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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Make use of the Genius properly, please....

AR.Rahman is on the news headlines again. There is every likelihood that we may see a mega combination of Rajini-Shankar-Rahman-AVM for the next mega budget 'Sivaji'. As has been proved earlier, Rahman / Shankar & Rahman / Rajini combinations were mostly hits (except the mediocre 'Baba'). It seems Shankar is already in Australia for a discussion with AR.Rahman, who is there as a part of his 3-Dimensional tour. So, I hope we can expect a big treat again, from this striking team.

But, is he going to come back with a big bang with some more quality movies? We knew that his next album 'Godfather' is likely to be released asap and he claimed to have signed for 'Jillendru Oru Kaathal' (with Surya and Jothika in the lead). The problem is that his striking songs are not well utilised sometimes. Eventhough his recent work for 'Ah Aah' had received good reviews (for his 'Maramkothiye..', 'Maiyilarage..', 'Anbe Aruyiraae..'), the film didn't get a positive review for its story line (eventhough it may run in the B.O. for the glamour)

In another related interview he had mentioned that some of his songs were not fully utilised in Hindi movies. If you take tamil movies, eventhough they are used 100%, they are fit into the wrong places sometimes. At times, I feel like getting cheated when his efforts are being wasted. I know that music alone cannot keep a movie afloat...but when I observe the efforts put are misused and a crap movie is utilising it, I pity for the music director.

Leaving apart the hits and super-hits, I was just looking into some average runs and craps which couldn't even stand up in the race - eventhough they had ARR's soothing numbers. Some of them were technically excellent as well, eventhough they didn't click in the B.O. due to weak screenplay. Let's run over them..

Uzhavan - Songs like 'Pennalla pennalla', 'Maarimazhai peyatho' didn't create the required magic for this movie of Prabhu & Banupriya. Incidentally, this was the first movie for Rambha, before she became a hit (!!) in 'Ullathai alli thaa'.

May madham - Directed by Balu (Mani's asst) the songs 'En Mel Vizuntha..' , 'Maargazhi poove..' were super hits at that time (even now). The movie which resembled Mani's earlier works, didn't click due to the same reason.

Vandi Solai Chinnarasu - Whenever I discuss with my brother on the misuse of ARR's music, this film comes on the top. This Satyaraj-Suganya starrer was such a big failure, eventhough certain nice numbers were there like 'Sugam Sugam..', 'Senthamizh Naatu..', 'Chithari Nilavu.'

Duet - KB's efforts to bring Meenakshi Seshadri into tamil tinsel town failed in this movie, eventhough ARR's combination with 'Sax' Kadri Gopalnath yielded some soothing numbers like 'Mettu Podu..', 'Anjali Anjali..', 'En Kaadhale..', 'Vennilavin Theril Yeri..'

Pavithra - This average Ajith starrer had some nice numbers like 'Sevvanam Chinna Penn..', 'Uyirum Niyae' which didn't add the required pull for the movie.

Puthiya Mannargal - The only Vikraman-ARR combo had this hit song 'Nee kattum selai..' eventhough the movie didn't click like the regular Vikraman-SA.Rajkumar combo(!!)

Indira - This technically excellent movie directed by Suhasini, failed in the B.O. due to its screenplay identical to Mani's ventures - eventhough the numbers 'Nila Kaikiradhu..' and 'Thoda Thoda malaranthathenna..' were super hits of the time.

Jodi - This Prasanth movie which came after 'Jeans' was heavily dependent on ARR's music, since the story / screenplay were not made as the crowd pullers by its director Pravinkanth. Eventhough ARR composed the original music for the hindi version of 'Kadhalukku Mariyadhai' (in which Jothika was the lead), he converted them for Tamil which ultimately became hits.. some of them are like 'Velli Malare..', 'Kadhal kaditham..', 'Kai thatti thatti azhaithaalee..'

Taj Mahal - Eventhough 'Chotta Chotta nanaiyuthu..' was such a nice number, it didn't help Bharathiraja to push up his son into the recognisable stardom.

En Swaasa Katre - A miserable movie from which I expected a lot, had Arvindsamy & Isha Gopikar in the lead. This had so many excellent songs like 'Theendai ..' (with some beautiful locations), 'Kaathal Nayagara..' (which was later used for a Prabudeva / Madhuri dixit hindi song), 'En swasa katre...', 'Thirakaatha kattukkule..' (an awesome forest location).

Alli Arjuna - Once again Manoj failed inspite of ARR's numbers. Saran-ARR combo also didn't work out well here. However, most of the songs in this movies were rehashed out of his Hindi composing... like 'Endhan Nenjil..' 'Solvayo Solaikili..'

Sangamam - Just because actor Rahuman is his co-brother, ARR would have agreed to do this movie - which was a ulta of Sivaji's 'thillana mohanambal'. However the hit numbers like 'Varaga Nathi karai..' (which made Shankar Mahadevan, a hit in the tamil industry), 'Margazhi thingal..' 'Sowgiyama..' didn't fit into this ordinary movie.

Kaathal Virus - Kathir wanted to prove that his excellent combo with ARR will succeed without fail - following the hits of 'Kathal Desam' and 'Kathalar thinam'. Inspite of the numbers liks 'Vaan Nila..', 'Baila More..', 'Sonnalum..' the movie didn't create magic in the industry.

Star - Another crap from Pravinkanth (following 'Jodi') with Prasanth/Jothika in the lead, failed misreably. The numbers which ARR composed like 'Rasika Rasika..', 'Maccha Machiniyee..', 'Nenthukittaen..' couldn't gather the required support for the director.

Udhaya - The movie directed by Azhagam Perumal was in the can for a long time, which proved disastrous for the success. The story became very stale when it was released. 'Thiruvalikeni Rani..' was the hit song of the movie, which enticed the TV crowd but not to the theatres.

Paarthale Paravasam - Another KB-ARR failed venture. (inspite of Madhavan-Simran-Sneha presence) Some of the hits of this movie were 'Nee thaane en desiya geetham..' (shot in middle east), 'Azage sugama..', 'Naadir thina..' which couldn't help much for the movie's screenplay (which was incidentally KB's milestone movie).

Kangalal Kaithu Sei - Bharathiraja failed badly in this thriller inspite of having some nice numbers from ARR like 'Azhagiya Cindrella..' , 'Aaha Tamilamma..', and 'Anarkali..'

Stand alone, most of the above songs were wonderful to hear.. but when they come out in a movie which doesn't earn a good name for its other weaknesses, the efforts become futile.

I agree that, that some combinations don't work out as expected, which the Music director or other technician may realise only later on (like Linguswami realised after his failure with Ajith's 'Ji' evnethough both were capable of delivering good ones).Still I would like ARR's films to have a decent run in the B.O.

I don't want to feel once again as to 'Why ARR has wasted his efforts for a crap like 'Ah Aah?'

Another Post on ARR
Show your Magical want again... in Tamil
188th post


Blogger Balaji said...

as usual great list ram. u r right in saying that its painful to c great songs being wasted in bad movies and the pain is doubled when the picturization is bad too.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 6:12:00 PM  
Blogger Vidya said...

i don't watch many tamil movies cause i do not get a chance, but i completely agree when u say that good music in bad movies is such a total waste...looking forward to some good music in the new AVM production. Cheers :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cogito said...

This is something common to lots of MD's.In fact ARR shud be happy that his ratio of hit movies is higher than others.

ARR has spread his wings too far (Tamil/Hindi/International/Theatre)and his slow style of composing doesn't help either.

Btw, Star had songs from ARR's Hindi creations -- Thakshak & 1947 Earth.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 9:33:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Balaji.. agree with you abt the picturization part.

Vidya.. I am looking forward to many more from ARR after this AVM project

Cogito.. Yes, it is the same fate to other MDs as well. I agree. I have seen several movies with goods songs going into the drains without notice. Thx for sharing the info on hindi songs adoption for 'Star'.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger vee-jay said...

Ram, naan vera enna solla poraen - Wonderful compilation!!! And yes, hope his music is not wasted on a badly made movie or badly picturised song. really hurts to watch beautiful melodies picturised in the most inappropriate ways.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...


most of the films you have identified are earlier movies. I guess over a period of time ARR has become selective about the directors and actors and such instances are becoming rare (except for KKS in recent time) these days.

it is sad to see good songs not getting noticed as they happen to be in bad movies. i think all music directors face this kind of a problem.

Friday, September 16, 2005 12:02:00 AM  
Anonymous kavitha said...

Well compiled list as usual.

Somehow I never felt the success of the movie has anything to do with the music's success as far as ARR is concerned. I have bought casseettes/cds of most of these films just for listening to the music.
Of course if the picturisation of the song in the movie is good then the impact is more.

Friday, September 16, 2005 12:58:00 AM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

IMHO, Deva is best suited for a Super Star movie.. esp. the intro song in Rajini movie wd set the tempo.

"oruvan oruvan mudhalaali.." can never come anywhere near "naan autokaaran autokaaran..." or "vandhendaa paalkaaran..." though ARR wd have wielded his magic in "en peru padayappa.."

a good compilation Ram.

Friday, September 16, 2005 1:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

VJ :-) I agree.

Kaps.. agree with your views. Of late, he is very choosy with directors / scripts / actors which has added some value to his albums.

kavitha.. Sometimes, ordinary movies also ride on good music and make it big. It has reduced a lot nowadays, compared to yesteryears when some dud movies used to run for many months just because of IR's music.

Friday, September 16, 2005 1:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Chakra.. I am confident that Shankar will be able to extract what he needs from ARR.

Friday, September 16, 2005 1:37:00 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

Rahman himself has said whenever he was disappointed with good music not reaching people, he reuses it.
Karuthamma song was reused in VandeMataram.
The funny part is 'Baba, kichu kichu tha', was reused in Hindi movie Swades, which was again dubbed in Tamil and again reused. So effectly, there are 2 songs in tamil with the same tune and different words.

Friday, September 16, 2005 4:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cogito said...


Sheer coincidence.Here is ARR on your topic ! Here is an excerpt from ARR's interview dated 14th sept,2005 :

" A.R. Rahman thinks he has been making too many concessions with the way his songs are treated in films and says
Bollywood needs to be proud of its music again.

"I''ve been making too many sacrifices, especially with the way my songs were used. I think Hindi films need to become proud of songs and music again," Rehman told IANS in an interview.

He also brushes aside the charge of being repetitive, saying he has simply done a few too many period films. While Rehman wants to return to the format of musicals, he is also keen on composing for a string of Hindi films.

"It''s better to be burnt out than fade away," he said.

Friday, September 16, 2005 8:00:00 AM  
Blogger Aatma said...

Nice article Ram, I think he works with Suryah, because Suryah lets him to experiment. ARR has told before that many directors restrict him because they think it will work.

Yeah lets hope Sivaji has some great music - but i doubt it - because of restrictions.

Friday, September 16, 2005 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ramana Siddharth said...

very true ram.some sublime arr songs have been badly used/picturised.i still remember the song yen mel vilunde from may madham was cut when the film was screened in theatres.even the song sentamilnatu which was a great melody was spoilt by atrocious lyrics and picturisation.u have mentioned so many arr numbers..it was like a trip down memmory lane..back 2d 90s..what a rage!music by arr was like insurance.

ram as for ah aah..i dont know why everybody is so critical of sj suryah.he is the indian jim carey.if we find movies like liar liar or american pie aceptable y create such a fuss abt suryah's films?btw rehman singing "nengal illamal nan inge ilai" was lovely..it was almost as if he was addressing us the tamil music fans,who have made him what he is.

Friday, September 16, 2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Raju said...

Superb and complete post on this subject, Ram. Whenever I listen to his songs, this matter always comes to my mind. Long ago, ARR said in an interview that, only three directors are good at beautifully picturizing his songs: Maniratnam, Shankar and Rajiv Menon. He was spot-on. You can still find that, the best music director/playback singers/ lyricist award in Tamil usually goes to the movies directed by these three.

Much worse in Hindi. Almost no one is good, notable exceptions being Ashutosh (only Lagaan) and Varma (only Rangeela).

Friday, September 16, 2005 1:49:00 PM  
Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Very nice post, with a lot of amazing stats, typical RAM style.

This goes well to say, that movies which do well, should be a combination of all aspects.

I was amazed at the tunes of the movie 'kangalal Kaidhu sei' and I thought B.Raja would have done a superb job.! Alas , it was totally contrary to my expectations.!!

MHO, Rahman hasn't given a super hit in a while now. IMHO, Ah..Aah..is not that great.!

Let's hope Rajini/Shankar/Rahman/AVM combo wins.!!

Friday, September 16, 2005 3:33:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

TJ.. U r right. I listened to 'Desam' songs and was laughing at the lyrics of the recycled song, since we were used to 'baba' song earlier. I have observed that most of the time, he recycles the songs only if those movies didn't go very well with the audience.


Thanks for your efforts & putting up the comments again. But, I believe you didn't notice the link which i had provided in the third para starting "In another related interview he had mentioned ...". This is the same interview which you had mentioned. Once again, thanks for it.

Friday, September 16, 2005 3:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Aatma, it is possible that what you are saying is true. Nowadays, he works with directors who gives absolute freedom to him and can wait. The only problem is that I would prefer SJ.Suryah to use it to the full extent.

Siddharth.. I didn't know that the song was cut in 'May Maadham' because I remember seeing it in bits and pieces. As far as SJ.S is concerned, you have perfectly matched him with Jim Carry. But, the problem with Jim Carrey style of acting is that you will get only limited audience. You can watch that kind of movies once or twice. Not repeatedly.

Yesterday when I watched the review in Sun TV, I found that he is loud throated in most of the sequences. And exactly resembled 'New' sequenes. So, after a while it will be boring unless he shows varieties. Hope he does better in 'Kalvanin Kadhali'.

As far as picturisation is concerned, I didn't like the graphical presentation of 'Marankothiye..' song. Some sequences were good .. but not all. The same way for 'Mayilerage..'. He looked like an Eunuch in it and many of my friends too voiced the same view. So, why does he need it? He could have stick with direction alone you know, where he is definitely good.

Honestly speaking for the comedy and other sequeneces in this movie, I would have watched it if it is with other heroes rather than SJ.S himself.

Friday, September 16, 2005 3:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

GP.. U r right about the directors. KS.Ravikumar is another director who utilised him commercially in his ventures like 'Muthu' 'Thenali' and 'Padiyappa'. That's why I expect a lot out of 'Godfather'. In hindi, you can count on Subash Ghai who waits for long time to get the output from ARR and presents it in a decent package.

mr.Narayanan.. I agree 100% that the movie should have all the ingredients perfectly to attract the mass. (like a well cooked 'Sambhar'). I realised that Bharathiraja has goofed up with the screenplay in his 'KKS'. However, I believe Shankar is good in packagaing ARR's outputs nicely. So, hope to see a better result frm this combo - without much expectation.

Friday, September 16, 2005 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Prabu Karthik said...


I think ARR should be genuinely happy for the kind of team he has worked with so far in all these 13 years.

You are talking about effort going as waste bcos of the time he takes to make one movie.

You would realise that many of IR's music would not have seen the light of the day at all, leave alone hits or flops...

idhellam unavoidable...nothing much can be done....

selective na maybe he should restrict himslef to working with Mani, Rajiv Menon and to some extent Shankar.

Friday, September 16, 2005 8:59:00 PM  
Blogger Vinesh said...

It's a pity that the visuals are becoming increasingly important in determining the success of an audio album!

Excellent list buddy! :-)

Saturday, September 17, 2005 3:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...


Being a selective guy, who does only less no. of projects every year unlike some other guys, I would like the users to make use of him to full extent. That's my wish.

Vinesh.. I too agree. :-) :-)

Saturday, September 17, 2005 3:45:00 AM  
Blogger Vidya said...

hey ram, i just heard that ARR is coming to Singapore on the 23rd:-)

Saturday, September 17, 2005 4:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

yes.. Vidya. He is presenting his show (part of his 3 dimensional tour) on 24th Sep (next Saturday). Bought the tickets already...

This post of mine is a curtain raiser, for my next report on the show.


Saturday, September 17, 2005 5:14:00 AM  
Blogger Vidya said...

neat so i guess i shall see u at the show :-)

Saturday, September 17, 2005 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Arvind said...


Very astute observations. As someone had already pointed out, Jodi, Star were all his same tunes adopted to tamil.

However, your aadangham of not seeing such good tunes turn into good picturisation/movies is very valid.

There were days, where i would watch any ARR movie - just to listen to the songs. But nowadays -it feels like a deflated balloon - so just listen to the songs and dont watch the movie :-)

Saturday, September 17, 2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Vidya.... Seeing me there??? :-? :-?

Arvind.. Same case here. Those days, I used to watch his movies irrespective of the quality of the movie. but now, it has changed.. For you to note surprisingly, I have not watched 'Baba' yet...!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005 4:53:00 PM  
Blogger keerthi said...

i have not seen a single visual of Swades.. yet All songs run as my favourite. I agree Rahman's tunes are very very difficult to express on screens. Shankar does it best. No body could have done justification for "Azhagana Ratchasiye", other than Shankar..(though i hate Shankar for various reasons). What could KS Ravikumar do to "Pachchai Nirame" song.... Rahman needs a crew, just like how YSR sticks to a crew always.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 2:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Keerthi.. I agree with you that only certain combinations work out very well. The problem here is that those key players deliver movies within a long interval. So, just to occupy himself ARR is doing some more expecting that they may as well click. sometimes, those movies don't impress the mass.

expectations fail like this unexpectedly....

Sunday, September 18, 2005 6:08:00 AM  
Blogger caleb said...

excellent write up ram!
i've always been a little upset that puthiya mugam's 'July maatham vanthal' with guitar prasanna's amazing leads never got the attention it deserved. So we shouldnt be too surprised ARR would rather work the english market.

Gosh, how much are you shelling out for ARR's show?! expecting a write up with pics after the show... :)

Sunday, September 18, 2005 8:10:00 AM  
Blogger Arvind said...

me neither :-D Baba i heard it once thats all - have not gone back to it yet again :-D

Sunday, September 18, 2005 8:41:00 AM  
Blogger Aatma said...

It is true Ram, Heard it in a recent interview, that directors are requesting for fast songs because they seem to be the trend, and he wants to work on melodious one.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Caleb.. I didn't include 'Puthiya mugam' songs since it got some recognition and was not badly made.

I'm not sure if we will be allowed to take pictures during the show. Last time for Bharartwaj show, we were restricted from taking the camera inside (even water bottles). The reason conveyed to us was that, sometimes people throw the heavy stuff on the artistes when they are out of control!!!

Arvind.. :-)

Aatma.. agree. :-)

Sunday, September 18, 2005 3:17:00 PM  
Blogger ranganathan said...

i am surprised of 'rhythm' not included as a part of your discussion.......

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 4:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Ranga.. welcome back after the break. I didn't consider 'Rhythm' as a dud movie. Out of Vasanth's movie, I would rate this as the next best after 'Keladi Kanmani' (his movies cannot even come up).

And the songs were nicely picturised and placed in the movie.. especially that 'katre nee engu irunthai...' with Arjun & Jothika in Rajasthan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 5:42:00 AM  
Blogger Slice Of Life said...

i agree
it has happened with music directors
what to do...even in hindi...kisna and swades songs went unnoticed...after ARR went westward ..yet to comeback with a bang...mangal pandey too was disappoinmnt


Tuesday, September 20, 2005 7:58:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

hi UMA..welcome. I agree with you that Mangal Pandey was a big disappt. But I believe the Lagaan hangover is still left over in the audience mind, making them to compare this and that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger Saravana Kumar said...

In Shankar's Shivaji, we have confluence of great geniuses, Rajini,
ARR and shankar himself. sure we can expect a great movie, they should realize this kind of combination is difficult to form and make use of the bond.

Ram even the previous ARR composition with SJ surya was a crap ... I dont know why ARR works with such crap people ane why do we leave ppl like SJ surya in the market.

Friday, September 23, 2005 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...


I do hope that the new great combo works out well. Reg. SJ.S it is beyond our hands.. As far as he has the stuff he will stay..otherwise, he may go out asap like Director Kathir.

Saturday, September 24, 2005 1:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doctor Bruno said...

"Ram even the previous ARR composition with SJ surya was a crap ..."

I think I have to disagree... The song "kalaiyil thinaumum" was being the most "asked" songs in FM radios and all "phone-in" programs in 2004..... Also ask any one to sing "thotal poo malarum" and every one sings to "NEW" tune ..... See "pattuku pattu" and you can know

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doctor Bruno said...

About Sangamam, though the movie was not a hit, it was not a failure or flop. I don't think that the songs were not picturised well......

The problem with the movie was that the main story line was suited for the 70s (about two decades earlier)

you have missed The song "muthal murai killi parthaen"

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Dr.Bruno.. if you had noticed, I have not agreed to that point of SK. I agree with you that the songs were fantastic in 'New'. Except the song of Kiran (the controversial 'margendeya..') which we didn't see luckily, all others were shot nicely.

I go with you on that song 'Muthal murai..'. It was a soft melody hit. The movie might have run in the B&C centres to some extent. I agree.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 2:58:00 PM  
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