It is no secret that AR Rahman saves some of his best work for spiritual songs. From ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’ in Jodhaa Akbar (2008) to ‘Kun Faya Kun’ in Rockstar (2011), the Oscar winner has made it a habit of leaving a mark with his spiritual songs. In The Fakir Of Venice, Rahman transforms Kabir into an atypical song for the Farhan Akhtar-Annu Kapoor-starrer.
The song is almost the philosophical musing of the film’s theme. Set around Farhan Akhtar as a con man who hires Annu Kapoor to play a yogi and tries to fool art houses in Venice, the film was supposed to be Akhtar’s debut, but has been delayed for a decade.
The first song from the film captures this absurdism with the philosophical verses of saint Kabir. The verse picked are ‘Had had tape so auliya’ (One who transcends limits is a protector). In these verses, Kabir describes the absurdity of being a philosopher and seeker of eternal knowledge. In the film, the song becomes symbolic of the absurdism that the two characters are going through, and their own conscientous acts.
Rahman’s composition is minimalistic with the acoustic guitar providing the key rhythm for the song. However, the style of the composition is very arrhythmic, and Western in style, with an element of jazz and Italian music influence. It appears to lack the punch and tempo that often defines an Indian composition, but is still mellifluous in its style.
The fusion of the verses and the composition, at times, seems jarring, with Rahman’s pronunciation of the words adding to the complexity. Yet, just for its different experiment, the song is worth a listen.
The Fakir of Venice will be released on 18 January.
Watch the song below: