Watching films on TV -- yesterday it was The Graduate and today it was Dazed and Confused, and You’ve Got Mail -- I'm reminded of the dearth of songs that's available for Tamil movie makers, for montages, cutaways, transitions etc. There have been a few other times when I've lamented the Tamil musicians' failure to branch out of the film industry's overwhelming presence and start making music that was inspired by the myriad emotions humans experience; and not just what a narrow film script 'necessitates'.

English films' use of songs does not just accentuate the scene/moment’s mood but it brings in externalities such as nostalgia. And I'm talking about an honest sense of nostalgia and not just a sophomoric allusion to an era. Some of the recent films made by those who 'come from Madurai' -- their obsession with the 80s -- is case in point. The songs invariably detract, and sometimes divorce, any connection one might have with that specific point, at least momentarily. I think Tamil film songs (not composed for the film itself) are almost incapable of doing anything other than that. The only thing they’ve been able to do, if at all, is make something look funny.


Gokul R said...

In the limits of the tamil cinema and tamil cinema musicians,

Music away from "Tamil Cinema" - Many of the music directors here shamelessly "lift" the tunes from the west and "plug" it for their songs ... Leave aside independent - non-film Music. Excepting very few musicians like Ilayaraja and Rahman, many do this.

The songs not reflecting the mood - This is because we create "songs" or montages for pre-engineered tunes. The poetry lines are framed (Maane, thene etc) in accordance with the tune and not lyrics-to-tune.

The way our cinema system and setup works - Authentic and spontaneous creativity from all fronts (Direction, Music, Lyrics etc) is what will direct our cinema towards the much needed freshness.

writer24477 said...

True. one reason for that could be that cinema is nothing but drama on screen. and by 'drama' i mean the art form. cinema in India is still considered as the next step in evolution of drama. however stupid that might sound. you might remember the black and white films when actors used to sing as well that is what drama used to be in those days.
when maniratnam's 'dil se' 'uyire' in tamil was released, people were so pissed off that the song 'poongatrile' was just in the background, they wanted to hear the whole song. it is a huge expectation that people have, picturisation of songs. no wonder westerners just cannot understand the concept of a lovesick romeo prancing in greece even though they don't mind pocketing the money they earn by dancing in the background.

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