REVIEW: ‘Damadam Mast Kalandar’ Rehashed and Served Splendidly In Nambiar’s ‘David’


We’ve all heard Runa Laila’s classic ‘Mast Kalandar’. That soulful sufi rendition is a cult classic, which went on to define a generation of music lovers. But if you haven’t yet heard the rehashed version of ‘Damadam Mast Kalandar’ from Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘David’, I suggest you do so. Immediately.

What Mikey McCleary’s done is he’s gone and revisited a seemingly untouchable classic, and turned it into something bigger and better. Not a fan of remixes usually, this one stands out for being true to the original in form and in essence; and yet there’s a sense of newness in this version that takes one’s breath right away.

Add to that are Rekha Bhardwaj’s velvety smooth vocals, and a rock refrain that picks up during the middle of the song; and Nambiar has a winner on his hands with ‘Mast Kalandar’. The song features Saarika in a very sufi qawali avatar, belting out the familiar notes of ‘Mast Kalandar’ in her inimitable style.

The video is all black-and-white, and in the monochromatic madness we see the character’s intertwined lives and destinies unfold. The tagline for ‘David’ reads: “3 Lives, 3 Destinies, Connected by 1 Name: David”, and it will be increasingly fascinating to see the titular parts played out by Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vikram and Vinay Virmani. The video for the song promises action and suspense, and the crescendo builds up as the action unfolds. When the song raises itself and picks up this edgy rock refrain, that’s when it enters the realm of sheer magic.

‘David’ stars an ensemble cast featuring Neil Nitin Mukesh, that bundle of talent who’s been underrated for far too long; Monica Dogra (another find: she was gloriously understated and subtle in Kiran Rao’s ‘Dhobi Ghat’, but we’ll get to see her fiery side in David, going by the promos); Tabu, Vikram, Vinay Virmani and Isha Sharvani. ‘David’ is directed by Bejoy Nambiar (of ‘Shaitan’ fame) and releases on the 1st of February.