Nandalala – Another proof of Raja’s greatness

I caught the movie this weekend and it is among the best to have come out of Kollywood. Where most movies focus on the actions of the characters, Mysskin delves into the characters themselves, analysing the psyche – their ability to love and their vulnerabilities. But the heart of the movie is in the music, which was pretty clear seeing the promos featuring Ilayaraja.
The use of music and silence to express emotions stands out in Nandalala. I’ve always preferred Raja’s music to others’, and was delighted to see a movie where his music communicates to the viewers in a fashion rarely seen in the past decade. Bala’s movies have always had soothing scores but somehow the raw emotions that signify vintage Raja’s music didn’t shine through, partly due to the themes of his movies.

Nandalala gives the maestro a theme where emotions play a major part, and he treats the viewers to an aural treat that strings at our souls. For me, music means expressing emotions, and Raja stands non-pareil here. The ability to portray raw emotions via music is his own domain. Although several of Rahman’s songs portray powerfully the emotions of the characters – En kaadhalae comes to mind immediately – his use of technology has, while giving us many peppy and memorable numbers, denied him this ability. I do not criticize him, our movie makers have become too dumb. Fast paced action, racy numbers and plotless movies are the order of the day, and that is not Rahman’s fault.

Ilayaraja’s music shines through the movie and his use of silence to emphasise it makes for pleasant listening. I wish more movies like this are made, if only to let us rejoice, fear, cry, laugh and feel the emotions of the characters.

If you have not seen the movie yet, watch it. It is a good movie on its own, but Raja’s music elevates it to its own level.