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Maniratnam's Guru - Music/Songs Review

Update: Guru Movie Review

I have seen quite a few music videos on either ends of the spectrum - the ones which feature popular artistes, great percussion which makes your foot tap and head swing, a few girls in skimpy dresses shaking here and there; and the other end where artistes experiment with their instruments trying to evoke moods with philosophical/complicated graphics. Though my music video exposure is limited, I'm tempted to say something stupendous like Maniratnam must be one of the five best music video directors in business today. I find Mani extremely tasteful when it comes to giving visual meanings to songs. He has a wonderful sense for synchronizing music and images and my guess is that he has a very detailed visual of every frame of the song that will be shot and that's what he inputs to his music director. He is one of the few directors who judiciously uses songs (though, not always) and allows the viewer take a pleasant diversion from the script rather than what is a welcome bathroom break in most cases.

His association with A.R.Rahman for the past 15 years have been fruitful, to say the least. Rahman's music takes some time to touch us before it becomes a hit - you listen to it for a few days when you don't seem to be impressed much, then you start humming and then the song stays with you. Rahman has a special corner for Mani (of course, Mani introduced him to filmdom) and his music for Mani's films makes one wonder if he reserves his best tunes for Mani. The little known 'Iruvar' is my favourite Mani-Rahman combo. But Rahman scores low when it comes to re-recording in my opinion - I've felt that they lack the heart and could have been better. But he's one of the best foley artistes available - sound of a glass falling on the floor, crows crooning in the distance or boots splashing on rain water - he captures them with great authenticity. Now, a few words about the songs composed for 'Guru'.

# 'Ay Harathe' is a slow, serenely flowing melody with a soothing tabla in the background. The tune evokes the image of a Moghul court, but clearly it seems like scored for a period setting - may be the 60's. # 'Baazi Laga' is a hip/party song, which immediately reminded me of the 'September' song from 'Alaipayuthey'. Udit Narayan's style adds to the already carefree attitude in the tune. It's the kind of song you want to sing in your bathroom after a complete strip. # My guess is that a lesser director would have used 'Barso Re' to introduce the Aishwarya Rai character to the audience - soaked in rain and enjoying nature with a merry tune. I hope Maniratnam disappoints me. # I still don't know if I like 'Ek lo'... doesn't have much orchestra and is less musical to be called a song. In fact, to be technically correct, it's a drunken, crazy, lyrical speech. # 'Jaage Hain' starts with a prayer-like feel and the stretched chorus makes you close your eyes and sway your eyes gently. But soon the voices soar and it feels more like a subdued celebration of an important victory or a march towards victory. # 'Mayya' is for Mallika Sherawat, must be belly dancing for you know who. # 'Tere Bina' sounds weak in the entire collection. My friend is already in love with the song, but I find it long and boring except for the 'Dham dhara' piece.

P.S: I have a smattering knowledge of Hindi. Gulzar must have done a terrific job composing the lyrics.

Song Credits:
1. Barso Re – Shreya Ghoshal & Uday Mazumdar.
2. Tere Bina – AR Rahman, Chinmayee, Additional Voices – Murtaza, Qadir.
3. Ek Lo Ek Muft – Bappi Lahiri, Chitra Additional Voices – Tanvi, Saloni, Boney, Jaidev.
4. Baazi Laga – Udit Narayan, Madhushree, Swetha, Bhargavee Additional Programming – Pravin Mani.
5. Mayya – Maryem Toller, Chinmayee, Keerthi Programming & Additional Arrangements Ranjit Barot.
6. Ey Hairathe – Hariharan, Alka Yagnik Additional Voices – AR Rahman, Aslam Mohammed.
7. Jaage Hain – Chitra , AR Rahman and Madras Choral Group.

Links:
Here's a prelude to Maniratnam's Guru.Here's a piece on the cast for this movie.

Update:
Here's a wonderful review on Guru's music.

6 Responses to “Maniratnam's Guru - Music/Songs Review”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Dude that is a good review, but i feel 'Tere Bina' is the pick of the album  

  2. # Blogger Prasad Venkataramana

    Rahmanic,
    Ever since I said that the song is weak, it has been growing on me - the typical Rahman effect.

    Prasad  

  3. # Anonymous Rajesh

    Prasad,

    My most favourite album of Rehman (could be my most favorite film album) is Thiruda Thiruda, for the sheer variety he had offered. Take every song and they are all set in totally different styles and wats more : I would describe each song in this film as extreme experimentation, given the tamil audience (the movie itself was one for Maniratnam I guess). No other film comes to my mind where we had acapella (Rasathi) to folk (veerapandi) to shades of classical (putham puthu boomi) for variety.

    And to tell you also, Thee Thee is my top favourite film song, just for Rehman. That it also had Caroline's voice, Sriram's photography and Mani's direction is simply a bonus !  

  4. # Blogger Prasad Venkataramana

    Rajesh,
    I like the songs in 'Thiruda Thiruda', though I still think 'Iruvar' offers a better variety.

    Had the movie clicked, the songs might have been more popular. I like this 'nee kattum selai' from 'Pudiya Mannargal'. Bad movie, took down the song with it.  

  5. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Guru all songs are very good i have saw movie and it is nice i also wrote Guru
    movie review
     

  6. # Anonymous Letterhead printing

    All post is nice cheap postcards and embossed business cards Keep Updating.  

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