The “Beautiful, Poetic, Artistic” Romance

The effect of background scores and music in life. (Though life has no BG score, except sometimes)


So revisiting some old movies are a great experience. You tend to notice some great effort from the makers that you missed in the first place. Tiny details, inspirations, homage, references. We might have noted it in the first place and it did affect our view but we weren’t sure about it.

Starting off with an all time favourite by Mani Ratnam. O Kadhal Kanmani (definitely not OK Jaanu).

So, there’s this scene where Adhi asks Bhavani aunty how she and Ganapathy uncle got married.

To which Ganapathy uncle goes on telling the story. Yeah, the usual meet cute story. But…but but but … the score goes off. The sound design here is so subtle and goes very well with the scene. He goes on about how he met her on one of her concerts in Bombay and slowly the sound of a Kacheri ambience is heard. A portion of vocals and tabalas, it is as if he vividly remembers the first time he saw her and heard her sing. It is so beautiful.

There are many similar examples in OKK itself but I’ll save that for another post. (God, I love that movie)

Next one is a very familiar flick. 96.( Ok, Jaanu)

When I watched it for the first time, this one scene gave me chills. Nope, not the Kaadhale Kaadhale one.

This scene is beautiful too, I’ll get back to this one.

So, this scene is when Ram reveals he did come to Jaanu’s wedding as she had wished. Then the beats of a kalyana melam goes off. Slowly. Echoing. And Ram goes on telling her he stood there and watched her, in the crowd.

This scene still gives me the goosebumps. That’s what I would call a brilliant direction. (Not just ’cause he put a kalyana melam sound while describing the marriage, but for other brilliant sequences which, again, I’ll save for some other day)

Coming back to Kaadhale Kaadhale song, the scene is when Jaanu tells Ram’s students how they fell in love. We know it’s a cooked up story(the scene where she runs down to the front of college and hugs him), so does Ram, and Jaanu but we also know that deep down, both of them wished that to happen.

And the reason I love this scene is the expressions of both of them is heartbreaking. Also, there’s a similar sequence in La La Land. The epilogue.

As Sebastian starts playing their music, the montage starts where both Mia and Sebastian could have lived happily ever after, but at the end, as the jazz piece ends, they both are pulled back to reality where Mia is a successful Actor and Sebastian has his own Jazz band. Happily ever after? Yeah, kinda.

Next is 100 Days of Love, another Govind Menon musical, yeah.

This movie is really underrated TBH. It is shot and presented really beautifully. The scene where he searches for the unknown girl, the one, through the song Ninne Kaanum is really good.

This was Jenuse’s debut and his references to noir classics can be seen in this song sequence. My favourite is where Balan dances, and a film is played and projected in his background.

Also there’s a whole song shot in monochrome in this film.

Another sequence which I loved was this one.

They go around the city finding the spots where Sheela’s parents spent their early life. Their crazy-in-love period.

I really recommend watching this on a weekend. Remember, this ain’t logical but absolutely beautiful. The chemistry works out really well and the cinematography is brilliant. Not to mention the score and songs.

Last one, I promise.

Dev D

Not the typical romance as the other films but the Dev-Chanda theme was really beautiful. The second theme. The whistle and strings go well with the mood. Amit Trivedi is one of my favourites and his combination with Anurag Kashyap is lit. The songs from Manmarziyaan is another great playlist.

So, why did I give out this whole list of songs and movies?

Well, all I wanna say is (which you already know, if not, then cool) music and sound is an integral part of movies. (Duh, we knew that) Also, there goes a hell lot of effort in making movies, and people barely tend to notice that. Those who go to theatres, cool. They get to see the whole of the work. Those who watch the same in phones or laptops? The cinematographer and sound designer dies the brutal death right there.

Yeah, started off with romance and ended it in a lecture on film watching.

Romance can be beautiful in movies and it seem to soothe the minds for the time. But if not handled carefully, even the beautiful might look retarded. Examples? Watch a Mani Ratnam film remade into Hindi.




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