Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

April 2, 2010

The band plays on

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 1:45 am

April 02, 2010

Director: Jaideep Varma

In Leaving Home: The Life and Music of Indian Ocean, performances by the country’s biggest band unspool before you both as concert live acts, and as the four comrades jam at their crumbling old Delhi bungalow. At one point, the members laughingly recall an instance when their tabla player and vocalist Asheem Chakravarty told an audience during a concert: “We are playing so well because you are sitting in front of us. Just think: if there were dogs instead, we never would have played so well.”

Asheem Chakravarty provides much of the music, the laughter and the poignant moments in Leaving Home, so it is painful when you think that he died in December last year before seeing this film in the cinemas. Yet Leaving Home is as much the story of Indian Ocean’s other members — guitarist and founder Susmit Sen, bassist and vocalist Rahul Ram, and drummer and vocalist Amit Kilam. The film listens to their voices and speaks of their lives.

Leaving Home is India’s first band documentary, and it reaches out of the screen and touches you because it is about four guys and the remarkable music they created, in spite of the fact that recording companies didn’t back them in their early struggling days.

The film interestingly tells each member’s back story and how they gravitated towards each other in chapters titled with their music albums. Director Jaideep Varma records the band’s harmonious jamming like a devoted fan, and gives us a picture of their inspirations. After all, this is the band that sang for the environment in ‘Ma Rewa’ or of peace in that wonderful anthem from Black Friday, ‘Bandeh’.

Leaving Home does feel too long for those unacquainted with Indian Ocean’s music, mainly because of the unedited, lengthy performances. Yet this is the story of an extraordinary band and I recommend you watch it because it’s a story that makes us proud. I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five and a thumbs-up for director Jaideep Varma’s Leaving Home: The Life and Music of Indian Ocean. For fans of the band this is nothing short of a real treat.

1 Comment »

  1. A film to watch for everyone, who lost his/her confidence in what he/she is doing and what to do.
    The passion of the band, the belief in what they do and do the best is great, the hard work they do and not leaving their hopes in worse conditions that makes this film so perfect that it can be in your heart and moralise you lifelong.

    one of the greatest documentary films.

    Comment by anup — November 23, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

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