We take particular pride in advocating the Bollywood heritage that every Indian receives as birthright. The melodrama, the willing suspension of disbelief, the mustard fields; we lap it up. And how tired are we of hearing that our ultimate USP is the song-and-dance sequences. In fact, too many times films have sent the box office singing due to their much-loved songs. Which is why, when Hollywood films follow suit, the heart tends to swell up with pride. They may not be prancing around trees just yet, but they have realised the importance of having a superlative soundtrack as part of the collective movie experience. One of the most-talked-about films right now is The Fault in Our Stars based on the book by the excellent John Green. The first thing we all did after we were told of its India release (after, of course, offering a silent prayer of thanks and stocking up on tissues) was to download the soundtrack. That’s what’s playing on every iPod now. On loop. Verve takes a look at a few Hollywood movies that worked as much for their music as their storyline.
1. 500 Days of Summer (2009): Man, we all loved this one. We enjoyed how the story was told, how unconventional the film was and what it spoke of. The soundtrack was a mix of some fun numbers. Wolfmother’s Vagabond is our favourite. There’s also Feist’s Mushaboom, You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates, She’s Got You High by Mumm-Ra and a host of others. Regina Spektor has contributed to the playlist. So has former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni. Bet you’re all reaching for your song lists to revisit this gem.
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012): One song pretty much gives you a feel of the whole film (and book). Asleep by The Smiths. This song is hauntingly beautiful. You’re transported into the complexities of Charlie’s mind. And the tunnel song: Heroes by David Bowie. You want to be on a rackety, old truck in the Titanic pose with no thoughts and no fears. C’est la vie.
3. The Great Gatsby (2013): Now, a lot of people thought the soundtrack was completely off. One does not simply mix the Jazz Age with Kanye. Well, Baz Luhrmann’s got a mind of his own. We’re huge fans of this one. Lana Del Ray’s Young and Beautiful plays across the course of the film and wrenches the heart at all times. Jack White’s rendition of U2’s Love is Blindness is impressive. Will.i.am comes in with Bang Bang, a party maker. The xx contribute with Together which is a phenomenal and insightful track. There’s a version of Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and of course Jay Z had to follow suit with No Church in the Wild. Also, Gotye. Super win!
4. Twilight (2008): We are NOT ashamed to admit that we were fans of the series (Team Edward, obviously). They have an incredible song collection spanning all five films. Norah Jones’ Almost Lover, Paramore’s Decode, Linkin Park’s Leave out all the rest, Satellite Heart, etc. These were part of the reason teenagers across the globe watched the movies. The others being all the handsome men and the rare chance of Kristen Stewart emoting.
5. Juno (2007): The mother of all Indie soundtracks. The movie itself was an absolute guidebook to non-conformism. Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches has got to be the greatest love song every written; in that non-mushy way we love so much. All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar is the mushy one. We are taken back to the ’60s with Sonic Youth’s Superstar and back with Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes. Listen to all the songs as much for their queer melodies as for their refreshing lyrics.
And then there are brilliant background music scores that bowled us over. Watch this space for more!