Archive | September, 2010

Movie Recco: Pazhassi Raja

22 Sep

I saw the Malayalam movie Pazhassi Raja (well-directed by Hariharan) recently after many months of planning and it was a case of better late then never. To begin with, I found the movie literally flawless and giving a pretty realistic portrayal of an unsung freedom warrior. Here are a few reasons why you should not miss Pazhassi Raja:

  • There are no unnecessary deviations in the story (like romantic angles, too many songs etc.) and it is an engaging account of a king who was courageous to revolt against the British empire.
  • The acting was stupendous and each character fitted the respective roles perfectly. Notable mentions were the normally-typecast Sharath Kumar, who was a revelation in his role (as the deputy of Mammotty) and Padmapriya was brilliant as a strong woman who has learnt the traditional fights and fought for Pazhassi’s army. Even the foreign actors who acted in this movie have done their roles extremely well.
  • Needless to say, Mammotty was all class and elegance in the main role as Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja. His body language and dialogue delivery is seen-to-be-believed. Not once did he look like an actor in his 50’s!
  • The cinematography and locations were fresh and appropriately suited to the time in which the movie is set. Even the traditional ethnic costumes of the actors looked so natural amidst the backdrops.
  • Ilaiyaraja has bagged the National Award for best background score for this movie and the Maestro’s subdued BGM’s further elevate the scenes to another level. The songs in the movie too, were picturized beautifully and no song seemed out-of-place.

I would rate this movie as good as The Legend of Bhagat Singh, which in my opinion is one of the best movies on India’s freedom struggle. Any story about India’s freedom struggle is not easy to make and these 2 movies have set benchmarks in this unique genre. Credit should go to the whole team and especially the directors who dared to take up such themes and come out victorious!


Madraspatnam:Pure Music

1 Sep

It’s a little rare nowadays to find a music album where almost all the songs are pretty good and its rarer to listen to an album where almost all the songs are melody-based. Madraspatnam is an album which would surely fit into that category. It is definitely one of the best albums to come out in recent times and it is like a whiff of fresh air in Tamil music. The best thing about it is that it has all kinds of songs: A soft number, an inspirational number, a classical-based one, folk numbers etc. G.V.Prakash has demonstrated in the past that music is in his blood and here he further vindicates this fact strongly. GVP is also lucky to get a period-movie like this where he gets to compose all kinds of tunes and he has made the best use of it, credit also to director Vijay for giving scope for good music. Madraspatnam has 5 songs and 2 instrumental pieces and my favourite songs are:

  • Pookal Pookum Tharunam: A wonderful classical song based in Darbaari raaga, well-sung by Roopkumar Rathod & Harini. The english portion in the middle (sung by Andrea) is also well done as it does not sound out-of-place. This song is very melodious and has very soothing interludes notably the santoor pieces.
  • Kaatrile: A fantastic song performed with LIVE MUSIC and superbly sung with energy by Hariharan. The charanams also have a nice tinge of melody in them and GVP has used so many instruments: trumpets/trombones/french horn/strings section. Kudos to him as such songs have become quite extinct now.
  • Aaruyire: A very slow pathos-like song in Charukesi raaga sung by Sonu Nigam and Saindhavi. It starts lazily making us dismiss it as another boring number but slowly turns out to be a beautiful composition, especially in the part where the singers go high. Sonu Nigam is a very good choice for this song.
  • There are 2 other folk numbers which are good to listen and they will sound better when seen on-screen.

GVP gets everything right in this movie and the choice of singers is spot-on. The tunes too are very good and they stand on their own even without the orchestration,thats the real test of a good album.

As a music-lover, I wish he gets to do more movies like this which gives scope to show his talent as his strength is melody.