Thursday 26 November 2009

Revisiting "Alaipayuthey"(2000) Respledant Romance

"Waves"!! The very word generates curiosity and excitement among the admirers for its back and front motions which is so synonymous to the journey of human life : Ups and downs / pleasures and sorrows. Sticking to its title, the gifted film maker Manirathnam brings the waves of the life alive on the celluloid screen. The screenplay of the movie can be termed as One of the best ever any Indian cinema has produced. The plot carries the audience mind to the wavy structure of past and present stories of the lead pair of the movie.

While Madhavan, Shalini, Jayasudha, Swarnamalya amongst others form the crux part of the story line, Arvind Swamy and Kushboo portray as cameo characters for the movie.

Manirathnam, who was lying low, with his shocking back-to-back failures of Iruvar and Dil Se at the box office, found solace with Alaipayuthey, categorized as one of the BEST coming out from the ace filmmaker. For me personally, the film's main strength lies in two things. One is the apt screenplay and the second, ofcourse, the music by the whizkid A.R.Rahman. The movie was well received by critics and did well at the box-office primarily for its music and realistic portrayal of romance and married life.

Manirathnam's crew members are always as impressive as this one : P.C. Sreeram (Cinematography) , G. Sreenivasan(Co-Production), Vairamuthu(Lyrics), Farah Khan (Choreography) amongst others. Ofcourse, standing tall is the Mani - ARR chemistry as always! ARR has written one of his career best tunes for this light hearted romance genre which blends like bread and the butter. The songs and the BGM's are like precious treasures to be preserved through out the lifetime. Below, i present my personal unbiased opinions about the soundtracks and BGMs of the movie .

Endrendrum Punnaghai Shankar Mahadevan, Clinton Cerejo, Srinivas, Pravin Mani

This introductory song of the movie introduced one of the promising actors, Madhavan to the audience grooving to the great tunes through his earphones on the bike. Such an effect it had, that many youngsters got inspired with the style and pomp created by this song and followed it blindly. A great chartbuster song composed by ARR targeting youth in his mind. A fresh sounding Shankar Mahadevan and Clinton Cerejo(who's been a part of chorus in ARR troup since long) set the mood so vehementally that you cant help but tap your foot and groove. Shankar's strong vocals are most predominant in "Dheem dheem Tarana dheem tarana....vaaname elleyoo...". A funky, upbeat, true to the style of the maestro!

Pachhai Nirame Hariharan, Dominique Cerejo, Clinton Cerejo

One of the "mountaineeringly" successful songs of Rahman, Pachhai Nirame was and still is the one of its kind composition by him. I would strongly say that even a hardcore non admirer of ARR would go down his knees and sway to the tunes of this song. A common ringtone among many people, Pachhai Nirame got its 100% full attention by the classes and masses. Vairamuthu's colorful poetry coupled with Sreeram's colorful picturisation on screen, along with the velvette voice of Hariharan set a enchanting mood which stays in our hearts for our lifetime! The siblings Clinton(Sakiye Snegithiye..part) and Dominique(Female humming) provide a haunting chorus. A song we get once in a lifetime!

Yaaro Yaarodi Mahalaxmi Iyer, Vaishali, Richa Sharma

A typical wedding song shot aesthetically in a rural backdrop, Yaaro Yaarodi has reach essence of Rahman displaying his skills towards the traditional aspects. A shrilly and husky sounding Mahalaxmi Iyer, who's a ARR's discovery, joins with two bollywood singers Richa Sharma and Vaishali in this witty marriage party song. The choreography of this song is quite brilliant which is probably shot at one frame. Rahman lavishly uses naadaswarams which are the integral part of any south indian marriage, some melodious flutes and good drum beats. Richa Sharma, who always gets the meat of folk songs, gives a tamil folk touch in the interludes. A sweet and cute wedding chart number!

September Madham Asha Bhonsle, Shankar Mahadevan

Manirathnam, going by his previous records, deliberately ropes in few commercial elements in a very glamorous way,in all his films. September Madham is one such add-on for Alaipayuthey. While critics went overboard that this song was absolutely unneccessary and hampered the flow, Rahmaniacs had their field day! Though not Rahman's best, this song does strike to us because of the peppy tune, the presence of the legendary voice of Asha ji and Shankar and also the visuals. Asha Bhonsle, with her usual tamil accent proves her versatality even in south india, while Shankar is at his usual high energetic best. A good timepass number!

Kaadhal Sadugudu S.P.Charan, Naveen

Rahman's touch to this song is something "out-of-da-world". He has chosen the thespian SPB's son to do the honours and its a welcome change for this breezy romantic song. The guitars and the electric beats thumps up the heart and strikes like a gold. The interludes are kept short and more scope is towards the rendition. Vairamuthu's mushy-mushy lines sends a chill down the spines with goosebumps. I wish ARR could have shared the microphone and crooned some lines to this magical romantic number. Naveen's voice is heard clearly in the lines "Kadhal Sadugudukudu Kannai Thodu Thodu..". He beautifully underplays living all bright portions to S.P Charan. Romance at its peak!

Evano Oruvan Swarnalatha

Words cannot describe what Rahman does to this song! Its plain magic and only a gifted person like him can churn out compositions like this. The mood of the song touches the abyss level of tragedy, thanks to the exceptional rendition by Swarnalatha, who pours out the emotion like a goddess! After "Porale Ponnuthaayi.." this should be her BEST song for Rahman. The interludes are haunting to say the least with the lavishly used veena and flute instruments. Not to spark any controversy here, Harris just got inspired with the interludes of this song and created another great song "Venmathi.." for Minnalae. The inspirations this song produces cannot have any bounds and heaps! A highly preserved tear jerker!

Mangalyam Tantunanena Srinivas, Clinton Cerejo

A short piece with jolting effect is what can be best described about this song. No south indian traditional wedding will be complete without the chanting of this mantram. Rahman has given an altogether different dimension, not hampering the original tune, a bit for the first few lines. There lies his genius capablities and his proven track record (Vande Mataram!). And then,a simple magic spellbinds the listener when he brings his peppy upbeat "Endrendrum Punnaghai.." in a rather slow and melodious format. Srinivas is such a pleasure to the ears that you yearn for more and more from him. Clinton beautifully renders the slow version of "Endrendrum...". A great blend by the music messaiah!

Alaipayuthey Kanna Harini, Kalyani Menon, Neyveli Ramalaxmi

This carnatic keerthan is no new to the classical music followers. The keerthan dates back to 18th Century classical giant Venkatasubramanya Iyer (courtesy: Wikipedia) who composed in Raag "Kaanada"! Its really great to know that Rahman has paid a great tribute to the legend by maintaining the same sancity but with a tinge of Rahmanish beats! Classical queens Kalyani Menon and Neyveli Ramalaxmi join along with the extreemly talented Harini to mesmerise the audience with a divine romance. Its always a never ending pleasure to hear western classical mix by Rahman. He is just The KING!

Sneghithane Sneghithane Sadhana Sargam , Srinivas

Undoubtedly, my personal pick of the album since i keep the best at the last! What words can of mine can bring out my feeling for this song is yet to be discovered! Can romance get better than this is infact a million dollar question! Vairamuthu's lines, makes every lover in this earth, live his/her dreams!His marvel is shown soo significantly in this love anthem that the first charanam speaks about the things a girl needs her beloved to do for her, while the second charanam speaks what she can do to her beloved to keep him happy. A big salute to you Vairamuthu sir! Coming to Sadhana Sargam, she found her career to go all time high and reach the skies after her near flawless diction and inspiring rendition of this song. She became a household name even though she had mesmerised everyone in ARR's own "Vennilave Vennilave.." earlier.She displays her classical expertise with some very small tricky harqats in every line she delivers. Srinivas adds a perfect flavour to the already blossomed romance with his few lines. The picture perfect shoots of the song provides a visual treat to the cine goers. Unarguably,"Sneghithane.." stands tall as the perfect romantic song of the decade!!!!

The BGMs are even more haunting and they compete neck-to-neck with the soundtracks of the movie. The initial meeting scenes of Madhavan and Shalini, the sudden demise of Shalini's father, the tougher times of the relationships and finally the near fatal accident are some of the sequences which only Rahman could have churned out to such effects.! 3 cheers and huge hugs to the Guru of music and the Guru of the directors!!!

Huge thanks to Arvind Bro ..

` JY


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