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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aadukalam Background Score

The more I think about Aadukalam the more I like it. Vetri Maaran, Velraj and Danush – Take a Bow.

When the end credits begin to scroll up, Vetri Maaran lists the films that inspired him to make ‘Aadukalam’

Cache - Michael Haneke
Babel - Alejandro Gonzales Innarittu
Amores Perros - Alejandro Gonzales Innarittu
Thevar Magan – Bharathan
Virumandi - Kamal Haasan
Paruthi Veeran – Ameer

I wish Vetri Maaran had shown these films to G.V.Prakash as well, to study and understand how the composers of the respective films have handled the background score.

For a film, that is set in the hinterland of Madurai and that deals with rooster fights, the heroic trumpets (The title credits music, also later used in an action sequence) and Spanish Guitars - that reminds us Ennio Morricone’s scores for American westerns - sound totally out of place.

Yogi B’s Tamil rap, though an alien sound to the film’s universe, is marginally better in synch with the mood of the moments where it is heard in the film.

Ideally, the second half of the film should have no background score. In the second half, the performances, the visuals and writing are brilliant enough to grip the audience. G.V.Prakash’s score gets overtly manipulative and melodramatic. These instrumental background score cues would work well as stand-alone music pieces, but in the film, they are used when not necessary.

G.V.Prakash’s score is not detrimental to the extent of being annoying or distracting. However, with a film like ‘Aadukalam’, the composer should also dare to go a step forward to be more sensible, economical and subtle while writing the score.

I wouldn’t blame G.V.Prakash completely, because, at the end, it is the film maker who approves such a score. I have heard Vetri Maaran’s sky high praise for G.V.Prakash’s background score in ‘Polladhavan’, which I think is another highly overrated score.

What baffles me most is that none of these misfires in the background score dilutes or disturbs the impact of the film. This film and its score made me think about the basic necessity of background score in films. Even with a less than appropriate score, a film manages to be what it intends to be.

If this has happened with a B-grade film made by just another film maker, with music by a lesser composer, I wouldn’t even bother to listen to the score. G.V.Prakash and Vetri Maaran would have sat and discussed for at least an hour about the sound of the score, the instruments to be used and thematic ideas. So much thought has gone into creating something totally inappropriate for the film. And that is the concern. Atleast, the audience, should do their job right. Don't tell G.V.Prakash that his score in the film is as terrific as the film and that it has elevated the film. It isn’t, and it hasn’t.

There is just only one episode, where I felt the score lived up to the film. The background score for the long rooster fight sequence is brilliant. There is just right amount of music at the right moments amidst ample stretches of silence and subtle music throughout this episode.

The first comment on this post had a link to a Video with a BGM that G.V.Prakash has ripped off for rooster fight scene in Aadukalam


Anonymous said...

rooster fight BGM suttufied from here:


Karthikeyan KR said...

Vetrimaaran oru bayangara peter.. He talks mostly in English in his interviews which is totally unwarranted.. I thought that GVP did give relevant music in Aayirathil Oruvan and Veyil.. It didnt look out of place then.. The Blame should fall peter-paandi Vetrimaaran only..

Anonymous said...

I know it is out of context, but suresh did you like "anjaadhe" BGM, I think it was one of the best scores by budding MDs like Sunder C Babu ( no other young budding MDs have given score like that in their third or 4 th movie except probably Karthik raja). That was also one tamil movie i wished had a great budget and good locales ( like Vetrimaaran used for Polladhavan) with some Hungary orchestra music ( like our beloved Mottai) would have been a movie in the list of some of teh hall of fame kind.
I agree GVP's Polladhavan score and the well made period movie Madarasa pattanam were extremely poor ( nothing stood out and infact spoiled in many places).
These two movies are my add on for the list of movies i wished had ilaiyaraja's BGM.
I stil can't imagine a movie like "Vedam pudhidhu" which had some very powerful sequences lacking the soul touching Raja's BGM

--IR fan

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Anonymous IR fan - Yes. I liked anjaadhey BGM. From his films, even Nadodigal, Sundar C Babu seems to be a composer who is more interested in background score than the songs. In his interviews for Thoongaanagaram, he was talking more about the background score of the film.

But, when I wrote about Anjaadhey BGM in this blog, someone commented that it is copied from James Newton Howard's score for 'The Signs'. There definitely is some inspiration but not a blatant copy.

சாணக்கியன் said...

I have not listened yet. came here through your article on solvanam.com about Nandalala's BG score. The article was excellent and thanks for that.

About GVP, one inappropriate usage I found was in the movie madarasa pattinam. Its an historic period movie, in that when the hero shows various places in chennai to heroine, "ammaa thurai ammma" song he has used a singer from North who sounds very alien. Here he should have used some one sounds similar to TMS/PBS or that kind.

Balasubramaniam A.G. said...

GVP used the Godfather main theme in many scenes BGM. the songs might be huge hit but needs to improve miles in BGM.

Anonymous said...

your review is as beautiful as your nose!!!

gv-prakash said...

I regret for the damn thing happened in film adukalam, i always try to rip scores from IR collection ,unfortunately vetrimaran came with bunch cds of ennio moricone. so i did it.

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

so called 'gv-prakash' - I already had a detailed conversation about this with GVP through e-mail. So, I know what he feels about this issue.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe tamil musicians could be so blatant in copying scores.How could GV even can think of putting the God father scores which are familiar to the entire world and that too for scened with tamil rural back ground?

Anonymous said...

yaathe yaathe song copied from "bolo bolo .. ' by susheela raman salt rain .

Anonymous said...

i dont thing many directors discuss the finer aspects of music with music director,they accept the gross form of it,because many of them are mere spectors like us

Sambath said...

your article has lot of substance and good understanding of the subject.Keep blogging ..Let the ideas flow through.

Anonymous said...

the bgm is from the film red cliff directed by john woo

rahul said...

sir pls i want to hav the fulll
amalapaul intro music in deivathirumagal movie