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Monday, April 26, 2010

Vikraman - S.A.Rajkumar

The pieces in Background Score – 69 are from Vikraman films - Poovae Unakkaga (1), Suryva Vamsam (2 & 3), and they are Composed by S.A.Rajkumar. When I saw these films as a kid, I had no idea about background scores but I have wept and laughed in the scenes with these very background score pieces. The background music really played a very vital role in inducing an emotional audience response to the drama in the visuals of Vikraman films.

But after a point when I became aware of the background scores, I began to realize, how overtly manipulative, sentimental and repetitive S.A.Rajkumar’s background score for Vikraman’s films are. While, I have got no complaints about the melody (I love the flute piece that plays when Nambiar and Vijayakumari sneaks out of their house to have a glimpse of their Grandson), it is the mundane repetition, with the composer never ever trying to tweak the melody differently in different situations in the film, except for increasing or reducing the tempo of the piece, that puts me off. For how a melody – a motif, can be orchestrated in various forms to fit in various situations in the film and yet not sound monotonous, listen Mohan theme from Mouna Raagam.

Coming to the background score for comedy scenes, it really is annoying to listen to sound tones employed to tickle the funny bones for every single line uttered by a comedian or every single reaction shot of his face, in a comic scene. The theme itself is quite good though.

Any theme from any of the Vikraman films can be used without changing a note or even tempo in any of his other films; the themes, emotions, scenes and character are similar to that extent in all of his films. So, a composer cannot be blamed much for this. Probably, if Ilaiyaraaja had scored atleast one film of Vikraman’s, then we would have known what S.A.Rajkumar, Sirpi and others failed to do.

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