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singapore singapore
Rural and forgotten
Mar 16, 2005 04:32 PM 3715 Views
(Updated Mar 18, 2005 12:28 AM)


The year was early 1994.The tamil movie industry was still rejoicing from the recent successes of the previous year with 2 Rajini starrers, the groundbreaking Gentleman,sleeper hits like Maniratnam's Thiruda Thirudha and Barathiraja's ''Kizhakku Seemaiyile''.

This movie tested ARR's mettle as a Music Director for village oriented themes. AR Rahman came out with flying colours. Songs such as ''Aathangara Marame'' and ''Thenkizhakky Seemaiyile'' were simply wonderful and rich. It gave a different flavour for Rahman. What ARR had given in the previous year were super hits which revitalised the whole degenerating tamil music industry But his successes seemed to face a temporary cripple with a little known movie by a certain new director Kathir who had a huge hit years back.

All his directional ventures like the popular films ''Idhayam'', and ''Kaathal Desam'' have invariably stolen the young hearts of both girls and boys by keeping them astounded by the varied aspects of grandeur, love, romance, melody and aesthetics which are the vital characteristics that inter-mingle in his celluloid creations.

That movie in Question was ''Uzhavan''.A different attempt and a novel one by the director.Though the movie was a huge commercial failure, it was a first passing moment in ARR's career and probably his first commercial failure, one many would fail to notice as he adopts a style of music which calls for a fusion of new age and folk a step up from ''Thenkizhakky Seemaiyile'',for what seems to be a village based movie with 2 of the biggest stars at the time - Prabu and Banupriya in the lead.

Expectations were high at this point of time. With the release of ''Uzhavan'' it became apparent that the fate of this soundtrack was in fact subjective.What many would consider a flop of the year or sleeper hit wasted in what seems to be a godforsaken movie.

A very different start for Rahman's third year in the industry.Neither good nor bad. For a start ''Uzhavan'' emitted a kind of feel which seems like music done in a amatuerish way but yet concentrating on melody and the heartwarming tonal quality by the use of rather straightforward simplistic instruments, minimal vocals percussive repeative beats and some catchy symphony orchestration.

The story featured in the movie is one of a tearjerker of a relationship between a school teacher and a simplistic farmer whose mother has high hopes on getting him married ARR in fact to a extent successfully brings out the sombre and melancholic mood which is reminiscent of a village society caught in conservativeness of age old customs , traditions and beliefs.

Most of the songs in the soundtrack may instantly strike one with its melodious harmony with nature and moods and at times a stark dark and brooding. One cant help but notice the constant references to nature in the songs with the use of words like ''earth'' and ''flowers''. Great lyrics and superb music. A perfect one for the slow and leisurely in love. Vairamuthu really flourishes in the rural setup.

The synthesized beats and instruments like the Spanish guitar and violin are combined to great effect with the heartwarming performances of the lead cast. 3 of the tracks which really stand out were ''Maari Mazhai'' folk song excellently rendered by the late Shahul Hameed.His voice lended an extra dimension to the song which seems like a welcoming of the harvesting season. The other being ''Pennale Pennale'', a soothing melodious song with pleasant lyrics.The last one was a mixture of sadness and consolation- ''Kangalil Enna Eeramo'', probably the best song of the album

The music really flows in a light, unhurried manner with different songs exhibiting a mild mood change along the way.While the songs might strike one's heartstrings with their heartwarming quality, it may be evident to the observants that these songs may carry some overtures of past Illayaraja remnants from the 80s.

This was one of Rahman's forgotten early works which bit the dust.It may not be surprising if any mentions of this soundtrack just vanishes from the records of Rahman in the distant future.

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Uzhavan Songs