Sunday June 5, 2016

Hitman – June 4, 2016

Posted by Karthik

Originally published in The Hindu.

Athe nila – Meenkuzhambum Manpaanayum (Tamil – D.Imman)
Imman has already—and adequately—demonstrated a flair for reimagining Ilayaraja’s melodies. In Meenkuzhambum Manpaanayum’s Athe nila, he goes further back in time, and offers a wonderful, modern reimagination of the quintessential western 60s Tamil film song… like a new-age ‘Vannakili sonna mozhi‘ (Dheiva Thaai, Viswanathan Ramamurthy). You can almost picture MGR or Sivaji Ganesan, in tight-fitting trousers no less, chasing a Saroja Devi down AVM Studios’ painted park featuring a fountain and a few doves as Sathyaprakash, Shashaa Tirupati and Elfe Choir deliver the lovely tune so well!

Para para – Kammatipaadam (Malayalam – John P.Varkey)
Para para is a mighty interesting mix by John. He starts it off in an ominously serene folk prelude that sounds almost like a hymn. And then, mid-way, he shifts gears to the mesmerizing para para hook. That hook morphs into a pulsating passage, like a new-age version of the Mahishasura Mardini Stotram, Aigiri Nandini! It’s aptly haunting and very cleverly composed.

Pyar ki – Housefull 3 (Hindi – Toshi and Sharib Sabri)
It’s a matter of pride for Tamilians that the Hindi film series that goes under the name Housefull (1, 2 and now 3) started with remaking the Kamal Haasan starrer Kaadhala Kaadhala. Or, not a matter of pride, after all, given the mayhem that passes in the name of humor in the bloated Hindi remake. But, that mad mayhem adequately props Pyar ki too (which goes, Pyar Ki Maa Ki, incidentally), an absolutely brainless, but harmlessly and easily catchy dance track with all predictable tropes like a repetitive hook and use of ‘Baba Blacksheep, have you any wool?’.

Dum-a-dum – Dhanak (Hindi – Tapas Relia)
It’s a charming situation – Chet Dixon, that Hollywood actor who lists Bollywood Calling and Om Jai Jagdish in his repertoire, tries to get a little Rajasthani boy to sing, ‘All I’m saying… let’s give love a chance’. The boy, with Devu Khan Manganiyar’s voice, tries, but couldn’t get it. Instead, he confidently goes, ‘Char charag tere balan hamesha…’ and moves beautifully on to the iconic Sindhi song Mast kalandar. Tapas Relia’s fusion Mast kalandar is a fantastic listen, with its hippie-Sindhi mix!

The Sambar Song – Sambar (Malayalam – Sunny Viswanath)
A recent Mohanlal starrer was called Rasam. There’s an alternative rock band from Kerala called Avial. Now, we have this film titled Sambar! The title song is a visit to the kitchen, with the lyrics literally listing the ingredients of a fully-loaded sambar, featuring tomato, drumstick, ladies finger, cucumber, onion and dal. It’s all cooked with Sunny Viswanath’s catchy techno sound, with the musical equivalent of a ready-made masala powder – digital vocal enhancement!

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