no direction and sloppy production. Predictably, the video is about cricket-specifically about a motley bunch of kids running around in shorts, a concept that has already been done ad nauseum.
Now if it weren’t for this general sense of apathy that the director exuded from his work, we could perhaps…perhaps have taken a deeper meaning of it all. We could have asked ourselves if he was trying to tell us something by taking us down this well trodden path-unfortunately, we can however, almost certainly discard that line of reasoning altogether.
Most strikingly, this is certainly far from a true depiction of what the average kid wears on the street. We let that pass for the moment, for the video begs an even more fundamental question. How much importance can you attach to the doings of a bunch of pre-pubescents before it all starts falling apart? It brings to the fore painful recollections of the all those movies with much-too-smart kids, the lynchpins of the plot-who’s exploits were allotted much too great importance. I’ve always hated watching those inane films, I don’t see how anybody can sit through the escapades of a 12 year old as he takes on the world-and I am sure I’m not alone on this one, notwithstanding my troubled childhood.
But the child cricket prodigies remind one of something more recent, perhaps as recent as strings’ Pepsi video, where the we were treated to another remarkably cheesy cricket match, complete will all the trimmings including slo-mo drives, dives, catches and similar excitement.
Jami nevertheless managed to come out with a measure of panache and redeemed himself to a certain extent, and yet with his Indian counterpart, the trouble had only just begun, the video was only just stating to become a full blown circus(literally).
As if this wasn’t enough-the director had other worries-how was he to differentiate between the two opposing teams the Indians and Pakistanis. In a further illustration of the complete disregard of any creativity and imagination, the factions were divided amongst religious lines. Never mind the fact that there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan, for this production certainly wasn’t unduly concerned about authenticity or even reality, but what was more disturbing and comical (in equal measure) was the way they went about the demonstrating the division in the first place.
His solution-make the ‘Pakistani’ kids wear a sola topi. Now if there is really no way that words do justice to an image of a poor harassed kid, made to stand in the sun, made to pretend he’s some first class cricketer-all the while kitted out in shorts and a with a sola topi to boot!
As the shots of those poor children wane, a sight even more horrendous is made to bear on the already straining composure of the viewer. Strings, and those poor dozen or so dispossessed lunatics are emblazoned onto the screen in full clown attire! I kid you not.
It was evident the creative department really had a field day during this shoot! It’s a pity euphoria were made to don these ensembles in the first place-I thought they looked funnier without them.
Indeed in the ensuring scenes, one could not help but feel sorry for them; for no sooner had the clowns arrived-the Bollywood connection started making itself felt (i.e. the rain). The great dancing in the rain scene was upon them.
As the anarchy of the artificial rain rained down upon them, the clown make-up faded away, and the artists mulled around in a soggy milieu of water, make-up, and exaggerated friendship.
And the parting shots, as if everything else was not enough, were shots of the cricket trophy resting by a tree trunk. A dose of reality that just came too late.