The provocatively-titled film Gandu may not have had a commercial release in India, but the praise it's received from critics at home and abroad has given director Q a certain notoriety.
His new film Tasher Desh, which translates to 'Land of Cards', isn't likely to make him seem any more tame. Adapted from the musical drama by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Q's Tasher Desh has been described as Tagore on an acid trip, by both directors and critics who have seen the film. It's one of those phrases that sounds terribly cool but doesn't really tell you much about the film. Now you can hear one of the songs from the film's soundtrack, and if you haven't seen Q's earlier work, then you'll get some idea of why everyone's so excited by Q's work.
The song "Elem Notun Deshe", like most of the songs in Tagore's much-performed Tasher Desh, is familiar to most Bengalis but few would have imagined it could sound like so much like rock ballad. The video has some breathtaking imagery and a vibrant colour palette that explains that 'acid trip' comment. Q has retained traditional elements of the song, like the harmonium as a musical anchor, and layered it with a rich percussion track, a strong bass line, electric guitars and effects. The effect is a modern makeover for "Elem Notun Deshe", making it contemporary but without losing sight of its original sensibilities.
Tasher Desh's soundtrack includes tracks by international artistes like Susheela Raman, Erik Truffaz and Sahana Bajpaie. The film is expected to have a nationwide release later this month.