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1 CRORE FOR "WHY THIS KOLAVARI DI"

By Arun

‘Why this kolaveri’? These three words have redefined Tamil cinema music in a matter of days. Will Tamil film be the same ever again, we don’t know. Why? Because there is a difference between a hit song and a sensationally trend setting one. And, why are we calling Kolaveri a ‘sensational trend setter’; because it has got a jaw dropping 1.04 crore views on the official Sony channel in Youtube as of 29th Nov 2011. To understand the sheer size of this number, you have to also know that Mankatha has managed 3 lakh hits so far (which was considered huge at that time).

So, what is it that has made entire population go ‘kolaveri’ over a song, that, a few years back, may not have qualified as a proper song, let alone become a huge hit. It is difficult to point out. Perhaps it is the uncomplicated nature of the entire affair that makes it so hum worthy. Even Rahman’s international music and Vairamuthu’s literally rich lines could not get such a response from the people. ‘Kolaveri’ seems more like the leisurely rambling of a frustrated young man who wants to vent his feelings by shouting them out loud over a bottle or two of liquor; now, every young man out of college has experienced or seen such a scene at least once; that is where the connection between the youth and the song comes from.

The song stands for everything that youngsters find lousy and frustrating about life in general and love in particular. And, the lines which abound in the most colloquial of terms both in English and Tamil without a care in the world for grammar, diction or propriety is the high point. Everyone likes to break the rules and the team of ‘3’ has done it. So, what? Many more people have broken rules even before this.

Yes, film music is a game with a set of rules and from time to time there are people who bend, break and change the rules. But, the team of ‘3’ changed all this, they did not bend, break or change the rules, they changed the game itself. In short, while all others were busy running a race, the ‘3’ team organized a race of their own and won without competition. It is one thing to get Dhanush to write the lyrics, it is another to get a debutante score music and it is a very brave thing to let Dhanush sing it and also allow him to mimic musical instruments halfway into the song and the biggest move was to do all of them in the same song. It was an all or nothing approach that clicked.

But, let’s be clear on one thing. The song is such a rage probably because the team of ‘3’ did not think too much about it. In fact, the listeners, fans, critics and media would have spent more time thinking over the merits and other aspects of this song than the people who made it. ‘Kolaveri’ was a fun activity for all those who did it and that is why it is fun for all those who hear it. If it was an intellectual activity, it would never have been close to the phenomenon that it is now.

The biggest surprise about ‘Kolaveri’ however is the fact that the song has not got any haters till now. From what we have seen, any song that demystifies lyrics, music and rendition, bringing it down to layman levels, will always have its share of detractors who say that it is a degradation, deterioration and defamation of art. But, ‘kolaveri’ has not elicited any such response to date. Why, we don’t know, the song has a likeable quality to it.

The recent past has been replete with many instances where the whole process of making a song has been simplified to amazing levels. All of them have been hits and one has to concede that ‘kolaveri’ is an exceptionally well executed progression of all previous efforts. Songs like ‘Evandi unna petthan’, the recent ‘Kadhal yen Kadhal’ from Mayakkam Enna, a couple of songs from ‘Deivathirumagal’ are all example of such hits.

You can look back many years to the hit number from Badri which had Vijay singing quite effortlessly or the many jingles that Kamal has done over his career like ‘Alwarpetta Andavaa’ from Vasool Raja. There is also one rather unnoticed experiment done by Devan Ekambaram in the recent past; the ‘happy happy’ song from Bale Pandiya.

It was perhaps all these that culminated in the ultimate casual musical experiment carried out by Anirudh, Dhanush and Aishwarya Dhanush to give a ‘people’s hit’. For all those who have not yet listened to this ‘rage of a song’, one simple piece of advice; don’t think about it too much, just enjoy it.


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