Imagine a regime where the rulers/dictators control everything you do. They decide what is good, what is bad based on what they like and what they don’t, and force it down people’s throats. Your preferences don’t matter. People are irritated by them. If anyone points out flaws, they’re attacked. If this reminds you of Taliban, think again. What if I tell you such a group exists right here, in Tamilnadu? Everything I’ve said above holds good for this group, except that they don’t have the power and control. Thankfully, most of their activities are restricted to the social media.

This is the group who call themselves “Music Mafia”. They are supposed to be hard core fans of Illayaraja. That’s how they would like to be identified. You’d expect them to spread the joy of their idol’s music. But, that’s usually not what they do. Their prime focus is on talking ill about other composers’ works. Music is supposed to be a positive aspect – it has to ring in positive thoughts. However, this mafia hardly does anything other than spreading negativity. For this reason, I don’t think it’s right to call them a “music” group. They’re nothing but a group of social media extremists. What a befitting name they've chosen for themselves.

Before we go further, let me clarify one thing – I am a big fan of AR Rahman. You may wonder of any bias – but as you read through, you’ll realise that I’m stating  just plain facts and not my opinions (which may be biased)! The recent sentiment from people (on twitter) who are not fans of any particular composer, reflects this group’s atrocity, which is increasing each day.

The “mafia” discredits any music other than Illayaraja’s. While their anger was usually restricted to AR Rahman, the “mafia” has now started writing off any other composer with even a little hint of success.

The person who they focus most of their energy on, is AR Rahman – sometimes I even wonder if they think about AR Rahman even more than hardcore Rahman fans. The “mafia” just can’t talk about IR’s greatness without belittling AR Rahman. No surprises here, as Raja himself is so bitter when it comes to AR Rahman – being his ardent “devotees”, the mafia would obviously toe his line on this. But, while Raja grabs any opportunity to take digs at AR Rahman, this group keeps creating opportunities to talk ill of ARR – as I said earlier, spreading negativity is their forte!

They meet to celebrate Raja’s music, and they end up dissing ARR. They write blog posts about that big meet up, they end up insulting ARR in that too! They write reviews of Raja’s background score, but they take a dig at ARR. There was a Raja concert recently in London where the music of Raja’s Megha was released. One would expect them to rave about the album and the concert. But, what do these people do? They find old interviews of AR Rahman and tweet silly comments about it. Shows their priority, right? I mean, when they have a new album and a concert to tweet about, why else would they ignore all that and read old interviews of a person who they hate?

They question the “lack of nativity” in Kadal’s music, but when someone talks about the wah-wah pedals and electric guitars in Karagaatakkaran songs/BGMs or the chorus singing “baby baby” with techno beats, electronic pads and synth arpeggios in the period film, Ponnar Shankar (I’m not making this up, there really is a “baby baby” chorus in Ponnar Shankar!), they either change the topic or they hurl abuses. Why would they care about decency, when they stoop this low anyway?

They have been doing this for over 20 years now – but, this seems to have worsened in recent times. I wonder how other composers like Deva and Vidyasagar weren’t targeted. Deva was most prolific in the 90s, wasn’t he? And, Vidyasagar had a good run in late 90s-early 2000s. Probably because Raja had decent successes during that period? Towards the end of 90s, though, their insecurity increased. And now, their insecurity seems to be at a peak. Their “arch-rival” AR scaling new heights, young new composers doing really well, coupled with Raja’s failures seems to get on their nerves! They even target 3-film old Anirudh these days. On twitter, there were so many jibes at Anirudh after the recent news about him recording with the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra!

I do not follow any of these mafia people, as my timeline would be filled with nothing but negative tweets and hate speech. I end up seeing some of these tweets once in a while, when retweeted. Sometimes, I honestly feel sorry for the state they are in. But, this is not going to stop – On Monday (7th Oct), a single from Kochadaiyaan is going to release. Be prepared for a slew of hate tweets from the mafia, while I will happily enjoy the new song, having muted the hate tweets!

For now, I leave you with this - Let real peace spread throughout the world. Let’s throw the negativity out!

By Aravind on Saturday, October 05, 2013 at 7:08 PM
As Mani mentioned in the interviews, Kadal is is a 'good vs evil' film.

The good man, Sam (Aravindswamy) and Satan, Bergmans (Arjun) are brothers in a Seminary, with Bergmans having joined the Seminary to feed himself and his poor family and Sam, to serve the Lord. Bergmans is thrown out from the Seminary, as Sam reports to his superiors that Bergmans has broken the oath of Celibacy. Thus begins the 'good vs evil' fight which forms the crux of the film.

Several years later, Sam, now a catholic Father, comes to a village, where he mentors Thomas, an orphaned kid who grows up to be a handsome young fisherman. The good vs evil fight restarts, this time with Thomas joining in. Meanwhile, Thomas is smitten by Beatrice, a nurse. Questions like where does Thomas and Bea fit in this fight, do they get together, how does good triumph evil are answered as the second half of the film unties all the knots.

Mani Ratnam and Jayamohan have woven a beautiful script, which keeps you interested till the end. The efforts taken by them to bring in the nativity of a fishing village is so evident. At the end of the film, you feel like you've visited the village and lived there.

Arjun as the unapologetic satan and Aravindswamy as the oh-so-pure Father and Thomas' mentor, have played their parts well, though Arjun reminds us of Pugazhendhi from Mudhalvan, especially during the climax. Gautham Karthik looks promising and is convincing in his role as Thomas. Thulasi Nair is apt as the emotionally immature, childlike Beatrice.

The album, one of Rahman's best in the last 5 years, is already a big hit, with people eagerly waiting for each song in the theater. AR Rahman has worked equally hard for the background score too, with each cue fitting perfectly to the mood. I already can not wait to get my hands on the voice-less BGM tracks.

Rajeev Menon proves why he is among the best cinematographers here. The vibrant sea, the pristine beach, the church look so beautiful. The highlight is the climax scene in on the boat, with the boat tossing and turning due to the storm. Hats off, Rajeev Menon!

My only big grouse with this film is the way in which the songs were used in the film. Lakshmi Manchu once tweeted ( that Nenjukkulle was picturised on her, but for some reason the song has been removed. The song is now played in the background for Gautham-Thulasi. Chithtirai Nila was used in bits and pieces three times in the film and Anbin Vaasale was pushed to end credits. However, the use of Magudi when Gautam turns 'evil' is just perfect. The most brilliant part of the song and the usage in the film is the 'devil' telling him in her seductive voice that once he has embraced 'her', he'll not be able to redeem himself and he'll dance as per her tunes (naan magudi daa, nee paambu).

Kadal is not a typical Mani Ratnam film. He has ventured in to new territory - in to a zone he is not comfortable with - has come out with flying colours. Kadal is a must watch. I'd rate Kadal 4 out of 5. It's one of the best tamil films in recent times (PS: I haven't watched Vishwaroopam yet).
By Aravind on Sunday, February 03, 2013 at 2:25 PM Post Categories: ,