Wednesday, May 18, 2016

MUSICAL FRAMES OF MAGIC -1- THE MAGIC OF THE "SENTHAZHAM POOVIL" SONG

It's my deep interest in music and art that has driven me to dedicate this series "Musical Frames of Magic", consisting of pieces of writing,  in appreciation and awe of some songs created in various languages. This series will continue, not as a continuous flow but as posts that will come in between the potpourri that I normally keep posting.

It is my interest to take such beautiful creations to all my readers, irrespective of the language they like or use, as music has only one language. I have not put any focus on the lyrics here. But still, for the inquisitive minds, let me summarize, that the essence of the poetry in this song, is the beautiful comparison of nature with the features of the woman, with whom, the character who sings, is in love with. My focus here, is only on the music, the camera shots that have been taken and the performance of the characters.

My first pick is the Senthazham Poovil song from the Tamil film Mullum Malarum. Singing while I drive is something I enjoy, but I won't recommend that you try it out, unless you have a very good control of your eyes, so that you don't take them off the road, while you sing :)). And I end up singing this song many times when I drive.


This song is the result of an ensemble of great artists like the high impact director Shri. Mahendran, the God sent poet Shri. Kannadasan, the natural musical genius Shri.Ilayaraja, the excellent supporting actor Shri.Sarath Babu (see him singing in this song and we can clearly understand how he subtly fits in so well), the breathtaking cinematographer Shri. Balu Mahendra, the actress who could don any powerful role, Shri. Shobha and the celestial singer who mesmerized many, with his heavenly voice Shri. K.J.Yesudas. All except Shri. Sarath Babu have garnered National Awards, sometime in their career. It could be because he was really unlucky. The great superstar of Tamil movies Shri. Rajinikanth, is also a part of this movie, but not this song.



When many greats come together, there is a large probability of a great outcome and this is very much seen in this song. I believe if Shri. Rajinikanth was the character singing this song, the visual impact of the character on the whole song would have been different and not so subtle, considering the weight he carried in the industry. And that positioning by Shri.Mahendran made this song all the more beautiful, as the viewers have no superstar or hero to get their eyes locked on to, but just the overall beauty of the screen and the song itself. I strongly believe, that even if Shri. Mahendran, tried to recreate this song, some beauty of the original would get lost. Such is the art that has got captured. 

When the song takes off, we have the initial humming which is  so melodious and mesmerizing. I have heard many singers trying to match this, but never being able to reach the purity of this rendering. The flutes take over and we are shown a narrow path through which the jeep travels...really breathtaking impact. 

Watch the facial expressions of the characters in the first chorus..it's so natural...there is emotion and a "let go" of ego by the character who sings, who is actually holding a respectable job and forgets his position and sings while in the company of working women of the estate where he is the officer. Of course there is a romantic inclination that he has for one of them and those inclinations travel between them through this song, like fine subtle threads. This makes the song all the more beautiful.

The shenayi takes over in the first interlude. Please keep your eyes glued to ensure you don't miss the beauty of art here. The shenayi ..watch the moutains...and then the flutes..through the canopy ...the chirps of birds...and then some great momentum in music as the jeep takes those sharp turns. This is simply mind blowing. Some scenic patches come through in the first paragraph as the character sings.

Watch the second interlude..where you see the jeep encountering a herd of sheep. We hear a combination of flutes and the violin while some beautiful landscape scenes slip by...so well crafted. In the second paragraph as the character sings, there is a beautiful bend that the jeep takes on a road that is at the edge of the mountain....breathtaking.

The song continues and the third interlude and third paragraph has more focus on the heroine. This is the only patch where art sort of takes a small backseat.

The finishing chorus again has such a beautiful crimson red sunset with silhouette of the heroine beautifully shot.

Right through, the celestial voice of Shri.K.J.Yesudas keeps us enthralled. 

I would drop my busy activities any day to listen to this song, anytime it gets played anywhere. Hope you all will take five minutes of your time to enjoy this mind blowing master piece.



4 comments:

Praveen Kay said...

Roy,
Great choice. I am not sure if you follow Mahendran closely, but the producer of the movie did not provide funds to include this song in the movie. Kamalhassan funded this song since Mahendran thought this song is a must for this movie and took help from Kamal to get this into the first copy, which became finally a big hit. Perseverance never lets you down.

Roy Cherian Cherukarayil said...

Oh.Great point Praveen. I never knew this side of the song. Great to see how artists support each other so as to bring out great masterpieces.

Karthi Gomes said...

Great Narration Roy... heard this song so many times and infact it's always there in my play lists for all my long drives along with other master pieces of maestro and Yesudass ji. As said, the song will lose its originality if recreated.. Enjoying it again!!!

Roy Cherian Cherukarayil said...

Karthi...happy to know that you also appreciate the nuances of art and music :)

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