Sunday, February 8, 2009

It is BGM

I was watching the movie ''Vaaranam Aayiram" yesterday and remarked to my wife in a complaining note - "BGM sucks!". I don't know how many of you would agree with me on this!

It is no secret that Raaja exercises his mastery in the re-recording of every movie. From a low-budget movie like Kutty to a high profile movie like Hey Ram, from a masala movie to a movie with a in-depth storyline, it gets only one treatment and the same treatment - Raaja's.
Some of the otherwise ordinary looking scenes were elevated several 100 times with his sheer Re-Recording works. It's a well known fact to everyone.

Still, often when I complain about the poor BGM of the new music directors, my friends don't seem to agree with me. They don't think they pay attention to BGM separately. And it doesn't make a big difference to them!

Hmm.... Illustration is the best way, isn't it?

I have taken randomly two instances of Kamal Hassan's movies-

Wow!! Kamal has shown brilliantly with the graphics the dilemma he faces between his wife and his mission. But, the visual cues can only get so far! To touch your heart and bring out the right emotions, Raaja gave what was needed. A contrasting, alternating music pieces!!

Honestly, when I looked at this scene, I could only laugh. It didn't reach/touch my heart. In what otherwise must have been a high impact scene, no amount of graphics and set-spending could bring out the right feel. Simple, it's BGM!!


kannan said...

I also felt there were scenes in Vaaranam Aayiram that had really bad BGM (especially the opening scene where Krishnan dies). There were a couple of good scenes, though. Some of the US sequences, and the main motif in the flashback Surya-Simran romance come to mind. HJ isn't known for BGM, definitely (Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu and Kaakha Kaakha being exceptions IMO).

Anna G Raman said...

True. I rarely watch movies now-a-days (not in any language for that matter). Not only they lack good music, but they are so gruesome and filled with violence, esp. Tamil movies. When I think of movies, I want to think Chinna Gounder or Karagatakaran or some Rajini movie.

Suresh Kumar said...

In an interview, Kamal Haasan told that he wanted Illayaraja for songs and score, but the producers didn't agree. Then they went to A.R.Rahman, who couldn't do it because of various other commitments. As the producers wanted to market the movie in Hindi and Telugu, they chose Himesh for songs and Devi Sri Prasad for background score. And hence the result. To see Raaja back in a Kamal move, we have to wait for Kamal to return to making films under Rajkamal Films.

Anonymous said...

So true!!! Ilaiyaraja redefined what BGM is. Most of the movies today (not all!) have terrible BGM's becoz they do not know how it can elevate a scene. ARR, Vidyasagar, Yuvan & recently Vijay Antony have given good BGM's.

Emjay said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Anna - I am not sure, if you were sarcastic or did you mean Chinna Goundar & Karagattakaran were good?

Suresh - I keep hearing the same excuse that Kamal gives everytime he goes out to other MD. And quite surprising he doesn't have a say in MD!! Huh??

Kannan - You are right. The opening scene was definitely void and I could feel the voidness of BGM!

melodiouslife - Welcome to 7Swara! I liked Vijay Anthony's some songs especially the ones based on carnatic raagas..

kannan said...

There was a very lame BGM version of Mundhinam Parthene in that scene I think. Only watched the movie once, and I can't remember any other BGM fromt the rest of the movie (Harris isn't known for composing memorable BGM, anyway; I only remember that scene because there wasn't much dialogue and the bad BGM was very evident)

About Dasavatharam, I think when one makes a big budget film, one must also consider the commercial success of the film/music. While there is no doubt about Raaja's skill, one cannot deny that his name no longer carries the hype and CD sales that it used to. An ARR or Harris or Yuvan carry more clout these days in terms of the commercial bottomline. Please, I am not defending the choice of Himesh Reshamiyya (or Devi Sri Prasad). I really would have preferred anyone but Himesh to be working on this movie. I'm just saying that I think it is reasonable that the producers did not want to use Raaja for this high budget film.

Emjay said...

I remember a hindi story read in my school days - "Kapadon Kaa Aadhar"!!

Anonymous said...

From a low-budget movie like Kutty to a high profile movie like Hey Ram, from a masala movie to a movie with a in-depth storyline, it gets only one treatment and the same treatment - Raaja's.

Sorry Emjay..i cant agree in this point.Based on the movie's quality Raja does his BGM..agreed most of the craps had good BGM..Thanks to Raja's Spontaneous and unusual Brilliance..But if a movie is an indeed good or impressed the MAestro..Athoda BGM Cant be expressed in words.Few Egs.


2.Poove Poochudava.

3.Aboorva Sahotharargal.

4.Agni Natchathiram.

SO i guess raja reaches greater heights in BGM when the movie is good or in other words Raja never failed in his BGM with a great movie.

P.S.His understanding of the scenes is amazing unlike other musicians..Thats the reason BGM speaks a lot compared to current genre of music directors...

Indeed Raja reached the Sky Heights and set a benchmark in BGM in Indian Cinema

Hail Raja..

Emjay said...

Hi inoruvan -

I beg to differ with you and I think we have to agree to disagree. Instinct is the key here. Ramarajan, Murali, Karthik and even Thiyagarajan got the best scores in their movies.

For eg: Raaja didn't reserve "Roja Ondru Mutham" song for a Mani Ratnam's movie! There is no concept of "reserving" the tune in Raaja's factory. No dearth and it is literally a oothu...What you get that day is purely a composer's piece of mind...

I remember Ramarajan said in one interview that Raaja told him that he just finished a song "Nethu Oruthara Oruthara" and was very happy that it came out very well.. Very rarely it comes from Raaja's mouth.. and I am sure neither that film was unique nor Ramarajan deserved!