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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Maestro's Masterpause

Last weekend, I was watching Maniratnam's 'Thalapathi' probably the 30th time. Shobana gets engaged to the collector Arvind Swamy. She comes to explain her situation to Rajini. But the heart broken Rajini shouts at her and asks her to leave the place. As she leaves, Rajini (with the quintessential sun setting behind him) turns and looks sympathetically at helpless Shobana. The shot of Rajini looking at her lingers for a while. Raaja lifts baton and instructs the string section to go 'Naan Unai Neenga Maataen, Neenginaal Thoonga Maattaen, Saernthathae Nam Jeevanae, Sundari', a pause (can be read as a lump in my throat) and flute takes over to sing 'Kannal Oru Sethi'. A Masterpause it is.

Was Maniratnam aware that Raaja would do something in there, if he allows the shot to linger for a while? I can't imagine the emotions in this scene being conveyed by anything else but Raaja's music. There is of course that mild shake we hear in Rajini's voice as he says the final 'Po' to Shobana, but it is Raaja's music which transfers that mild shake into an earth shattering quake. Hail Illayaraja.



11 comments:

Prashanth said...

Awesome .... just awesome!
brilliant find

Vijay Kumar said...

Totally agree.
Further along the movie, there is a scene where Rajini meets Shobhana by way of giving a warning to her husband. I believe you have a repeat of this BGM albeit with a single strand of violin. I might be wrong. It has been some time since I saw the movie but your post woke up a memory.

Divya or Sathesh said...

wow! your analysis and the use of the term "masterpause" is as sweet to me as the music itself is....is that a term you coined?

Divya or Sathesh said...

I think Ilayaraja mastered of art of using Kalyani

Suresh Kumar said...

Prasanth - It indeed is.

VIjay kumar - I am sure Raaja has done something in that scene also but not sure about the exact piece... will check it...

Divya - Yes. Masterpiece became Masterpause, there is no such term i guess...

Ramesh said...

very nice indeed...
Raja has said many times that silence is the best instrument for re-recording and all other music before that is just to highlight/elevate the silence.

Suresh Kumar said...

Ramesh - Very True.

Random Thoughts said...

Add me to your readers list. This is an excellent blog about "background music" one of the most commonly ignored thing in Indian cinema...

NMA said...

Hi Suresh,
This is one blog I check almost every day for new pieces of your intricate observations. Great read!
Coming to this topic, the same sequence is seen in Alaipayuthey when, after Madhavan and Shalini decide to break up, Madhavan's niece calls up Shalini and gives the phone to Madhavan. The flute interlude of 'Yeveno Oruvan' plays in the background as both struggle for words and stops before it completes as Shalini cuts to call.
Manirathnam excels in portraying silence and has some great musical talent (IR or ARR) to back it up.

Suresh Kumar said...

NMA - Thank you. Yes, I remember Yeveno Oruvan playing in that scene but didn't notice it being stopped abruptly.. will chk that out next time i watch the movie...

P S Arjun said...

Wow, wow, awesome.. Suresh Kumar, I cometo know your website through Vivek Renjith, Twitter and now I am checking this everyday to read again and again the same article, BGM of Thalapathi.
Awesome way of presentation. Earlier I tried this for my college magazine, for Ilayaraja's 'Moonnam Pakkam' Malayalam but I was and am too immature for doing such a deep review.
Great, looking forward for further articles.