Sunday November 20, 2011

Making a viral hit out of a Tamil girl’s murderous rage

Posted by Karthik

If you still haven’t seen the song of the season, you must be living under quite a big rock!


It’s a pretty funky song, no doubt, with horrendous lyrics by the singer himself – actor Dhanush, or Rajinikant’s son-in-law, as he’s better introduced to the rest of India. But I understand why the song is going massively viral all across the web – great combination of simple, catchy rhythm and predominantly English-based Tanglish (combination of Tamil and English) sentences that pass off in the name of lyrics. I’d assume this is a man-song considering it exaggerates what is simply a ‘love failure’ (as Madras baais say) song into something humongous. After all, the lyrics say,

‘Why this murderous rage, murderous rage, murderous rage, you woman?’

Yes, ‘kola veri’ means ‘murderous rage’!

But this post is not to extol the virtues of this viral superhit.

If you notice actor Dhanush‘s tweets or even the composer Anirudh‘s – supposed to be Aishwarya Dhanush’s (that is, Rajinikant’s daughter) cousin –  tweets, you’d see that they have started celebrating success on a very different criteria.

Earlier, it used to be the number of cassette’s sold. Then, number of CDs sold. Now, it is number of views on YouTube in a particular time frame.

Consider the following tweets.

“5 lakhs in 3 days! #whythiskolaveridi

“Its official! ‘Kolaveri’ is the most searched and played Youtube Video in India today! Thank u all!”

“Why this kolaveri di .. 24 hours 83000 you tube views. Thank you guys. For making it the most viewed you tube”

I wonder what 5 lakh views on YouTube does to the film. Publicity – yes. Massive PR – yes. In case of CD sales, it meant return on the investment for creating the music and making them available commercially. In case of this song, I believe this song was leaked on Facebook first and then Sony Music scrambled to make a hastily shot video (the in-studio video says it all) available on YouTube officially, to salvage whatever they can. And then they released it as a single, officially, for whatever it is worth. Now that it has gone viral (all over India, I should add – language no bar!), I wonder what will it do to the film. Will it drive more people to watch the film? Or buy the single CD (which has never happened in India – people download singles, not pay for it)?

For instance, an item song is expected to bring in crowds to the theater. But these days, there are many avenues to catch an item song, in audio or even video, besides the theater. So, what value do item songs add, unless they are extraordinarily shot and are worth watching in the big screen? The larger question is, however, would people spend Rs.200+ just because they like a 5 minute song that they may have already seen/heard many times over?

Whichever way you see it, the song is an undeniable chart-buster and continues to go viral all over the net, beyond one state and country. So, it is all the more fascinating to see what it does the film’s producers in the real world beyond just publicity, like music used to do earlier. If it does, at any level, ‘YouTube views’ would officially become the new ‘CD sales’, if it hasn’t already.



  • tejas

    It’s a great song. Why so much fuss over the lyrics!! It’s doing what it was meant to do. If at all, question the motives, don’t shoot the messenger. 😛

    As I said on your FB page, music is supposed to liberate souls. With this song, lyrics take an independent life and liberate music from giving it child-support.

    PS: Also, please remember that more than poetry and heavy-talking lyrics, this is the kind of stuff that transcends the language barriers easily. That is why our folk songs had everything a common person would love – sexual innuendos, pedestrian analogies – this would go longer than anything serious.

    • milliblog

      I usually don’t care much about lyrics unless it stands out – here, it does, for the wrong reasons. It’s intended that way too – to make ‘kolaveri’ as a catch phrase. Clever thinking by Dhanush and team. This is the ‘DK Bose’ kind of lyrics – manipulated to make noise. Like they do for items songs. Nothing wrong per se, but then we do question when a film maker adds exploitative scenes to sell tickets, so why not question when lyrics are engineered this way, intentionally?

      • tejas

        Does Kolaveri have any other meaning as well, other than ‘Muderous Rage’? 

        • milliblog

          Nope. Just that. Something that kids can sing like they do with ‘DK Bose’ and parents can watch it with glee.

          • tejas

            I don’t understand the language, so may be it is hard for me to grasp the entire situation here. Is Kolaveri a bad word or slang?

          • milliblog

            Not particularly bad – it just means ‘murderous rage’, something we don’t utter in every day life for the sake of basic decency and don’t have any context either, usually. Not any more.

          • enna sir solreenga .. Kolaveri -> ” yen indha kolaveri’ is a dialog that was made immortal by vadivel in winner !!!

          • milliblog

            I know ma 🙂 Just that people don’t use it as much as say, ‘Naan azhudhuduven’ or ‘Enna vechu caamidi keemidi…’. Now, my 8 year old son is loudly singing ‘Why this kolaveri di’ from the balcony 🙂

  • Say Something

    It’s just a silly song by some privileged immature star kids…

  • Heard (don’t know how far its true) that they (Sony) intentionally leaked the song to see the response. Since it was received well they made a single out of it and released. 

    Also I dont think this so far called “single” like Mangatha or vaanam or 
     Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal is targeted for sales. Its more like publicity. esp for a new comer like aniruth, this is a great boost. He wont have got more recognition in any other way.Now that enough attention has been served, they can safely release 3′ audio CDs at good price.

  • did u listen to this?? – – Kolaveri subhapantuvarali

    • that was epic…but hw did they come up with it in a span of few days>>>

  • Rohwit m

    Am completely blown over by the song  and have no shame in admitting this 🙂

    While the trend of ‘catchy with trashy lyrics’ might continue aggressively in Hindi films off late, I wouldn’t call this song badly worded. Thanks to the subtitles, I feel this is a ‘fun’ song. 🙂 Certainly several notches above the horrendous DK BOSE.

    The video, if you look closely doesn’t appear to have involved a lot of cost (one keyboard, one speaker, bad quality chairs etc.) and I do agree with you that Youtube hits will be the new CD sales. Looking forward to the day when the Youtube views will be monetized (if not already). 

    The part that stands out in the song is the full awareness which the artists have demonstrated while singing the song. Watch how dhanush smiles when he goes ‘looouv looouv, o my louuuv’. He knows people laugh at that accent…so why not laugh at it ourselves? Brilliant stroke this is!

    Now back to playing the song in my mind…


    Superb-u blogpost-u

  • Typical of Dhanush to steal Simbu’s thunder with this type of lyrics. 

    In response to the song, I pose the same question to Dhanush, “why this kolaveri da?”

  • RAnlyzr
  • I think even though the song is famous for its catchy and awesome lyrics (Can’t help but admit its great fun) , The song works because of the tune and the singing .Even a remix version wouldn’t be a bad idea .

  • Just think of a scenario: If this song is setup as caller tunes by 1000 people of which rs.15 goes to sony for 30 days or 90 days , it is a decent revenue i suppose. that is the reason they have mentioned the caller tune during the video. may be this video could help in achieving it plus publicity for movie.

    In India ,we can all agree that songs are more to create hype for the film and a ticket to watching movies in theatre !!!

    • milliblog

      Caller tune revenue is a very valid point – good gauge of actual use of the song going viral.

      But I don’t agree with hype for the song translating into interest for watching the movie. The song doesn’t say anything about what to expect in the film and the film needs to have strong content on its own to do well. What I’m questioning is what this hype can actually do to the film or to the careers of Dhanush/Anirudh, besides caller tune revenues.

      • In this marketing age when a song like becomes a hit ,It creates huge awareness about the movie . And a song alone cannot save a movie however great the song maybe ,Chammak Challo and Shiela Ki Jawani didn’t or couldn’t alter the Box Office fate of their movies . But what i think it really does is make the movie more attractive to the audience especially for the opening weekend and beyond that the movie stands or falls on its own merit.And this song gives Anirudh an identity ,Danush Mileage and Aishwarya beaming because everyone knows her movie now . Well that’s my guess. 

  • Jegan Sivaraj

    Kolaveri can be called a slang. If the teacher red inks your homework you can go Yen intha kolaveri (Why this kolaveri)? 

  • WTHolyF, Shamelessly addicted to the damn song! Can surely see why it went viral. The “awful” lyrics certainly played a role in that.

  • On behalf of all boys… Thanks a million for the song.. Its awesome

  • Pingback: ◘ 3 ◘ THREE ║Dhanush & Sruthi Hasan ■ Kolaveri Mania Everywhere - Page 35 - Malayalam Cinema Forum()

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  • shibara 90
  • what a great site and informationrmative posts,I will bookmark this site.keep doing your great job and always gain my support.

  • Pingback: The Pointless Viral That Was Kolaveri?()

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