Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

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Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#1  Postby ganeshkant » 30 Jan 2012 13:20

I am not going to discuss movies of the 30s and 40s where the songs were of rAgA based and the divide between the kutchery music and film music was wafer thin. So whether we call or not most of the movies of yore like Meera, Asokkumar, Sivakavi, JagathalaprAthApan, etc were all musicals. Rather I would like to discuss and seek replies about the movies of the 50’s and 60’s where the film music got lightened yet regained its classicism. I would put it this way ’ light music with a classical touch’.

So to start with I shall call ‘Thookkuthookki’ (1954) a musical and classic that is being viewed even today with a lot of awe for its narration, slick editing, acting and above all its music by the veteran G.Ramanathan. This movie is special because that was the first movie in which the doyen TMS gave his voice to the inimitable Sivaji Ganesan. In fact the producers wanted Trichy Lokanathan but he demanded a whopping Rs.2500 for all the songs hence GR recommended this boy who had sung a few songs. The hero SG wanted to hear him sing and an audition was arranged and at the end when SG walked out without giving any opinion TMS was naturally perplexed but later relieved when GR told him that SG has consented and they can go ahead and the rest was history.

It is difficult for me to tell as to whose voice is more haunting – Rafi or TMS of the 50’s.TMS gave life to the impeccable imagination of GR in songs like ‘pengaLainambAdhE ( mAnD),ErAdhamalaithanilE(a folk tune in rAgamAlikai with Ananadhabhairavi ,sindbhairavi,punnAgavarALi?)kurangilirindhuupirandhavan manidhan ( shanmukhapriyA) sundari soundari (chenchurutti or kurinji).There are other songs also like a beautiful duet in karnAtaka dEvagAndhAri).

It is difficult to believe that SG is only 2 yrs.old in the industry with his unforgettable kOmALi act where he repeats every thing who ever does and when he imitates Padmini,AhA…it’s a great piece of acting.

So folks ‘Thooku thookki’ still lives in our memory through its songs and the other associated things about the movie come to our memory because of that only. Hence undoubtedly TT is a musical.

(more to come based on the responses)
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#2  Postby CRama » 30 Jan 2012 14:01

There had been many movies in this genre. Immediately comes to my mind Konjum Silangai,Thillana Mohanambal, Karnan and a host of mythological films directed by APN . But I do not remember enough to write about those films. Somebody else may supplement.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#3  Postby sridhar_ranga » 30 Jan 2012 15:16

Ah sundari soundari....such a classical song I used to trip on, in my younger days. Here is the YouTube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlULJclM6IQ

I am familiar with only the song, just saw the video on YouTube and the ladies enacting the scene (must be some princesses as per the story?) look so graceful and lovely. Shivaji looks full of mischief.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#4  Postby rshankar » 30 Jan 2012 23:12

tUkku tUkki was a lovely movie...the Travencore sisters were at their bewitching best. sundari soundari is in kurinji, right? I understand it had it's share of controversy with the kOnAr community taking up cudgels against the song ErAdamalaitanilE. I do believe that that song was banned from being broadcast on AIR...
I have heard that Sri Sivaji Ganesan practiced for long hours before attempting the moves for the song 'kurangilirundu pirandavan manidan'.
Ganeshkant, is the duet you refer to 'kaNvazhi pugundu karuttinil kalanda minnoLiyE yEn maunam'?
The songs from movies like this had wonderful lyrics that sort of sang themselves, if you will. Even reciting them has a melody....
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#5  Postby sureshvv » 02 Feb 2012 10:17

sridhar_rang wrote:Ah sundari soundari....such a classical song I used to trip on, in my younger days. Here is the YouTube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlULJclM6IQ


Great video to trip on at any age :-) Thanks.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#6  Postby ganeshkant » 02 Feb 2012 12:36

The other film that I would call a musical is 'AmbikApathy (1957).THe muisc score was by GR.It is a v.g.subject to compose good music and GR had utilized the opportunity fully.Who can forget the songs in the climax where the hero is ordered by thr king to sing 100 songs in the names of gods and songs like 'chinthanai sei manamE(kalyANi)tamizhMalaithanaichooduvAi(kAmbOdhi)vadivElum(manirangu - the only time I listened to a film song in this rAgam)and the viruthams in nattai,gowLai and K.GowLai.There are many other songs in the film which were good like andamEvum which was in kAvadichindhu and the evergreen duet 'mAsilAnilavE'in rAgamAlikai (TMS - Bhanumathi)

In fact the play back for SG for this film was offered to MKT who was financially suffering heavily but he refused.Kishore kumar did that but not MKT. Any way TMS gave his best I think in this film.Once he reminisced ' There were 18 takes for the duet song 'mAsilA..'since Bhanumathi was committing some sort of mistake and the next time his voice failed for a moment naturally they had to go for a retake and the actress stormed out of the studio in protest.What to do ? She was very famous ;( '
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#7  Postby ganeshkant » 29 Jun 2012 13:22

The following films that I watched recently have almost all songs that are strongly based on that rAga with very minor ot no deviation at all.

pAlum pazhamum : an excellent music cscore by MSV-TKR with unforgettable songs that are immortalized.

nAnpEsaninaippadhellAm - (misra)sivaranjani - a very diff.tune from the normal songs that are avilable in this rAgam.The lyrics add to the melody making it a very meaningful song.

indhanAtakam - subapantuvarALi - a beautiful melody.

ennaiyArenDru - sindhubhairavi - very haunting;stellar performance by the lead pair and very beautifully picturised.

The other songs 'AlayamaniyinOsayainAnkETTEn' and 'pAlum pazhamum kaiakaLil Endhi'were also v.g.melodies.

The film 'azhahan' directed by K.B that had lovely music by 'maragatamani' a.k.a 'keeravani'.I like this film mostly for its music and watch it whenever possible.The portions concerning Mammotty and Bhanupriya are very natural esp.

ennanna svarangal - kharharapriya,jAtimallipoocharamE - mAnd ( SPB at his best on both )and the melodic tathithom - dharmavati - beautufully sung by ChitrA.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#8  Postby kssr » 01 Jul 2012 11:34

"Musicals" in the west are normally movies full of music,both individual pieces and long conversations in the form of verse and music. I have seen a few in English and also in French (just for the music, without understanding a word :) ) The story lines are normally thin and mostly unimportant.

Most of the movies mentioned in this string, esp recent ones by KB, etc., are normal movies with a few carnatic music songs in place of the usual "Dappankoothu". In my humble opinion, one movie in Tamizh which most fits the "musical' title is Avvaiyaar of KBSunderambal. It is told that she got the highest remuneration at that time of Rs. 1 Lakh . I have a recording and was watching it for the nth time a few days back. Just brilliant. KBS besides being a great singer is also an excellent actress. Just by a few facial gestures, she shows anger, anguish, pleasure, kindness and umpteen other emotions. Also, I cannot think of any other movie with such directorial expertise. When she comes into a house, first they show the shadow followed by the lady herself- even the shadow puts fear in the mind of the stingy rich man, who cheats and ill treats pulavars and tamizh scholars. Great Musical- Avvaiyaar :)
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#9  Postby varsha » 01 Jul 2012 13:36

The story lines are normally thin and mostly unimportant.


Not the ones I have seen .My Fair Lady And Oliver are literary classics , among others .Our land is full of potential stories that can be exploited by this genre . But sadly we do not have collaborations at the highest levels of the individual arts that contribute to the success of such musicals .
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#10  Postby arasi » 01 Jul 2012 19:13

Memory lane walks for my ilk, folks!
Swathi ThirunAL, another gem in recent times--well,recent for those of us who grew up with music in movies, music being the main thing and the movie incidental. MKT, P.U. Chinnappa, Nagaiyya, MSS, KBS, Bhanumathi and others. Some of the films did not amount to much, but the music and the lyrics in some of them!
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#11  Postby rshankar » 01 Jul 2012 20:03

For some reason, I have never really thought of old Indian movies as true musicals...probably because, in my mind, the story line will still hold good and true without any of the songs for the most part, while in the Western musicals, the songs did have a role in the story line, i.e., if they were removed, the rest of the story would be rather difficult to follow.
That being said, in addition to the movies that starred the singing stars that Arasi has mentioned, there were bunches of movies during the time Smt. MLV, Smt. Jikki, Ms. P. Leela, and Smt. P. Susheela (early on) provided female playback singing voices, and Sri. TMS and Sri A. M. Rajah reigned supreme, that had amazing songs...stuff like kAvEri, kaNavanE kaNkaNDa deivam, vIrapANDiya kaTTabomman, tanga padumai, the tamizh original of bhAbhi ki cUDiyAn, kalyANa parisu etc....and the songs from the husband and wife duo, Sri N. S. Krishnan and Smt. T. A. Madhuram..
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#12  Postby arasi » 01 Jul 2012 20:16

True, Ravi.
Going back a million years, there was a kalyANi treat of a song of a dear uncle of mine which I chanced upon on the web some time ago, and would love to hear it again. The song goes like this: kEgai vannath thOgai minna (good lyrics too).Wonder if anyone can oblige? Thanks.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#13  Postby Ponbhairavi » 01 Jul 2012 23:04

The movie madurai veeran has many beautiful songs one of which is natakam ellam kanden un adum vizhiyile.At the beginning of the movie when titles where shown we could listen to nadaswaram playing hari ne nendhu vedha guthura full song
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#14  Postby venkatakailasam » 02 Jul 2012 15:32

#12..

can it be this one..I am not sure..

http://soundcloud.com/venkatakailasam/v ... nnanmukham
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#15  Postby arasi » 02 Jul 2012 16:34

Thanks, VKailasam for kaNNan mugam thOnRudaDi--again, with beautiful lyrics (by his cousin Aiyya of Trivandrum, if I'm not mistaken).
Lakshman, please let me know if I'm correct.

The film song I mentioned is in kalyANi and is from the film madanakAmarAjan.

KEgai vannath thOgai minna virithADum mayilE!
gItham sandam nAdAnandam ezhap pADum kuyilE!
bUthalandanil manidarukku vasantha kudUkalam Edu?
ungaLaip pOlE---is how I remember the song.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#16  Postby Pratyaksham Bala » 02 Jul 2012 16:47

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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#17  Postby arasi » 02 Jul 2012 17:12

Ah, speedy Gonzales you truly are! Thanks.
I tried to google and find it (and didnt!), but got the information that it was Papanasam Sivan's lyrics as I had guessed. M.D. Parthasarathi is the music director, Rajeshwara Rao assisting him.
The other song which got very popular from the film was prEmA, prEmA, nIyillAmal uRanguvadengE, bhAminiyE konjum kiLiyE in mOhanam which I did find.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#18  Postby TheListener » 04 Jul 2012 07:01

If you are looking for film songs in classical mould, most movies of G.Ramanathan would fit the bill.
Almost all movies of APN-KVM combo had really good music.
Thiruvilaiyadal a prime example. The series of viruthams KBS sings before pazham nee appa is rivetting. What a voice!
Regarding Ambikapathi (S.M.Subbaiah naidu), special mention must be made of Vaada Malare - a love song in lilting mukhari, that makes you yearn for more.
'masilAnilavE' changes nadai and ragam in every stanza, almost making each section a new song. In the audio cassette releases, the stanza starting vaanam engE is joined with maasila nilavE, although it appears at a different time in the movie. It fits the same pattern of ragam and nadai change.
IIRC, Konjum salangai featured a couple of really good solo pieces of Kairaikurichi in Darabari Kanada and another ragam (Karaharapriya?) I can't remember now. Of course, everyone knows singaara velane deva.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#19  Postby maduraimini » 05 Jul 2012 00:55

Thank you,V.Kailasam, for V.V.Sadagopan's 'kannan mugam' song. It has been a long time since I listened to that song. The old time movies were filled with carnatic raga songs. Songs were more important then. The movie 'Shakuntalai' with the immortal M.S. and GNB was shown in the theaters for many weeks- and the songs were the main hits. Who can forget P.U.Chinnappa's 'Sarasam' in Krishna Bhakthi? MKT was a legend and his songs were heard in later movies coming from tea stalls! His voice was so smooth and enchanting. Even though I have not seen the movies like Chintamani, Ambikapathy,(even I was too young then ) and later films like Ashok kumar, Sivakavi, Haridas and others, I used to sing them as a child ( the lrics were all wrong as I found out later!). I still listen to them whenever I see them. M.S.'s "meera' was a musical and people hummed the songs . Even the north was taken by her songs in Hindi. The movie, "Savithri' with M.S. as Naradar was not very popular, bu was seen for her songs. As late as the 50s and 60s they had good music, even though they were not all carnatic- but based on it. The Dappankuttu songs were there to draw the Masses, I guess.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#20  Postby arasi » 05 Jul 2012 01:16

My cousin maduraimini knows more songs than I can ever remember! Bless her!
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#21  Postby mahavishnu » 05 Jul 2012 05:13

Arasi: Maduraimini is your cousin? Wow, I did not know that!
I take it that she is the person behind this site: http://www.fromammawithlove.com/carnati ... family.htm

How lovely to have both of you (and your wisdom) on this forum!
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#22  Postby maduraimini » 05 Jul 2012 07:32

Mahavishnu,
Yes. I am Arasi's cousin and like you guessed, the site you mentioned is mine and I hope you liked the site. I don't know about the wisdom part, but because of our age and travels, we have gathered some , I hope. Thanks.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#23  Postby maduraimini » 05 Jul 2012 07:35

Arasi,
Thanks for your confidence in me.
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#24  Postby arasi » 05 Jul 2012 07:50

I thank you, maduraimini. There's MAS among cousins too ;)

Ramesh,
Thank you for your kind words, but you have to catch us in our silly moods and when we are having fun--then you would wonder why you thought of us as having some wisdom between us! I have quite a few lovely cousins, each different but is such good company--but we two have been close because of our both living away from India for so long...
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Re: Movies that qualify to be called as 'musical'

#25  Postby rshankar » 05 Jul 2012 23:47

mahavishnu wrote:I take it that she is the person behind this site: http://www.fromammawithlove.com/carnati ... family.htm
Ramesh - a delightful find. Thank you for posting.

maduraimini wrote:the site you mentioned is mine and I hope you liked the site.
I loved it. I read all your postings. In particular, the "Ask Amma" section was wonderful. And, staying with friends at the JALMA (Japanese Amercian Leprosy Mission in Asia) capmus, I did get to see the Taj on a moonlit night, and it was every bit as ethereally beautiful as it is described to be.
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