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Archive for September, 2008

Vaaranam Aayiram – Musical Rainbow!


Gautham Menon and his melodius accomplice Harris Jeyaraj come together once again for Vaaranam Ayiram. After getting hold of the rights, to popularise the songs Sony BMG has given a few songs to the FM stations five days prior to the actual audio release. Harris Jeyaraj has composed seven different numbers for this film. Let us look at them more closely.

Male Harmony: Krish, Benny Dayal,  Hariharan, Karthik, Naresh Iyer, SPB Charan, Devan, V.Prasanna, Clinton, Solar Sai

Female Harmony: Shruti Hassan, Prashanthini, Sudha Ragunathan

1. Adiye Kolluthey****
Singers: Krish, Benny Dayal, Shruti Hassan

A small sticker on the cd cover says “Including the smash hit Adiye Kolluthe”. Basically a rock number built on Thamarai’s enthusing lyrics. Shruti Hassan’s stylistic voice aptly fit into this western song. Benny and Krish sing wondrously to give the music instruments an arduous time. As usual, full of strange haunting chants and guitar interludes. Though the rhythm gives us a ‘heard it somewhere’ feeling, the increasing tempo compensates it. Probably this song is Gautham Menon’s personal favourite. Fit to be a hi… oops! its already a smash hit. On the whole, this number is a “thrilling sweetheart!”

2. Nenjukkul Peidhidum****
Singers: Hariharan, Devan, V.Prasanna

This song hails Hariharan as the divine lord of melodies! Thamarai’s lyrics for this song will be among the best ever made in this decade. Multitudes of chorus are used in this song by harris. With a limited number of instruments, this number creates the maximum effect. A cool song to depict the burning passions of the lover. The guitar pieces which run through the song hits it  for a home run. Another awesome melody in Harris Jeyaraj collection. “Romance Romance and Romance for all days of the year”.

3.Yethi Yethi***
Singers: Benny Dayal, Naresh Iyer, Solar Sai

A song from the Hip-Hop tradition. The ‘Sokkuthe Manam’ TV show star Solar Sai sings along with Benny and Naresh in this number. This song reminds us a lot of other numbers such as ‘Ada gada’ from sathyam, ‘Taxi taxi’ from ‘sakkarakkatti’ and at times ‘Adhiradikkaran’ from ‘Sivaji’. With a whistling opening, Muthukumar’s’s lyrics bringout the pure life of the dirty college students. The acoustic guitar interludes of this song gives us ‘the Ilayaraja effect’. Pretty ordinary song when compared to the earlier two. But still, rejoice with this when a few good friends are around.

4.Mundhinam****
Singers: Naresh Iyer, Prashanthini

A pleasant soft rock number packed in with a variety of interludes{Sax, mouth organ, drums}. Though justly used, the drum beats grab our attention. Once again Thamarai’s lyrics claims commendation. At times Naresh Iyer’s voice ‘unsexes’ itself to blend with Prashanthini’s voice which contributes to the soft ‘feminine touch’ of this song. With a variety of instruments Harris Jeyaraj has orchestrated this melody to perfection. ‘Rock’ seems to be the core genre of this album.

5.Oh! Shanthi! Shanthi***
Singers:
Clinton, SPB Charan
Clinton is back with a bang in this little, soft rock number. Sounds like a softer version of  ‘Mudhal naal indru’. Clinton’s the ‘Oh Shanthi’ refrain boosts up the energy level of this song. However the ordinary rhythm of this song makes us to associate a lot of earlier songs of Harris Jeyaraj. Might turn out to be an awesome background theme and ‘sing along’, if used suitably. “laali laali laali!”

6.Ava Enna***
Singers: Karthik, V.Prasanna

A soft kuthu song decorated with flowers of melancholy. Reminds us ‘Siva siva siva sankara’ from ‘Suyamvaram’ and ‘Appa amma’ from ‘Dreams’. Heretoo Harris finds a little room for his guitar.  Thamarai’s ordinary words are shouldered well by Karthik’s versatile voice and stupendous pronunciation. Though no scope for novelty, Harris has peppered this song with gentle choruses and bass beats.

7.Anul Mele****
Singers: Sudha ragunathan

A song from the Indian Classical music world. Sudha Ragunathan’s genius breaths eternal life into  this song and makes it good. Certain areas of this song resemble ‘Enadhuyire’ from ‘Bheema’. This sounds like an ‘Ilayaraja melody’ too. Will become the favourite of classical music listeners. Finally in this song Harris has accomodated his favourite: Vilolin along with Veena. Seems to convey a particular situation of the plot. Since 90% of the songs are in purely pronounced and unadulterated Tamil, ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ receives special applause!.

-Spontic

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Saroja- A rocking remake!


Venkat Prabhu opens his second innings with Saroja produced by Amma Creations after a successful ‘Chennai 6000028’ first innings. Saroja is a loose remake of the 1993 Hollywood film ‘Judgment night‘. Though this movie is a remake, Venkat Prabhu has amiably intertwined his sub-plots into the original main-plot, indianising it, suitable for our audience. The movie is at the danger of being condemned by those who lay emphasis on aesthetic components as ‘Plagiarism’. Anyhow Saroja emerges out well as a quality entertainer with ‘Navarasas’.

The movie projects open ‘the day before yesterday’ of the actual action day, where we see a tanker lorry taking off from Intana, Orissa. Immediately after this, we are pushed on to the ‘yesterday’ of the actual action day in which we find Saroja{Vega} the only daughter of Vishwanathan{Prakashraj} a business honcho leaving for school. And finally we are carried on to the actual day where a team of friends: Jagapathibabu{SPBCharan}, Rambabu{Vaibhav Reddy}, Ganesh{PremG} and Ajay{Shiva} consisting of two brothers, start for Hyderabad to see a Cricket match. A summary of what happened next would be- the container is knocked down during the second day of its journey, Saroja gets kidnapped and our heroes take a strange route to Hyderabad. The turned down container is the turning point of the plot which forces heroes to meet the villains. Though the rest may appear like a run of the mill story, Venkat Prabhu has taken pains to make it different to sustain the interest of the audience till the very end.

A ‘Psycho(1960)’ kind of Highway plot, Realistic action, subtle humor, little pathos and a bit of romance and glamour are the elements which constitute this commercial conglomerate. Screenplay and slapstick humor seem to be the biggest forte of Venkat Prabhu. His ability to produce laughter even at the time of disaster prevents this movie from falling short of its target. This movie mercilessly mocks at Teleserials, commercial heroes and kiddish youth. Undoubtedly Satirizing is one of the trademarks of a Venkat Prabhu film.Though most of the scenes in the first half are directly lifted from Judgment Night, Venkat Prabhu’s movie making skills become evident in the way in which he develops the ‘Saroja girl’ plot. The whole cast wonderfully performs what their master has asked them to do. Proper interlinking, good foregrounding and an attractive falling action make this screenplay even better. PremG’s comedy gives the impression of being effective only in his brother’s movies. If Venkat Prabhu is going to be more original in his future projects, he’ll be in the list of top-notch Tamil Directors.

A few in the audience may find it difficult to make out the plot interlinking at least during the exposition. Secondly, the Policemen appearing and living like thugs look a bit odd, though the Director tries to tie the loose strings at the end. Also too many guest appearances slog the progress and diverts the main focus of the film. A very few scenes fail to go in tune with the final effect.

Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score for this film is another breakthrough in film scores after Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu. As an example we could quote the tune which swims through when Rambabu meets Pooja{Kaajal Agarwal} in a romantic flashback. Yuvan’s House and club tunes along with rap and pop here and there when the movie moves in darkness, make this movie a musical treat. Sakthi Saravanan‘s camera has created the perfect screen tone for this movie. But during the rooftop scenes and chasing scenes we feel that the camera is a bit shaky. Praveen KL/Srikanth NB‘s editing is another important aspect to be commended. Venkat Prabhu and his crew deserve a cheerful applause for what they have done. So Saroja is ‘An ordinary day, four ordinary men and an extraordinary Judgment night DVD!’

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