Mother India is an iconic piece of Indian cinema made in 1957 by Mehboob Khan. Basically, it tells the story of Radha (the central Mother India figure) as she struggles to look after her family amid debt, poverty and being abandoned by her husband in a post-colonial India. M121 is a reinterpretation and re-scoring of the original film using the turntable skills of DJ Tigerstyle. The original film is around 3 hours long and artist Josh Ford has cut it down to around 45 minutes, playing around with the chronology of the film while maintaining the storyline and plot twists.
Playing alongside DJ Tigerstyle is drummer David Shaw and Matt Constantine on cello and keyboards. For those who haven’t seen Tigerstyle before, he’s a turntablist who uses three turntables and two mixers alongside various drum machines. He’s previously written music for Manga films so has an ear for applying his music on a cinematic level and is a perfect choice for scoring a film of this scale. The music perfectly complements the visuals, ranging from haunting to joyous but always being restrained enough so that it doesn’t overwhelm the action on screen.
It’s a testament to the artists involved that they can cut down a film of this length, remove all the dialogue and subtitles and STILL convey the message and story of the original film in this brilliant and innovative way The sell out crowd in Brighton certainly enjoyed it and MI21 still has a few dates on this tour to go so catch it while you can.