The setting is wet. Dark, teary-eyed clouds have set in. A room full of nostalgia sends out a melancholic fragrance.
The music of Rituparno Ghosh's Raincoat is a collection of present moods and past memories. Sometimes the mood is pensive and the memory is painful. But, at all times, the tone is wistful.
Raincoat is about a man (Ajay Devgan), woman (Aishwarya Rai) and unrequited love. Their incomplete romance is beautifully interpreted in Ghosh's rustic lyrics, Gulzar's damp poetry and Debojyoti Mishra's classically soaked minimalist compositions.
Using the separation of Radha and Krishna as a metaphor, Ghosh exudes the sentiments of the eternally star-crossed lovers in his two protagonists in all the songs.
Mathura nagarpati is about a nostalgic Krishna leaving behind the political arena of his birthplace to seek solace in the tranquil milieu of Gokul, only to discover things are not the way they used to be.
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A tremble of thunder, a swish of piano and the poignant voice of Hariharan tenderly protests Piya tora kaisa abhiman, a haunting classic that laments aloud why pride should come in the way of love.
There is something ethereal about Shubha Mudgal's voice. Her flawless, passionate rendition of anticipation in Raha dekhe and loneliness in Akele hum nadiya kinare stirs the imagination, creating a breathtaking visual. Credit must also go to composer Debojyoti Mishra, who lets Mudgal take center stage and allows the arrangement to take back seat.
Mishra, who has previously worked with Ghosh on films like Bariwali, Titli and Chokher Bali, is in perfect sync with his director's concept. Almost all the songs but for Hamari galiyan hoke aana and Jog jiye are an extension of the same thought pattern -- unfulfilled love and the heartache of separation.
Shehnais and dholaks take over the wedding celebration, Hamari galiyan hoke aana. If the former celebrates the bride, the bridegroom gets his share of blessings in the ethnic Jug jiye.
The music of Raincoat recreates the innocent magic and spirituality of Radha-Krishna's immortal romance. If you appreciate melody and poetry in its purest sense, Raincoat is a must buy.