You happen to hear a song, you sort of like it. The next time you hear the song you really like it. After a few more times of hearing it on TV, FM or just about anywhere, you are completely in love with it. Now what? You begin searching websites to download the song, or ask you friends for the song, to have it in on you desktop, mobile or iPod, depending on how many different places (and forms) you want the song stored in! In the process you find out that the song is from a year
released small movie starring newcomers. Obviously, this leads you to wanting to listen to the other songs in the album. Regardless of whether you like them or not, the movie and its stars are now familiar to you and when the movie finally releases you even watch it just for the song that you love. Ever wonder how Chitthiram Pesudhadi became a runaway hit? Well, this takes nothing away from Mysskin, Narain or Bhavan but one must give a lot of credit to Malavika’s item number (you know which one) Vaala Meenukku. One of the reasons you sat up and noticed the movie was Gana Ulaganathan’s song. We are, are we not, often in the habit of conveniently missing movies that don’t come with some kind of star attraction?
Have you heard- or at least heard of- a song called Nakka Mukka. Chances are that you have because it has become such a rage in all parts of Tamil Nadu. Not the kind of song that would conventionally top the charts but then it has caught on. And just look at what it has done to the movie, Kadhalil Vizhunthen. We are not declaring the movie a hit but it sure has a visibility that it did not have before - the much required fillip that can make the difference between a damp squib and a break even, may be even a minor hit.
Last year there was Jab We Met in Hindi. The movie was a well-made cute love story and it would have done well irrespective of the songs that it had. But take off the Mauja Mauja song from the end credits and you would have to admit that the movie would lose a bit of
its appeal. Even though the song was just an addition at the end with no bearing on the plot it gave the movie a lot of mileage after becoming a big hit in pubs and discotheques. Let’s take Bhool Bhulaiya for instance. Once again, a movie that stood tall on its own merits without much help from its songs. But it is also a fact that the ‘Hare Rama’ song has earned the movie a few extra crores. First used as an end credits song, ‘Hare Rama’ had to be included in the movie just before Akshay Kumar’s introduction because of its immense popularity and crowd pulling power.
Let’s come back down south. Think of Oru Thalai Ragam. What comes to your mind? The songs of course! The movie almost made history just because of the sheer brilliance of its songs and the moods it created. Take Karakattakkaran as another glowing instance. What Maankuyile Poonkuyile did to the movie, no other song has been able to replicate even after these many years. More recently, we can cite Unnale Unnale as the best example of how much music can help a movie grab the eyeballs of people. Most Hindi movies follow a pattern of launching their promotional campaign with a song video (preferably an item song), something even Tamil movies are getting good at.
The point is this: a song is that element of a film that can grab maximum attention in minimum time. One hummable line is good enough to set you searching for a particular song-the rest just follows. The pull of music is too magnetic to be overpowered by anything else. The talkie and action promos take time making dents in the people’s mind; music has a fast track.
In 2003, there was Thiruda Thirudi. You probably know what we are getting at. Manmadha Rasa rocked theaters all across the state to give Dhanush his hat-trick. Imagine Thiruda Thirudi minus Manmadha Rasa…… or let’s even say Boys without Maaro Maaro and Sa re ga ma…. Now it has to be accepted, music is not just an ornament in a movie- at least in India. Here, we love