Friday, October 24, 2003

YSR and Dhanush – The gains from Kadhal Konden

Some time ago, I had posted a piece of Vidyasagar’s quiet entry into the major league. But a couple of months down the line, it seems that Vidyasagar’s is not alone in the company of ARR and IR. Along comes IR Jr. – YSR. Quietly he has taken his deserving place in this esteemed company, though in several steps lower (as of now) than his illustrious father.

Starting with Poovellam Kettupar in 1999, where he had a bouquet of fine numbers (Nithyashree Mahadevan’s jarring version of one particular song not withstanding) that were embellished by the likes of Hariharan, Unnikrishnan and Srinivas, he has grown in stature today. He has been noticed by one and all concerned and I am sure that with the talent that has resulted in several hits this year, the big one is not too far.

Kadhal Konden is one such effort. While Dhanush seems to draw inspiration from roles essayed by Kamal Hassan in such movies as Sigappu Rojakkal and Guna, six pieces of YSR’s fine music combined with his strong background score only serves to highlight the angst in the life of a young man unable to forget his past as an abused child.

Shankar Mahadevan excels in Manasu Rendum which is my favorite in this set. First heard this song on the car ride to Indy on the day of the US GP and have been hooked ever since. The booming drum in the background somehow has me running the song repeatedly on my computer. Another addition to the “soul of Anti” collection. Vijay Yesudas’s rendition of “Kathal mattum” reminds me more of Unni Menon than KJY. Seriously until I saw his name on the credits of the song, I was under the impression that it was Unni Menon. A slow number that I would probably start loving on repeated listening. Nenjodu is Unni Krishnan all the way. Obviously modeled on Kanmani Anbodu from Guna, but Unni Krishnan and Sujatha lift this song to another level. Devathaiyai Kanden is one of Harish Ragavendar’s two efforts in this soundtrack, the other being Thottu thottu. Decent at best though I haven’t listened to these two songs more than a few times. However these two songs pale in comparison to Manasu Rendum.

Some of YSR’s last few efforts in the background score have hit the mark easily. Case at point - Mounam Pesiyathey. Kadhal Konden is no different and the background score only proves that YSR's earlier efforts were not mere flashes in the pan. But do I hear the opening bars of Bryan Adam’s Everything I do whenever Dhanush and the heroine share a tender moment? However it is fleeting.

As for the actual movie, Golf Dude commented that Kadhal Konden was a “well made Guna”. I would beg to differ here, only because Guna was made first. Kadhal Konden had it easy because all Selvaraghavan had to do was to build upon Guna, which I don’t think he has been successful in. In that sense I don’t rate this movie better than Guna. But full credit to the director for establishing the basis for such a character. Topics like child molestation have not yet come into focus in India and hence Selvaraghavan needs to be applauded for depicting these things on screen and yet not change the focus of the movie. An ideal platform for Dhanush to do his bit and he has done so effortlessly.