Film: Par Ek Din
Cast: Samyak, Debatra, Abhigyan, Mallar, Soham (City Haze band members)
Director: Jaideep Varma
Rating: * * *
Runtime: 89 mins
An experiment of sorts, this music documentary in Hindi with English subtitles, by National award winning (Leaving Home- The life & Music of Indian Ocean) director Jaideep Varma, takes us through the raw markings of music-band City Haze’s struggle. The film is basically about the five band members who struggle to put themselves on the musical map.
Verma and Harshad Nalawade teamed up to spend four days with the little-known band members to understand their working style. It’s, in fact, a lesson in music production about all the effort that goes into creating the song, accompanying it with music and then getting into playing it live in front of an audience.
Along the way, Verma and Nalawade share insights on each band member while giving each an opportunity to express their respective angst on camera. The band members are forthright in their estimates of each other and do rant out occasionally. They call themselves ‘City Haze’ and have a bunch of songs, yet to be recorded. The film showcases 11 of their songs in different stages and while that process of composition is on, they open themselves out to a lively conversation about where they come from, where they want to go, and how discouraging they feel about their current struggle period. While most of their guitar heavy rock numbers sound tuneful and beckoning, their specials ‘Par Ek Din’ and ‘Imaan’ sound good enough to hit the charts and make them some money at least.
Though the narrative underlines their journey towards their very first public performance, the film doesn’t make any judgement regarding their capabilities or performance issues. In the initial moments, the process seems a little tame and unprepossessing. But eventually, it does move towards meaningful. Practice and creative sessions are held within close confines of small rooms in homes. This is a non-judgmental take on the calibre of new gen artists available on the Indie scene and this band is symbolic of the current generation of musician-singers who have imbibed Indian culture and musical ethos alongside all that is western and this shows up not only in their creative processes but also in their thought processes exposed here.
Varma and Nalawade allow them free rein to express themselves and they do so quite volubly and without affect. It’s an expose that gives us at least some insight into what such new gen musicians see in their way forward as creative trail blazers. This film may basically be categorised as a micro-budget guerrilla effort but it has enough smart content to interest a fairly large following.