Sync Spotlight aims to showcase examples of songs and music licensing in web series, ads and films across the globe.
Thinkistan – S01E08 – Bwokk
This show is available to watch online on MX Player.
Song – Babuji Dheere Chalna by O.P Nayyar, Geeta Dutt
Thinkistan mainly follows two newcomers in an ad agency based in Bombay in the 90s. A Hindi copywriter from Bhopal who must climb the ladder slowly and with little recognition, and an English copywriter from Mumbai, who is the young, privileged, and much celebrated chocolate boy that everyone adores.
There are themes of classism, sexism and workplace harassment, all showcased in what seems like an exaggerated manner. But these portrayals may very well be accurate; considering the influence their creative breakthroughs can have on pop-culture generally lead ad men to regard themselves as God-men.
One such breakthrough occurs to our lead character – Hema, in this episode. Upon being sent to Bali for a company workshop, he begins to see and experience the extravagant side to life in advertising. He gives in to booze and infidelity – both being firsts for him. He spends little to no productive time on his assignment to create a compelling pitch for a deodorant spray.
Come presentation morning he is incredibly hungover, late, and idea-less. Mid-session, he feels the urgent need to hurl and makes a run for the loo. All sound drops out and the song comes in – Babuji Dheere Chalna. The retro tones add a comic yet classy flavour to what’s happening, which is pretty grotesque. The lyrics go a long way in portraying what Hema’s relationship with his life is like at the moment. His creative and witty persona have led him to not just excel quickly, but also rapidly fall head over heels in love with advertising. Only now, the side-effects are catching up with him. (Kyun ho khoye hue, sar jhukaaye…, …bade dhoke hain is raah mein)
A few moments of regret and contemplation later, the song abruptly shifts to a heavy, electronic remix – signalling the incoming of his banger of a script idea.
The audio treatment of the song is very clever. Initially there is a slight reverberation which makes it feel like the song is playing in the washroom itself. This makes for an immersive environment, even though there is no presence of foley or sound design. Once the remix kicks in the sound becomes crisp and in-your-face again, which takes us from the outside environment to inside Hema’s thoughts and emotions.
The show is highly entertaining, fast paced and deals with real issues in a creative-corporate setting— all while very deliberately maintaining an overall 90s production and look. It’s written and directed by N.Padmakumar with Aniruddh as music director, and is produced by Rajnish Lall of Jigsaw Pictures.
To know more great examples of music licensing, read other editions of Sync Spotlight here.