Weak points of MDs who have made a mark in TFM
Topic started by Bhoori (@ 1cust94.tnt1.scl1.da.uu.net) on Sat Feb 20 01:13:30 EST 1999.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
Lets look at the weak points of great MDs in TFM. Lets start with the giants, SMS Naidu, GR, VR, KVM, MSV, IR and ARR. Weak points here pertain to the music only. Please illustrate the point you are making with examples whereever possible.
Please dont bring non-musical issues here. So if IR was difficult to get along or ARR exploited the media to boost his image, as far as this thread is concerned, we dont care.
- From: Bhoori (@ 1cust94.tnt1.scl1.da.uu.net)
on: Sat Feb 20 01:42:55 EST 1999
Here is my list;
SMS: While SMS was one of the pioneers and while he has tuned excellent songs, he really hasnt transcended the barrier between extremely good to the great. ( Something like G.R. Visvanath will never be talked in the same breath as say, Sachin. )
Also, in my limited knowledge, he seems to hv used few instruments - not much of an orchestration. While one can think of gems like "Malai Mayangugindra Neram" in Maragatham, he seems to hv used Carnatic music base LESS than someone like GR.
GR: GR seems to hv divided his songs into two groups viz. a. carnatic music based b. dappangutthu based ( at least folksy tunes ) e.g. Mullai Malar Mele and Pulli Vaikkuran Podiyan Sokkuran in Utthama Putthiran. This obviously limits his range. Though there are notable exceptions to this, ( e.g. Yaradi Nee Mohini is rock inspired and Ulavum Thendral Katrilinile has a very western classical aura ), this limited range is his major negative point when I compare him to someone like IR or even MSV.
VR: VR is almost perfect by my book. Primus Inter Pares as the saying goes. But VR seem to hv relied on melodies and not that much on rhythm and beat. Again, there are notable exceptions e.g. Malarendra Mugam Indru Sirikkattum etc.
KVM: Repeat GR here. In KVMs case, it is much worse because he is a much more "modern" MD than GR and should hv tried to bring in different kinds of music.
MSV: It is very difficult for me to pinpoint what is really lacking in MSV compared to VR. Somehow Ramamoorthy added that pinch of something which make an average VR song much better than the average MSV song.
IR: What can I say, IR is near perfect. His range is amazing; he brought western classical influences, rock, disco, pop almost everything. ( Maybe no jazz. ) The only thing I can think of is that his average compared to say VR is poor i.e. I cant think of one movie by VR in which there isnt at least one excellent song. I can think of quite a few by IR e.g. Sakala kala vallavan, chinnan chirusugal, adharmam... Of course, VR did music for maybe 100 movies and IR is what ? 500 now ?. Of course, it is much easier to maintain this kind of standard for say 750 songs than for 2500 songs.
ARR: I thought long and hard before adding ARR to the list. He still has to make the transition from good to great. But he has shown enough talent to justify my optimism here. You should really appreciate his experimentation ( Kadu, Pottaik Kadu, Veera Pandik Kottaiyile, Rasatthi Ennuyiru Ennudhille, Strawberry Kanne, Petta Rap etc. ) and hopefully he will make it some day. Anyway, this is supposed to be about his weak points and hence coming to his weak points, there is a heavy dependency on beat. Savu Molam recurs too frequently for comfort. The songs look repetitive to some extent.
- From: Shankar (@ webgate0.mot.com)
on: Sat Feb 20 04:04:12 EST 1999
Great work. But i wud like to bring to ur notice the fact that Raja has scored for almost 750 movies (must be in 740's now) and adharmam indeed had an excellent song is "muthu maNi".
One weakness i wud like to point about MSV is that his orchestration was poor. His interludes were repetitive and were not given much importance except few songs.
One weakness of ARR is that he's NOT original and as u said the songs look repetitive. (I'm sure I have heard thuli, thuli from ESK ,somewhere).
- From: Bhoori (@ 1cust148.tnt1.scl1.da.uu.net)
on: Sat Feb 20 06:45:43 EST 1999
I hv missed one another MD viz. Sudarsanam who belongs to this category.
Sudarsanam also has the lots of melodies but few rhythms/beats, carnatic music/folksy tunes and little range beyond that problem.
In the SMS paragraph, I wanted to compare Sachin or Visvanath to Pataudi. Pat was the extremely good pioneering bat for India who despite lot of potential would never be considered a batting great as Gavaskar, Visvanath, Sachin would be.
All the criticism about GR's "limited" range is obviously in hindsight. He did what he could at that time. Its probably more valid for KVM.
I considered three other MDs viz. Rajeswara Rao, AMR and VK. I dropped Rao as his influence is in Telugu FM rather than TFM; AMR, as he did may be 5-6 movies; I am still ambiguous about VK - he was probably one of the most underrated MDs of all time.
The other notable MDs are: Ghantasala, Adhi Narayana Rao ( Telugu FM ), C.R. Subbaraman, T.R. Pappa ( dont know enough to make a comment ), TG Lingappa, M.P. Srinivasan, T.K. Ramamoorthy, Salil Chowdry ( too few movies ), Vedha, Sankar-Ganesh, Deva ( too much copying ), Govardanam, GKV, Chandrabose, GA ( also-rans ), and a bunch of new MDs ( I know very few of these, S.A. Rajkumar, Vidyasagar, Ranjit Barot, Sirpi etc. and hence cant comment ).
Hopefully somebody with a lot more technical knowhow would explain in laymans terms the weaknesses. Also people with better knowledge of several of these MDs should make comments on the suitability of including them in this list.
- From: eden (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Sat Feb 20 07:58:06 EST 1999
Is it only about songs or also BGM? If BGM is included, all others except Raja are not upto the mark. Raja, is indeed great even by int'l standards in BGM. (I'd say ARR is the weakest of all, considering the range of technolgoy at his service and his poor BGM score despite all of this. One of my friends, who can't differentiate between Violin and Piano but who likes ARR songs was commenting while watching `Muthu': Why this fellow is playing the humming of `Rukkumani' song as BGM? Can't he think better?)
- From: Nithin (@ spider-wd014.proxy.aol.com)
on: Sat Feb 20 15:43:00 EST 1999
A major irritation from IR is the quarter or half notes. That makes the songs and some of his interlues seem stunted.
We should all give credit to MSV for producing rhythms mostly for the mridangam and using mostly traditional South Indian instruments. This is probably why MSV's rhythms sounded weaker. However, they are purely carnatic based and are intricate works.
Look at Salid Chowdhury or Illayaraja, perfectionists who were built that way because of heavy reliance on Hindustani tabla, sitar and sounds.
- From: Bhoori (@ 1cust247.tnt2.sfo2.da.uu.net)
on: Sat Feb 20 19:38:05 EST 1999
Eden: Of course, BGM is part of TFM. I tend not to notice BGM in a movie unless it is atrocious or superb. ;-) I agree with you on IRs BGM vs others. I dont think any of the pre-IR greats placed a great deal of importance on BGM. IR was much better but offhand, I cant think of very few movies where his BGM was superb. Punnagai Mannan, maybe. Again, that could be my blind spot.
Nithin: The point about mridangam etc. is a very good one. I think that probably applies to all pre-IR greats.
- From: dorai (@ gateway7.ey.com)
on: Tue Feb 23 15:59:20 EST 1999
watch the BGM in Kaathal Kavithai. When Rajeev and SreeVidhya checks in Isha's room to see if she is awake or asleep without any worries of her love, IR plays the notes which resemble close to Oru Thanga rathathil Pon Manjal Nillavu. They see ISha sleeping peacefully and closes the door and leave, immediately the BGM changes to great violin pieces which clearly reflects the restlessness and worryness in ISHA. I would easily rate this one as one of IR's best.
IR is indeed the best ever with no doubt
- From: dorai (@ gateway7.ey.com)
on: Tue Feb 23 16:15:01 EST 1999
Also, the great violin pieces at the end when ISHA and Prashant unites. What a great work by IR. He has showed how to use WC in BGM. Thats real Creativity.!!!
Another one, is the great voilin pieces when ISH and Prashant Meets in the beech to discuss Rajeevs book. He starts with some great voilins and then when Prashant explains the content of the book, IR immediately shifts to Carnatic Classical tunes.
Also, what I observed in KK, is IR has used WC more than Carnatic classical. In Kadhaluku Mariyadhai, the climax scene is full of carnatic classical. IR perceved this movie as a urbanic love story with some portion of it shooted in London and hence has used WC. KM is a typical tradinational domestic Love story hence it needs the carnatic classical. What a great perception by IR.
I enjoyed the whole of KK because of the BRILLIANT BGM.
- From: Ravi (@ gluttony.cs.umass.edu)
on: Tue Feb 23 18:41:51 EST 1999
dorai: This thread is to discuss weak points not strong points of various MDs.
- From: Udhaya (@ )
on: Wed Jun 9 15:25:32 EDT 1999
I think Bhoori intended to take this further. Here's hoping to that end.
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