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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kaptaan: Music for the cricket legend

Music from the upcoming film Kaptaan — a film based on sportsman and now politician Imran Khan’s high profile life — has received a positive response, with some of the tracks going viral on social networking sites. With talks underway with Ali Noor and several other mainstream artists, the film’s director and producer Faisal Aman Khan hopes to provide enthusiasts with motivational and contemporary music.
According to insiders, Kaptaan’s official trailer is scheduled to be released online on September 25, while the film itself is expected to be released during the first quarter of 2012. Negotiations with several distributing companies in Pakistan and India have already begun, confirmed the director.
The low-budget film, based on the former cricket star’s life, has attracted global attention as it explores the experiences of a man who dedicates his life to his country while also struggling with personal and spiritual anguish. When asked about his subject choice, Khan replies, “There is a dire need for Pakistani film-makers to change their influences and inspirations. More quality stuff needs to be brought in; the argument that there are not enough resources is an excuse,” says Khan. “This is a Pakistani film about a character who was called ‘King Khan’ before Shahrukh Khan was given the same title in India.”
An avid follower of orchestra and contemporary Pakistani music, Khan is emphasising on ensuring that the soundtrack is catchy and, at the same time, able to complement the film’s storyline. Khan says that he aims to portray the film as a journey between ‘surrealism and realism’ and to highlight the inner transformation of the legendary cricketer.
“I have always been a fan of symphonic orchestra such as London Philharmonic, so finding the right person, given the limited budget, has been a difficult task,” states Khan, while heaping praise on Farhan Zameer, who is composing and directing the film’s music. “We were initially hoping to get Kaavish and Ali Azmat on board for the direction and composition of the film’s music, but it was becoming too expensive. However, when I first heard Zameer sing I was stunned at the amount of talent he possessed.”
Khan, while mentioning that negotiations with rock band Noori are currently underway, states that he is also thinking of getting Najam Sheraz on board for the soundtrack.  The intention, he adds, is to get some of the rock artists to lend their voices to an orchestral symphonic sound — similar to what came about as a result of Metallica’s collaboration with late musical composer Michael Kamen. Meanwhile, local pop artist Abbas Ali Khan, Indian singer Rashmi Nair (who is based in America) and Canadian Naqi Ali Khan have also agreed to contribute to the film’s music.
Mainly known for his work as a composer in South Indian films, Zameer takes inspiration from western and eastern folk music. “For a movie like this one, it’s important that the songs are motivational and have a message for the youth,” says Zameer. “We’re excited about composing Kaptaan’s music; it’s not going to be typical of what is generally seen in Lollywood, rather it will be modern and progressive.”
He adds that the main challenge is finding the right blend of western and eastern music that could adequately create the mood encapsulating the cricketer’s life.
However, keeping in mind Imran Khan’s personal music taste, the film will also include three of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs namely “Allah Hoo”, “Ye Jo Halka Halka Suroor” and “Sanu Ek Pal”.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th,  2011.

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