Friday, December 16, 2005

I tend to listen to music as loud as possible, especially ARR's because I can then listen to the little treats he throws in. I was forced to listen to his music on my headphones because of the fact that I was listening to 'Hai Rama' at the highest volume that my laptop will allow, at 2 am on a weekday. I figured that neither my roomies nor my neighbors would really appreciate it as much as I always do when it comes to ARR. Not only did I get the little treats he threw in there, I also was gobsmacked at how different and how much more there is to the same song when listened to on the headphones. The first song I listened to (after Hai Rama!) was Anthimanthaarai's instrumental. I always thought that ARR excelled at instrumentals/themes, but you have to listen to this piece on your headphones to realise how beautifully he mixes his music. I could hear the flute on one headpiece and the violins on the other. When I pulled away and covered one headpiece I could hear only the flute being played, and when I pulled away the other all I could hear was the violin. Oh well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Listening to Narumugaye is always a treat, but listening to it on the headphones, is another experience. The chalangai sound moves from one side to the other giving you this circular feeling. Out of reach in one ear and into another. Is it just my imagination or can everybody else also hear the breathing in the beginning of the song? I've listened to Snehidane, I don't know how many times, but on the headphones, I got not only certain nuances I had missed before but also the same ARR-chalangai effect. Anbe Aaruyire had this secondary singing effect in the chorus. I tried hard to get whether the second voice was also ARR's but am still unsure. Even his No Problem has some of those switching sides deals. I've listened to RDB several times at work on the headphones, and noticed some of these effects in Khalbali, and why not? I think its the one song I've listened to over and over again, and still find something new, something minute. The Zarra Zarra... part moves from one side to the other, I think this however is something that's present in all ARR songs. Maramkothiye has more than a little bit of the switchin' sides deal. I have this feeling that I'm going to be listening to all of his songs again to see whether he does this to all his songs or just a few. I know that the mrindangam sound has been split in Minsara Poove. Even in Anbe Ithu... piano notes can be heard only in one earpiece. These are only to name a few. I'm very excited, this is like listening to ARR all over again, the experience listening to his music as it it were a new piece. Only it's a old well-loved piece.

On a more negative note, I actually got to watch the videos of Ah Aah..Anbe Aaruyire. I did not get to see the movie so I don't know the context of the songs. Was the title song supposed to be a joke? If it wasn't then I want to kill SJ Suryah for killing the song. The biggest letdown was Mayilirage. OH MY GOD?! We need to take lessons from SJ Suryah on how to kill a song totally by way of picturisation. One of the most beautiful songs of the movie and all I could see is this kinda pretty unknown actress' bloated stomach dancing on screen. Oh wait, I also saw some very unimaginative 'dancing'. Can it even be called that? It's almost sacrilegous!!! There's gotta be a law against such work! Why does ARR still make music for this guy?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Rang De Basanti

Oh...My...God!!! Seriously, I know I'm biased and all that, but I really wasn't expecting this one to be as mind-blowing as it obviously is. When I heard parts of the title track and Paathshaala, I wasn't too impressed, but I chalked it down to the "repeated listening - then liking" syndrome that Vijay referred to in his comment to my last post. I did eventually start liking and then got hooked on both of the tracks in a couple of days. After having listened to all the songs more than a few times, I'd say this lot reeks of ARR from a while back. There are some of his melodious pieces too, even Kaadhalan had Ennavale, and Kaadhal Desam had Ennai Kaavilaye. But it was the wilder numbers that stood out and made the youth of the nation stand up and take notice of him. But it's been a while since ARR did anything that sounded young and just plain fun in Hindi. The inclusion of Paathshala and given the amount of publicity that that one song is getting should do wonders for the lack of a hit for him. Well, atleast I hope it does.

The title track starts off very well..Daler, the King of Bhangra, does full justice to yet another bhangra number. Chitra was barely used at all. There could have been some more of her singing in the song. This song is one of those no win songs. It's a let down in that ARR didn't do anything new here. But if he had done something there'd be this big hue and cry about how he messed with bhangra . It wouldn't be bhangra anymore, would it then? Oh well, I remember him saying something about how the North is bored with the steady diet of bhangra it's being fed. Why this song then? I agreed with him. While the song was definitely an enjoyable and a good piece, I feel he sold himself short for a hit, something he hasn't had since what Saathiya? or was it Yuva? To which I would say, his music is awesome and mind-blowing without him having to resort to what everybody else is doing right now. Didn't we all start liking his music because he was making music that was vastly different from those who came before him and his peers? Besides the beginning seemed familiar, and with good reason. Paarthale Paravasam's Moonrezhuthu has the same tune to it. Oh well, it fits and it sounds good, what more can a person ask for?

Moving on, I loved the way Roobaroo started out and liked it even better when ARR starts out with the title of the song. Very non-hindi filmi. Or maybe it's just that I've been out of touch with most Hindi movies and their songs since the Salaam Namaste fiasco. Naresh Iyer sounds like he'd fit right in a pop song. Having heard him doing some heavy duty singing in Ah Aah (Mayilirage)...makes me think he's a very versatile singer. There are, however, some parts where he doesn't quite sound right, or where I can't appreciate his singing. The seconds in some parts remind me of Simon and Garfunkel. Very likable song.

Khoon Chala - Beautiful song. Everything in this song lends itself to prefection. I think this song depends on picturisation for it to be something big though. I hope Aamir obliges.

My abso fav initially - which totally rocked my socks off was Paathshaala. Granted I had some more exposure to the growing effect, but man this song just rocks. The lyrics had me smiling despite the way my body was swaying to the music. Loved it, loved it, loved it!! Was Aamir a part of the song? As in did he sing? Esp. the apni to paathshaala, masti ki paathshaala part. I read some other review where someone said that the song reminded them of a Michael Jackson number. I can see where that came from, theres a part where the electric guitar(?) is strummed on. I think I vaguely rememeber an MJ song that had it in one part. I don't know if it was lift or not. I'm thinking not, as nothing else in the song reminds me of any MJ song. Anyways, the song rocks (even though its not a rock song). I wonder how ARR would deal with an out-and-out rock number. Now that's a thought that's I'd really like to see materialised!

Paathshaala - Be a Rebel is pretty much the same with Blaaze rappin' it up. He always does a good job. I think he wrote the lyrics for this one. I liked the Zinda-bad Zinda-good part. It was cute. I'm fairly sure he wouldn't appreciate his lyrics being termed as 'cute'. What can I say, it was cute-funny. The song was neat.

I liked the way Khalbali opened. Hone hone de nasha, khone khone ko hai kya, ek saas main pi ja, zara zindagi chada.... I really liked this part. Didn't like the Ziddi parts in the songs. This one grew on me. Really liked it after the 6th or 7th time I heard it. Kinda tecnho, there's so much happening. Now that's something to expect in an ARR piece. Tecnho+arabic+some string instrument in some parts+ARR singing(albeit with accent issues) = one awesome piece. My current fav of the album! It's been exactly 10 years since his last Arabesque song was released, and he doesn't disappoint.

My first impression of Lukka Chupi - starts out great. A tad too long but still not bad at all. Would call it pretty darn good. ARR still doesn't seem to have his Hindi accent down pat. Kya bataVun maa kahan hooon main. Kya main vudnen...It's surprising how ARR sounds so different in each song. Sounds very nasal in Lukka chupi. Did he have a mild cold when he recorded the song? I think if he'd been singing the song in Tamil he'd have done a way better job. I think he was too busy concentrating on the pronunciation of the words that he couldn't quite figure the feeling into his singing. I didn't particularly like the sound of the harmonium in the background but it's growing on me too. I think he did great in Kannalane with the use of the harmonium, but I didn't think it really fit in here. Despite that, the song is very likable. His rendition towards the end was awesome.

All the slow numbers are vintage ARR. Tu bin bataye was great, just didn't like the way Madhushree draaags on parts. Tu bin Bataaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaye, mujhe leeeeeeeeeeeee chal kahin, jahan tu muskuraaaaaaaaaye meri mannnnnnzil wahin. Meeeeeeeeeethi lage.... and so on and so forth. Beautiful, beautiful number though. I usually think of the sax as something that's played at the dentists and on phones when they put you on hold. I loved the way ARR's used it here. I also think Sonu Nigam would have been a better choice with the male singer. The church bells are a nice touch too. I know he tends to do this with a new find...overuse him/her. He sure did that with Naresh Iyer in this movie. He could have used some other singers as well, is what I think.

Lalkaar cannot really be judged as a song. It's more like poetry being recited to a background of humming and some singing. Ek Onkar is similar is that it is a short prayer (?). It's not really a song. It's a beautiful prayer.

Overall, I'd say he refrained from using his favs: Udit Narayan, Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam. Given that there's just one female in the movie: Soha Ali Khan, I'm guessing there wasn't a call for many female singers. He did use a couple of his regulars: Madhushree and Chitra rather well. Normally he sings one song in his films, I'm surprised that he allowed himself 3 this time around. Hey! I'm not complaining, I think he should do it more. He has a very different voice, it goes hand-in-hand with his different style when it comes to music. I really enjoyed it in Khalbali.

One thing I can say about the sucess of the music is that ARR has played around quite a bit, experimented some. Expectations that rise when seeing the A R Rahman name on a film, might be dashed because most people who are not really acquainted with ARR will not think to listen to the music more than once. I don't see very many people being able to appreciate this album. I think people's tastes lie in different areas that even when they are aware that a song is a copy (and a bad one at that) they will continue to listen to it and extoll the MD for his work. This has been my experience.

These are my views. I tend to be critical of anything and everyone. Bottomlin: I really liked the songs in this movie. Only ARR could possibly render a set of songs that are all almost flawless in and of themselves. I would say that the music of Lagaan was perfect. I would also say that this movie's is not perfect, but is close. Looking forward to his other work with bated breath.

The picture is courtesy of arrahmanfans · Fans of A. R. Rahman. Some of the fans (you lucky lucky ppl) were able to see ARR at the audio release of RDB at Planet M in Mumbai recently. This was one of the pics shared by them.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Don't you find Rahman's music repititive?

Do you? Well if you do, you're not listening to his music properly. How come you don't find remixes repititive, or stale. How is it that the same old bhangra beats of the Salaam Namastes and the Duses of Bollywood don't bore you out of your mind? Haven't you had enough of that same old pop-bhangra sound? Remixes are by far one of the most boring pieces of music I have encountered in recent times. With the exception of Instant Karma ( who sometimes make the original sound less robust), I don't care too much for remixed music. What I do see are scantily clad women with paw marks (which in itself is not original) on body parts, and butt-squeezing, that lil kids in India are watching even though it should not be allowed. I wonder how the censor board doesn't catch this stuff, but comes down hard on Shekhar Kapur?

Sure, you can tell that it's an ARR number almost right off. That's due to his style. I mean, I can tell it's a Nickelback, or a Nirvana song as soon as I hear the opening notes. Does that mean that they're repititive? Everybody has a certain style. ARR has a very distinctive one, and his music has so much variety. Okay, the reason he himself gave to his sounding 'repititive' was that he'd been doing so many period films off late. Well lets take a look at them period movies. Besides the fact that they were all productions in Hindi following the wildly successful period-pioneer: Lagaan, I don't see anything similar in their music. Also Meenaxi was completely written off. I had to look up the internet to even find out when it was released. I also listened to Chinnamma Chilakkamma because ARR obviously thinks( and I wholeheartedly agree) that the song is good enough to play in his live concerts. Reena Bharadwaj in Yeh Rishta was...I can't think of any other word it, stupendous. The sheer beauty of that song....leaves me 'word'less. I loved the Bicycle Song too.

I digress..I'm really good at that!

The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey (2005) ... aka Mangal Pandey (India: Hindi title)
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005)
Kisna: The Warrior Poet (2005)

I think the above stated movies released in quick succession within the same year, have led to this misconception that ARR is getting stale. To begin with, he only did a couple of songs and three instrumentals in Kisna. Both the songs were beautiful in themselves. The piano-flute duet had me wanting to look up the internet for it's sheet music. The best part, is that I don't have a clue how to read the notes and make any sense of it. But I want to learn how to play that piece. And come hell or high water, I'm going to learn it. Incidently, I saw a really bad quality version of the movie, devoid of any of the songs, and thought that the movie stank up to high heaven. Well, after Company, lets just say Oberoi's ratings slipped after I saw that one. I don't think he did a great job in Saathiya or Yuva. He hasn't got what it takes I guess. Just not a Maddy. Oh wait, not a Maddy in Alaipayuthe. Didn't really like him in anything else since. Siddharth did a much better job than Oberoi did in AE.

Before I go on to extol Ghai's work ( being sarcastic here), Bose's music was wonderful. I didn't see any similarities between any of his songs and any others in Mangal Pandey or Kisna. From his Aazaadi, to all the instrumentals and the Des ki mittis. I thought it was very novel. I' m just waiting for when I make my annual visit back home so I can buy the CD. Even to my partially untrained ears, they seems to stand out. Mangal come on! None of the songs in this movie are even vaguely similar to any of the songs in the aforementioned movies!

I don't know if other people feel the same way, but I've always found that some of ARR's music does not appeal to me the first time I listen to it. Examples? Believe me or not, I didn't like Chaiyya Chaiyya when I first heard it. Thanks to the Ethi van driver, I was addicted to it soon enough. Anbe Aaruyire didn't strike me as great until I listened to it for the 3rd or 4th time and then...I was hooked, and still am. There are plenty more of these.

He's coming to the USA early next year. I'm hoping and praying that he comes down to Houston too. It would be great to listen to him live. I was in Chennai when he had his concert there, but given that it was at night and I wasn't going to get the permission to go, I never even tried. I was of course glued to the telly when they aired it.

There are some other people out there who don't consider him to be as great as others. The title of this blog is 'True Blue Rahmanaic'. It's obvious from the very title that it's going to primarily consist of my feelings about ARR. If I felt that someone else was great, I'd have named it accordingly. Attempting to convince me of someone else being better when he/she has blatently lifted tunes just won't wash with me. You may be a music pundit and I won't accept it. I be that way.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I practically grew up on ARR. Well ,close to it anyways. You have to admit that he was more than just a breathe of fresh air. He revolutionized the whole Tamil film music industry and then went on to do the same with Bollywood. While we're discussing this....why would they call it Bollywood? For that matter why is there a Kollywood or a Tollywood?? That is just so asinine. Be original! It amazes me how they change the names of cities in India because they were anglicized, yet the name of our film industries are an obvious lift off tinsel town aka Hollywood?

Why is it so hard for Indians as a rule to be original? I think I mentioned this in my last post too. This applies most directly to Indian film music. There are plenty of copycat music directors in India. The first person whose name leaps into my mind when I think the word copycat is Anu Malik. Man, that guy lifts tunes like nobody's business. It amazes me that he still has offers to make music for movies. Especially when this is the internet age where information is never hard to find. As I've mentioned before it was only because of Patti that I listened to all of ARR's music and realised the absolute genius that is this man. I've always been a big RD fan. Loved his music. My all time fav was 'Chura Liya'. I did know that he was a bit of a copycat from the 'Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin' where he ripped off ABBA with his 'Mil gaya..' But I figured that he was still pretty awesome. Little did I know that even my fav was a copy. All of his and other music directors' copycat info I found on I was surprised to see that Anu Mallik only had 55 copies. More surprising was that RD wasn't far behind at 37. I mean not all of them were total rip offs, there were a few which were inspired, not outright copies.

The Webmaster of the site, a Mr. Karthik (Thx for enlightening me suh!) has also entered the following text on the main page in case you jump to your fav MD's copy page and wonder what the
TC is next to most of the songs is.

Another key aspect is the difference between getting inspired to create the tune itself and using bass/ beats/ rythm loops from foreign sources. Those songs listed which have their basic tunes inspired would have a prominent TC mark adjacent to them to denote a tune copy. Those without the TC mark signify use of rythm loops, beats/ bass and so on. One cannot judge the intentions of the composer in both cases but yes, when a composer copies a tune, its generally assumed that his imagination is dry! This, notwithstanding the kind of excuses they give - "the producer came to me with the CD and said use this" and so on.

Look up ARR's page. None of his songs have a TC next to any of the songs. He might have been inspired by the original, mostly only the background beats, but his tunes are always original. I remember telling another person who proclaimed that RD was a better MD than ARR and when I pointed out the fact that he(RD) had lifted a total of 37 songs, he(my friend, also part of the Patti ilk) actually told me that they were just 37 right? What's the big deal? I was astounded at this. How can they be so blind?? How can they not see and realise that ARR is one of the very best. Originality and excellence in one person. Talking about originality, I checked out his imdb page. He has some 25 odd projects that he's working on or will be released by the end of 2006. I don't know how original his work would be if he had so many projects going at the very same time. I hope he keeps his mind-blowing original music goin.

There was Ismail Darbar running ARR down, saying he's way more talented than ARR. Believe me, before I read this interview, I had no clue who this guy was. The interview came out on ( Check this one out.

Ai ajnabee [Deewangi (2002)]
Composer: Ismail Darbar
Lifted from Portugese 'Fado' singer, Dulce Pontes' song, 'Cancao do mar'!
Listen to Ai Ajnabee Cancao Do Mar
Two interesting things to note here....'Cancao do mar' was part of the soundtrack of 'Primal fear' from whose plot Deewangi has been inspired. And second, 'cancao do mar' has already been lifted as-is in Tamil, for the movie Kushi, with music by Deva! This is probably Ismail Darbar's first blatant lift...I can almost see Director Anees Bazmee and Producer Nitin Manmohan compelling Ismail to lift this number...but you never know...!Also listen to the Tamil version Oh Vennila [Kushi]

He's come out with music for what.. 7 movies? Very original. Keep it up Darbar. He insists that Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was better than Taal and Devdas was better than Saathiya. HA! His infamous Nimbuda Nimbuda was also a lift. Makes me wanna break out in one of those over exaggerated villain laughs.

Nimbuda Nimbuda [Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)]
Composer: Ismail Darbar
Inspired by Ghazni Khan Manganiyar's Rajasthani Folk song, 'Nimbuda'
Listen to Nimbuda [Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam] Nimbuda [Original]
If you'd like to listen to the full version of the folk song, click here (check out 'Nimbuda Nimbuda'!) Take a look at these 2 (out of many other sites) sites that talk of this song being a lift from a Rajasthani Manganiyar folk song!Diverse Strains Sunday Tribune I completely agree with Shuba Mudgal (who has penned the write-up in Diverse Strains) when she asks, "If we can listen to a folk song in a blockbuster movie, why can we not give an occasional patient hearing to the original?" Ismail Darbar had a wonderful chance to handle this in the right way, but I wonder why he messed it up and ended with a 'plagiarist' tag - that too in his much-celebrated debut. All he had to do was to add a note of credit to the original composer of the song, Rajasthani folk singer Ghazni Khan Manganiyar, so that people can differentiate between the original and the Bollywood version - when you listen to the two you'd understand the kind of work that Ismail has put in, in his version and made a simple, 'otherwise-restricted-to-a-few-discerning-listeners' track into an ultra-catchy dance number! Its a pity that decided to pass it as his original composition.

Plagiarism at its best. Oh wait, there's more! (buahahahahaha)

Chaand chupa [Hum dil de chuke sanam]
Composer: Ismail Darbar
Inspired by the Love story theme by Francis Lai
Listen to Francis Lai's theme from Love Story Chaand chupa

Keeps getting better doesn't it? I mean, it's just so stupid to call attention to yourself like this. Induce the ire of all ARR's fans so they go digging the dirt on ya. Stupid stupid stupid! Anyone else wanna get shot down? I'm on a roll! This guy is so full of a whole lot of hooey.

All text in pink finds its source in the site.

Friday, October 21, 2005

No more waking up before the sun rises anymore!! No more 8 am MWF classes for me. That makes me just so happy. Now if I could get all the other students to go take that test and pass, I'd be one happy, satisfied instructor. If only such success would shine on my thesis work.

I'm pretty sure all Rahmaniacs have already heard ARR croon to the title song of S J Surya's Ah Aah : Anbe Aaruyire. I've never really liked S J Surya, and so I never actually bothered to watch the movie. I don't even know if it has been released in the USA. It probably has. I did hear however that the video sucked. The song was supposed to be tribute of ARR to his fans? Whether it was or not, it's my current fave. It's even my ringtone on my cell phone. I think I can safely assume that it is a tribute...looking at the lyrics:

aararai kodi paergaLil oruvan
adiyane thamizhan,naanungal nanban
aanaa neengal, aavannaa naan dhaan
neengalilaamal naan ingu illai illai

kanneer sindhum kangalukku
naan dhaan kaikuttai
vannath thamizh paatu
1000 solvaen aadavum seivaen
punnagai enum ponnagaiaithaan
mughamenum veetil vaipaen
ungal magizhchiai paatil vaipaen

Another thing that's not important but worth mentioning is something I noticed when watching Roja recently. If you listen closely to the background music in the scene where Roja's sister's 'ponnu paakal' takes place, I'm sure the tune is recognizable. It sounded really familiar to me and I had to pause the movie to actually play the tune back in my head. And there I had was the Telephone Mani Pol tune(Indian/Hindusthani- Telephone Dhun)!!! be exact it was the following part:

neerillai enraal aruvi irukkaadhu malai azhagu irukkaadhu
nee illaamal poanaal idhayam irukkaadhu en ilamai pasikkaadhu
vellai nadhiyae unnul ennai dhinam moozhgi aada vidu
vetkam vandhaal koondhal kondu unaik konjam moodividu

I was so proud of figuring that one out. I had a bunch of people listen to it. They were too busy looking at it and had to be to told 'listen' rather than 'watch' to get it. I wonder if he's done this with any of his other BGMs. I sure do know that the 'My Dil Goes mmmm...' track from that crappy movie Salaam Namaste is inspired by a bit ARR did in Swades. One of my fave scenes from Swades too...the time when she ties his dhoti for him. I's one thing to copy oneself...but come on! It ain't right to rip off someone elses work and not give him the credit he's due!

Yeah I have a thing for ppl who cheat. Salaam Namaste is one big rip off in itself. Most of the movie is like an Indianized version of Nine Months. C'mon you guys, stop copying English movies. If you have to copy it, atleast make sure you do a good job. Watching a heavily (and I mean it! Like some 18 months) pregnant Preity dancing around while singing, was just too much. Javed Jaffry's comedy routine was really really stupid.

Moving back to ARR, Maniratnam comes to mind. It's most definitely because when they get together ARR makes his best music. Maniratnam's movies are awesome, cept for the end. Given my recently acquired aversion to melodrama that most Indian films are given to, I always tend to find Maniratnam's films a little disappointing. Nayakan could not possibly have ended any other way and I love the way Aayutha Ezhuthu ends with Surya moving Bharathiraja aside and stepping into the House and taking his seat, looking like a freshly cut sprig next to the white clad oldies. The scene that precedes this one was overdoing it. When there's a small accident anywhere in Chennai, everybody runs to help that person. Traffic comes to a halt. I know this cos I've been in atleast 3 myself :) It's really unbelievable that three men could keep fighting on the bridge in the middle of ongoing traffic.

I hated the way Alaipayuthe ended. All those old movies where the 'power of love' brings the person out of coma or keeps them from dying come to mind. The movie's great! But I find it hard to watch the end when Maddy cries and begs Shalini to muzhichify. I mean..c'mon!!! Roja was much better, but there's the part where he falls over and she screams and then he rolls down the stairs. We know he's been through a lot, he was kidnapped and held for ransom by terrorists, for Pete's sake!!! Now there's where they probably got the phrase'falling over himself in his haste' from. Necessary? Blah! Her dropping down to her knees and making him hold on to the railing to come over to her. Arvind Swami looks so cute in Roja. What happened to him since then? I mean he looks so fat in everything he did after that. Haven't seen him since Alaipayuthe.

The way Bombay ended was probably the worst. Moving from dousing a couple of innocent children with kerosene to having Hindus and Muslims drop their weapons and come together and hold hands...and if I remember right sing? Do they sing? All I remember doing was screaming in my head...No NO NOOOO! The movie was such a realistic take on what happened and it slid to being a run-of-the-mill Hindi/Tamil movie. I didn't like Iruvar that much. Maybe it's because it's a real life story and I don't like the main characters in it. Kannathil..was probably a good movie. I say probably cos there were times in the movie when I was thinking what's the heck's happening and why the heck is it happening? I know a whole bunch of ppl thought that the kid was good, I found her kinda irritating.

I'd have to say Dil Se was a big let down. The movie had a good enough storyline going for it. The way it was taken was just too abrupt. Manisha was ok, so was Zinta. But SRK totally killed the movie. I used to be a big fan of his, thinking him to be a versatile actor. He's so not one. (Chandler impression there) I think he should stick to what he does best. Stupid movies like Kal Ho Na Ho, Main Hoon Na, Mohabatein and all those crappy melodramatic movies. Even in those movies you'll notice that SRK just cannot emote. Ever notice how he vibrates when he cries? The music for this movie is one of ARR's best yet. It's true that there are plenty of great ARR's songs that never get heard,because the movie wasn't a hit. Check out Meenaxi..some really good songs there. Was Dil Se a hit? Well I shouldn't be saying anything about Dil Se....when there are such movies as Paheli and Koi Mil Gaya that go on to become hits. Dil Se wasn't a great movie, no...but give me this one rather than Paheli anyday. I was disappointed by the fact that Maniratnam was the director. I probably would have been less critical of it had it been a Karan Johar movie. I would have been amazed at Johar's insight. Personally I think that as long as there are pathetic directors such as Johar around, Hindi movies are going to stay low. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to iggy them. Paheli was the abso worst though. I expected much more from Palekar.

I didn't know that ARR had done the score for a Chinese movie called Tian di ying xiong aka Warriors of Heaven and Earth back in '03. I was amazed. When he goes international he well and truly does go international. I was able to catch only 30 seconds of some of the songs on I'm looking to buy it soon. There were some reviews about the music, both good and bad. Nothing ugly though. . It was called Between Heaven and Earth for the US media...I think? .

Oh well, I'm done with the SRK bashing for a little while. Or well maybe not...I just remembered that SRK's all set to remake Thenali in Hindi. Ye Gads! Thenali itself was a copy, and a fairly rotten one of 'What About Bob?'. I vaguely remember seeing the 1991 released Bill Murray starrer when I was younger. I'm fairly sure I found it funny back then. I'm pretty sure I did not find Thenali funny at all, given that Jothika was flabby and wearing close to nothing in the movie. Yeah I know, there have been several occasions when my Dad has told me that if only I would use some of my memory for storing info about studies rather than movies, I'd ace all my tests. Kamal's a great actor, and he did a great job on a mediocre movie, but SRK??? That's one movie I'm not looking forward to watching. My all time fave Kamal movie is MMKR. I was looking around for it but was unable to find it. Wonder where I can find that one.

I have this theory that Maniratnam uses only brand new faces(Arvind Swamy, Madhavan) because he's able to mold them easier. Seasoned 'pros' like SRK could be harder to elicit the required response from? Maybe? I wonder if thats why Dil Se didn't do so well. I'm scared of what the outcome of The Mahabharata will be. SRK and Aamir Khan. Yeah he's another one I'd love to rough up sometime :) Again...the Patti ilk...iggy the blog if you can't stomach the criticism.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's Thursday and the weekend is almost here. If it weren't for that one 8 am class that I face every MWF I'd be able to sleep in every day. Even when I need to get some sleep, I toss and turn until 4-5 am before I get any sleep. No wonder they call it beauty sleep. Now I've always had these hideous dark circles under my eyes, and they used to get me out of classes and unexcused absences all the time. "Ma'am/Sir(depending on whether it was ECW or LC), I was really sick yesterday, and here's the letter from my mother." Pulled a long face and looked a lil tired and it worked like a charm all the the time. Now I don't even have to try. I look like a racoon.

Oh yeah, ECW used to insist on a letter from my parents. They used to want to meet my parents too, twice a year! Imagine that!! In college no less. My dad never had the time, he got so annoyed once that he told me to provide them with a photo of him. He insisted that they'd be able to see him more than twice a year that way. I used to wonder if my education in a high school convent just got extended for another three years. Compared to the classes I attended over here, ECW seems worse than a convent. Do this, don't do that. Break the Rules from Boys is the most apt song for ECW. Anyone who had to listen to the crap that the teachers dished out, would agree with me. The stuff I take from my students over here is amazing. If Mala Ma'am were to ever listen to these kids she's probably have a coronary. They eat in class, they put their feet up on the desk when working in class, they walk around whenever they want to, and they also drink soda in class without asking me for my permission!!!! Remember those days when the teachers would threaten you with a TC? I would've chucked these kids out on their ears gazillion times for just their belligerence.The URL of this page is the result of one of my football player students, who insisted on calling me Sushi Baby(I have a feeling he just wasn't about to even try to remember my real name). Shyamu Baby would have gotten me kicked out of the college :) Yes Mala Ma'am, they keep 'frowning their eyebrows' at me all the time.

The best part of ECW was the time when one of the QT teachers gave us homework and then went around grading us, in class!! Of course, I hadn't done my homework. I was then forced to stand for what was left of the class. This was college! Oh! and there was the time when I wasn't able to answer a question in class and had to write out the answer to that question 15 times. Not so bad when compared to the kids who got a score lower than 50 on their test. They wrote out the entire exam 15 times. I have a feeling I'd lose my job if I ever did that to any of my students. There was this other time when a couple of my classmates actually had to wear only salwars for a month because their t-shirt was too short....or they shouldn't have been wearing capris....or something equally inane.

There was this other incident that comes to mind when discussing the narrow-mindedness of Madrasis. I remember a teacher telling me that she'd nabbed this girl playing hooky with her bf every day from college. Her car would drop her off at college and she'd hop into another car with her bf and get dropped back at college in time to go back home. 'We caught her red-handed!' and she looked so triumphant about it too. C'mon!!! and don't give me all that crap about our 'culture'. Almost every kid in Madras has a bf/gf. They hide it real well. They start as early as 6th-7th std. It happens in co-ed schools all the time. That's probably why there are still so many convents still reigning in Chennai. I can vouch for the fact that convents are the most stifling, intellectually stunting places. They ingrain such stupid ideas in students. The girls go stir crazy...become sex starved by the time they're out of school. The opposite is true too. Guys tend to look at women as mere sexual objects. Hence the incidents relating to ' eve-teasing' is rather high in Chennai. Hindus pray to godesses too. Shakthi, Devi, Meenakshi, call her whatever you want. They pray to her, yet they treat women so badly. That's another issue altogether. I hated the two years I was forced to attend classes at the 'Chapel Meadow'. I don't know about the other schools but the nuns at this one were real curmudgeons.

Right, I have a tendency to ramble on. Oh! and a self professed nonself-critical reader. My advisor has been expressing his feelings on my shortcomings quite a bit of late. I think that would be evident from the fact that he's kept me on the same chapter for a while now. Anybody who knows me also knows that I have frustration pouring out of every pore of my body right now. What can I say? I could say what every body else has been telling me. Patience! Lordy! If only He had doled out extra my way I think I'd be a better person all around. Believe you me, I've learnt patience the hard way after I got here. I just need a large dollop of it right now.

Alright, I'm done whining for now. I have many many 'whys' in my head now. Will be found pondering them while listening to ARR at my desk if needed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I've always been a bit of a Rahmaniac. Its only due to this really annoying friend of mine, I call him Patti, a take on his other nickname Pathe, that I actually listened to every single song composed by ARR. Yeah Patti! ARR does kick **'s ass! For those who don't understand Malayalam, Patti = dog. I think if someone smells like a dog, acts like a dog and thinks like a dog, you can be assured that he/she is one...a dog. :) JK Patti JK(disclaimer)!!

Moving on to more important matters, such as the enlightenment, I've always thought that he was one of the most talented music directors of all time, but I never realised the extent of his talent. If you haven't already listened to his Water tracks, get a move on and listen to them. Well all of his music is mind-blowing. The sad part is that most non-Tams can't listen to and completely appreciate his most beautiful creations. They hear the dubbed versions and appreciate them, imagine what they'd do if they could understand his originals. What I absolutely love abt ARR is his humility. There are so many instances of this wonderful trait of his. He's huge, he's an international phenomenon. If you don't believe me check this gentleman's blog out.

He also seems to be the most humble celebrity from where I stand. There was a concert in Bangalore on Oct 8th, and living in this village called College Station, and being as impoverished as I am, there was no way I could possibly have gotten to fly home to see him in action. I heard all the accounts though and for a while there I got asked by everyone I met whether I was doing fine? I turned a very pretty shade of green for a few days in between. There were a whole bunch of pics being circulated of people photographed with a very tired looking ARR. Dang! I wish I could've been there! He's supposed to be coming to North America(prolly not even the USA) in Feb of next year. Hopefully(keepin my fingers and toes crossed) I get to see him live in concert.

I've posted one of my fave pics of his. I'm going to have to look up who took the pic, it wasn't me. You can see him, the lil guy inside of his car, surrounded by his fans. He looks like any other ordinary guy. So unassuming. He's what I would call a dark horse. Brings back to mind that old adage: never judge a book by its cover.

Every time I try to think of which of his songs are my favorites, I find all of his songs tumbling through my head. I can tell for certain which ones aren't my faves, but I'd probably have to say that his first movie has his ultii songs. Roja....oh man! my Mom probably rues the day she bought the cassette for me back in 1992. Rest assured I played it over and over till the cassette gave way. My family was heartily sick of Roja by the time that happened, I was also forbidden to buy another one. However, I am now the proud owner of the movie itself. There was this one time I couldn't find the Kaadhalan tape and I actually asked my mother where my kaadhalan was. She gave me the 'look' before she went purple choking on her laughter.

What is the deal with ARR and Manirathnam? When asked why he comes up with simply awesome music for Mani Sir, he smiled and replied that Mani Sir knows how to use the music. I'm sorry but I disagree. Dil Se had amazing music, one of his best yet, but I always felt that the songs were just stuck in, for no reason at weird intervals in the movie. Oh well, I could go on about the choice of actors and all of that but, that could make another great post.

I'm not done extolling ARR's praises. There's plenty more where this post came from. If you're of the Patti ilk, ignore this blog. Cos I'm goin' tuh be runnin' down every other MD who lacks originality.