Eros International had a temporary fling with it. Sony Entertainment travelled the first mile only to realize that their fuel can never provide the mileage required for this vehicle. Then entered SUN Pictures, armed with a string of bad movies which nevertheless raked money, they decided to go for the JACKPOT, doling out all their winnings towards the biggest movie in the history of Indian Cinema- ENTHIRAN- The Robot.
The past week saw the release of the much awaited music album of this Cinematic Landmark. What new magic has Rahman created with this album? Is it one step ahead of SIVAJI- the Runaway Blockbuster of 2007?
Chitti Dance Showcase: (Pradeep Vijay, Pravin Mani, Yogi B): South Indian ‘Mrithanga Jathi’ meets Western Rapping in this masterful fusion. The start by Yogi B sets you up for some intense rapping which is offered by Pravin Mani, but only as a camouflage for the brilliantly rendered ‘Jathi’ by Pradeep Vijay. A R Rahman even manages to bring in the classical western feel in between with a beautiful violin bit which is immediately followed by another bout of High Energy ‘Jathi’s backed up by some vigorous beats. All in all, the perfect composition to showcase some ‘Chitti Dance’!
Boom Boom Robot Da: (Swetha Mohan, Yogi B, Kirthi Sagathia, Tanvi): When Yogi B starts ‘Boom’ing with his voice your mind is already decided about what to expect from this one. Some high octane, racy Tamil rapping. You do get it, but only for a minute and a half. What follows is some absolutely exquisite singing by Swetha Mohan, proving that what her mother (Sujatha) can do, she can do better, that too effortlessly. She simply casts a spell onto our minds with her endearing voice and flawless rendition. Though the song might be branded as ‘Techno’ it clearly has a light, breezy feel to it when Swetha is singing. She even makes the high strung electric guitar and uproarious keyboard arrangements take a back seat. Clearly, her song all the way.
Kilimanjaro: (Chinmayi, Javed Ali): One and half minutes into the song, you would have heard one male voice and 4 female voices. That one male voice belongs to Javed Ali who is zealous and dedicated. Unfortunately for him, his co-singer (or shall we call ‘co-voices’?) simply pips him to the pole position with her incredible voice contours and casual rendition. To say that Chinmayi is in her elements in this song would be an understatement. She is somewhere beyond that, bringing unimaginable modulations with each and every line of the Song. The music is not far behind, be it the robust African beats that Rahman has become so fond of lately or the energetic chorus complementing the lead pair. The number might feel weird on first listen, but slowly grows on you and gradually gets you addicted to it.
Kaadhal Anukkul: (Vijay Prakash, Shreya Ghoshal): A Feel good Guitar strumming starts off this peppy duet. Though the start has a ‘Lukka Chuppi’ feel to it, the song takes a totally different course after it, courtesy an ebullient Vijay Prakash and a serene Shreya Ghoshal. The number is such an enjoyable listen and makes its pitch for the song of the album on the first listen itself. It only gets better on repeated listening and is a sure shot candidate for the so called tag of ‘Chartbuster’.
Irumbilae Or Idhayam: (A R Rahman, Kash ‘n’ Krissy): ‘Shankar Grandeur’ is plainly written all over this Techno blast with Rahman himself at the helm. After belting out the riveting ‘Adhiradikkaran’ in Sivaji, he once again chooses the perfect song and an even more perfect companion to sing it with. Kash ‘n’ Krissy sounds sassy and saucy with her playful rendition, especially when she sings, or rather says “Will you come and get it boy? Or are you just a Robot Toy?” Naughty! And Rahman with his usual Nasal twang adds flavor to some brilliantly inspired lyrics by Karki (Vairamuthu’s son)… ‘Ecchil illa Endhan Muttham Sarchai inri kolvaaya? Rattham illa Kaadhal enru otthi poga solvaaya?’ superb! Right from the start this number brings you the musical essence of the movie…techno…techno…more techno!!
Arima Arima: (Hari Haran, Sadhana Sargam): Finally we get to hear some orchestration from the legend, and how!! The beats complement the intermittent violin and Hari Haran simply captivates you with his intensity which escalates as the song moves forward and crescendos at the end with him thundering the word ‘Enthran!’ Naresh Iyer and Benny Dayal bring out the seamless nature of their voices once again, rendering the charged up chorus portion, which proves that when it’s for Superstar, nothing is beneath you (Benny Dayal did the additional vocals in SIVAJI’s ‘Balleilakka’ as well). Hari Haran’s intensity and Rahman’s brilliant orchestration makes this the best song of the album…well, Almost!
And Finally… PUTHIYA MANIDHA (SP BALASUBRAMANIAN, A R Rahman, Khatija Rahman): We are back to that combination…one legend composes, another legend sings and yet another legend sets the screen on fire. SP Balasubramaniam…Well, well what can I say! Is that a throat or, as I should be saying from now, ‘Enthiram’? SPB does it once again; this time transcending not only expectations but also pitches in singing. Breathless singing has become so mundane for this maestro that he needed a new challenge. Changing the pitch of your voice from extremely high to extremely low is never an easy task. At the same time, it’s not impossible as well. But what makes it so amazing in this case is the ease with which SPB does it. I don’t know about others, but I got the following feelings after listening to SPB’s rendition: Goosebumps, Parched throat, trembling fingers and of course, a serenading wave of ecstasy. Rahman, though following the tradition of giving SPB the intro song, throws in his own genius, which can be felt especially in places where SPB’s voice merges with the keyboard arrangements and gives it a kind of robotic feel. Last but not the least, Khatija Rahman has the genes, and is here to stay.
A NOTE FOR THE CRI(B)TICS: There has been cribbing from critics and fans alike about extensive techno and western influence in the album and Rahman’s completely inconsiderate composition for the Intro Song . Well, in a movie budgeted at 150+ crores where Superstar plays the role of a Robot, will someone in their sane mind expect a ‘Veshti’ clad Rajnikanth shaking a leg with some village belles and eating ‘kozha puttu’ out of plantain leaves? When you need an intro song for a ‘Robot’ how should it be?? Well, that is answered by ‘Puthiya Manitha’!
As for the western influence in the music, I would just ask the complainants to imagine seeing the movie ‘I-Robot’ with ‘Thaenisai Thenral’ in the background. Got it? If you still ‘take no’ for an answer, well, ‘Techno’ is the answer!!
BOTTOM LINE: The album acts as the perfect teaser for the Film, giving you all the hints but still managing to make the answer elusive till that magical date…September 3! On the compositional front, it’s one of Rahman’s most unique albums, simply for the fact that he has dared to defy the fare expected by fans, sorry- RAJNI Fans-, and delivered the fare requisite for the movie.
Come September, 'ENTHIRAN' will have you on the run!