"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