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DAM 999 Goes Oscar Wild

DAM 999, the latest movie to be scuttled by pseudo-fascists in the country, has at last had its artistic merits recognized – some of it at least. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has announced the candidacy of three songs from the movie in the Original Song category at the 84th Academy Awards.

Revealed on the competition website, ‘Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu’, ‘Mujjhe Chhod Ke’ and The DAM 999 theme song are the songs in the frame, in a total list of 39 nominations.

At a cursory listen, the songs don’t seem all that noteworthy. ‘Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu’ is lively, carrying with it the thrills and tribulations of new love. It plays out well against the whole boy-meets-girl video concocted for it, but there have surely been better Bollywood romantic numbers.

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‘Mujhe Chhod Ke’ is a worthier claimant; its lilting poetry giving it a huge artistic edge. The picturisation – though not a decisive factor at the Awards – is thematically well drawn out. The little boy on the quay can remains silent still while the boat carrying his friend floats away, but we know exactly what he feels.

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That brings us to the theme song – a very well composed, quasi-operatic accompaniment. It does well in switching from the ringing percussions and Sanskritized chants to a breakbeat pop number. No revelations on who the singer is – or maybe my researching skills are just below par – but she’s really drawn out her pipes and let fly.

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If we were to put aside the latent nationalism, and the surrogate pride of seeing Indians win Academy Awards, I think we might confess that there’s bound to be better songs competing than these.

Either way, this is still a huge break for the beleaguered team of the movie, and should be the leg-up they needed to push their case through and finally get their movie on the screens. 

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