The Remix's best offering is its intent; Amazon Prime Video original steers clear of high-pitched melodrama

Devansh Sharma

Mar,11 2018 13:48:44 IST

With a host of global rages like DJ Hardwell, Kygo and Martin Garrix coming to India and pulling huge numbers, the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is slowly but surely picking up. And it shows no signs of a 'drop', with the advent of India's first OTT talent show The Remix.

Amzon Prime Video India has now introduced the international format in India, where vocalists and music producers collaborate to churn out a 'remixed' track that sounds as good as an original. Judged by renowned singer Sunidhi Chauhan, acclaimed music composer Amit Trivedi and the forever-in-vogue DJ Nucleya, the show will see 10 pairs battle it out on the stage and across the console table.

Amit Trivedi, Sunidhi Chauhan and Nucleya in The Remix. YouTube

Amit Trivedi, Sunidhi Chauhan and Nucleya in The Remix. YouTube

However, the term 'battle it out' sounds bit of a stretch in context with The Remix. Though the emotion is in sync with the degree of energy of the show, the choice of words is not in accordance with the tone of this project. Unlike countless reality shows that Indian audiences have been force-fed on their TV sets, The Remix does not conform to the formulaic dramatisation of competition between the contestants.

A lot of that has to do with the platform. With the entry of streaming giants in the country, enthusiasts have witnessed an overhaul of content across the board. Whether it is sitcoms, films and now talent shows, streaming giants have helped producers steer clear of age old diktats that the revenue-driven industries like cinema and television subject them to.

For example, years after it went off the air because of a discord with demanding broadcasters, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai found a new lease of life on Hotstar. The platform gave it a chance to retain its original voice that set it apart from the other shows that the audience was consuming more. It did not have to resort to futile dramatisation of events and in turn, managed to stay true to its lighthearted, slice-of-life tone.

The same effect has permeated the talent show space too. This genre had reached its saturation point on TV with every general entertainment channel boasting of at least four to five shows, which get replaced by another set of shows in a cyclic phenomenon that only makes all of them redundant. Thus, in order to grab eyeballs, the makers are compelled to not come up with their original voice but only 'pitch higher' so that their voice is heard among all the chaos.

Karan Tacker, the host of The Remix, recalls how it was a breath of fresh air to be on the sets of this show. "Unlike the reality shows on TV, I did not have to force-flirt with Sunidhi ma'am. I know that's another form of entertainment altogether, but I'm glad we all stuck to what we signed up for — music."

Tacker's confession points out the glaring disadvantage of reality shows on the small screen. All the shows, which display immense potential on paper through path-breaking concepts, fall prey to the drama that takes the driver's seat. All the unique, innovative ideas, formats and challenges get lost in translation. The singing reality shows end up with a crescendo in drama and diminuendo in music.

But The Remix paves the way for an interesting trend, only if the show receives a favourable response from the digitally literate audience who seeks leisure from their laptops and phone. This is where the possible flip side comes in.

Given the pitch and visual appeal of the show, it is not the best form of entertainment to enjoy on your smartphone screen. Irrespective of how 'kickass' the sound of your phone is or how 'smooth' the screen is, you would want to set yourself free of those earphones, put your phone away and dance to the irresistible beats, only to realise that the music is no longer playing.

The Remix is not just a singing reality show but relies heavily on its experiential output. It caters to the viewer's nostalgia, the ears, the adrenaline glands and also the eyes (courtesy of background dancers). Its skillful cinematography, tight editing and impactful production design offer a mix that the screen of a phone, or even a laptop, will not do justice to.

In fact, it is a show (if it ups the ante with every episode) that is worthy of the big screen. However, it is logistically not possible to reward it a theatrical release just because it delivers good quality. Even a huge world renowned name in One Heart: The AR Rahman Concert Film could not afford a theatrical release.

Rehashes have become a hot property in Bollywood now with every music composer being instructed to spin a number 'inspired' from a popular old one. However, when the same trend is not forced down the the producers' throats in The Remix and goes into motion organically, it makes way for quality content.

The Remix treads on that middle path between television and cinema so that it can conveniently grow immune to the creativity-killing pathogens that both industries come along with. It heralds a fresh format that can be enjoyed nonetheless, without the drama and the scale, purely because of its intent.

Updated Date: Mar 11, 2018 13:48 PM