Raavan Music review (Maniratnam, A R Rahman, 2010)


Raavan is maniratnam’s big deal movie ,coming

after a couple of his big family crises and health problems and an indifferently recieved(and concieved?) guru.

The hook in the film is that the multi lingual casts the protagonist of the hindi language version (Star and star scion Abhishek Bacchan) as the villain/ antagonist of the tamil language version, thus setting this up into  a regular clash of civilizations that ramayana was supposed to be. (the worthy rama and the worthy ravana lashing over the right to steal somone’s wife which Ravana had, as the king of the non aryan civilization, a right which the monogamous rama(coming from a playboy polygamous father) gave to noone.

The AR Rahman Album is being released at a time when AR is coming off some mixed success from the west. While he seems to ahve won every award in sight for Danny Boyle’s neo colonialist piece the fox lorber produced Slumdog Millionaire(tm),

He was associated with only one lukewarmly recieved (and pretty bad) comedy “Couples Retreat” which nevertheless seems to have made a hundered million dollars or so. With nothing else to show and some high profile but not commercially widely distributed films on his plate, AR is now planning his “journey home” by taking his immensely successful worldwide live concert tours to under the live nation/ ticketmaster banner, thus demonstrating that all was not lost with his hollywood experiment.

Ravan Soundtrack

So when we come home to talking Ravan(the hindi version) album we see mixed motives and appeals. Like many AR Rahman albums made in times when he is shuffling his audience appeal by mixing genres,

 the album does not have a “take it to the bank ” quality to it. there’s just one song Khili re that instantly appeals, even though it has a regurgitated May madam/ sahana saral poothatho  feel to it.

Khili Re – Reena Bhardwaj 

which sounds like sahana (from sivaji) and En mel vizzuntha (may madam)

The album also is charecterized by AR Rahman’s preoccupation with “world music” sound. I use inverted commas because the sound is a combination of Indonesian gamelan and african(usually senegalese) konga rhythm mixed with drunk noises of various cultures . World music is thus the music played when white colonials behave badly (with one another and the poolboy) in a tropical beach resort.

The decadently titled

 Beera – Vijay Prakash, Mustafa Kutoane, Keerthi Sagathia

The next most impressive song on the track sounds like AR is adding world music sounds to ram gopal varma’s(ARR’s) ottam soundtrack which featured the  awesome drunk song “shabba shabba”.


Thok De Killi – Sukhwinder Singh, Am’nico

we come to some of ARR’s mischievous and pretty amusig ideas. this is a follow up to the Dilli 6 Kala bandar when ARR mixed rap and bhangra. Here Arr mixes genres again, with a riff that starts with arabic  stains, morphs into bhangra and then has a stain of des raga(thus making a political statement that the roots of Punjabi and north Indian nationalism is really arabic in nature. While this is mature political commentrary, as music, it works like a charm, although to somewhat less clued in audiences this will all be greek. the song also cements ARR’s place in the British queen’s pantheon of friends. expect to see a Sir AR Rahman (or better a Lord Rahman) soon.

Kata Kata – Ila Arun, Sapna Awasthi, Kunal Ganjawala

reinforces the impression that this album is a regurgitation of the ramgopal varma Road(ottam) soundtrack by AR Rahman. we are left somewhat underwhelmed and cheated by the unfinished nature of the musical ideas in the tracks as if Maniratnam stopped insisting that ARR should produce mature sounds like this or this.

But mani’s old and ARR has evolved beyond the point when he needs to make good music to be successful so…we always have shantanu moitra…and Adnana sami 😦


About rameshram

Name : Ramesh Ram... Email Address : Cdrakenc@gmail.com (don't even ask) Blog: (never updated) http://ramesh.journalspace.com Height/ Weight: 6'1 175 (varies between 160 and 185) Color of hair/ eyes black/ brown Bald? Nope (not yet, but give me 20 years.) Interests: Film (Bollywood/international indie), Travel (Germany/Japan/Central America/Sout/east/west Asia/ Northern Africa), Gizmo geek, Clubbing... What do I like in a good movie?: Women, Music, Auters, Special effects, Style. What do I like in a bad movie?: Women, Music, Auters, Special effects, Style. Favorite Critic: International: Bazin Domestic: J Hobermann Indian : me. (noone else comes close ...India or here..) Best quality: Humility. Outspokenness. Warmth Worst quality: Intolerence Favorite color : Yellow Black Blue Favorite Perfume : men: Grey Flannel(Geoffery Beene) Women: Celine dion: Obsession Boxers / briefs : Boxers Did I inhale: And how! Author: Marquiz, Rushdie, Murakami, Jong Last Book: The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton, Catherine A. Liszt Music : Patricia Kass, Alejandro Sanz,Nina Simone, Amir Diab Sports person: uh..me? What am I usually in : White briefs and tees. Chianti or Burgandy: Chianti Food: French Japanese(street/fast food). Saw and liked: No Country for old men, Lust Caution Saw and disliked: Nishabd Didnt see: Aaja Nach le. Call me: Write me first.
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15 Responses to Raavan Music review (Maniratnam, A R Rahman, 2010)

  1. rameshram says:

    Glossary of songs referred by te composer in this album.

    telephone mni pol (indian) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gFwHI2bwto
    (in ref to ranjha ranjha)

    en mel izzuntha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdFAbPbgHmY

    sahana saaral http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j65Lfotz7Cg

    (the above two in ref to khili re )

    urvasi urvasi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUPnwqkPXYc

    rukumani rukkumani http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T02jjw-Lq24

    (in ref to kata kata)

    gamelan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EXzfpS6WK4

    Senegal drums http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nji3vIV8sMQ&feature=PlayList&p=89A2C02D8B44652B&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=54

    (in ref to beera)

    Overall album has the feel of the daud soundtrack below)

    Shabba Shabba (daud) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzYvTs_zNec

    other songs on the daud soundtrack

  2. Sagar!ka says:

    Dear Troubadour gaaru, really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Raavan’s music. I haven’t gotten around to listening to any of the songs yet. It’s great that you have linked them all here, I shall listen sometime.

    Interesting to note that May Maadham and Daud songs are possible influences, as are African drums. (I’ve loved all things Africa thanks to middle school geography and “Beautiful People” — the wildlife documentary/movie dad took me to see in Safire theater when I was 10…unforgettable! — and Toto’s Africa, the song. True, the dark continent is unfathomably mysterious, though my trysts with its music have been minimal.)

    Daud songs were a rage when I was in Lucknow doing a work/study thing. The guys in our college gang (we were 5 girls, 4 guys) used to blast this round the clock during weekends, as the bunch of us cooked in our shared kitchen, ate together and generally lolled around killing time before lab work began, come borrring Monday.

    Happy to listen to the Kannathil songs mentioned under Kata Kata, again, after just re-watching the movie earlier this week — for the first time in seven years. It blew me away. *When* you watch a movie, matters a LOT. Your filters, your age, maturity, life experiences… everything is an influencer, no? How it becomes possible to see the same movie, experience the same movie, SO differently after a seven-year gap, escapes me. It’s all the difference between seeing cinema as merely an entertainment entity versus a slice of divinity.

  3. avik mishra says:

    mr.rameshram,i dont know to what extent you experiment about music to find out flaws…..bt u mister is a complete crap…u dont realize how hard it is to make original music…shantanu and adnan to be compared with “ISAI PUYAL”?????huh…r u kidding??..they r jst like new kids in the block….i will see fr how many years they will prosper in this industry..first works might be gr8 but to continue giving mellifluous tunes is really tough…..so what rahman and gulzar saab is giving to us…take it as a gift..dont u dare insult them and their works!!!!!!and plz comment after watching the film again…i am ready to retalliate on any of ur worthless reviews….meaningless informations……cud u convince d whole country to go in favour of ur review???…i say…never…coz they respect “genius” persons like ARR…might be ur jealous too with rahman getting oscar arent you????…haha..dats d reason i suppose….in couples retreat movie…have u heard dat “sajna”song???…i personally think u must retire…u r sick….n plz leave these maestro’s to continue their work peacefully..ur best suited to make a review on films by pritam or anu malik….god bless you……

    • rameshram says:

      ok take a deep breath…youre fine now. It’s ok that your idol produces bad music. He’s produced plenty of bad music among all his good songs.

  4. Sagar!ka says:

    Since you’re a fan only of the short and ‘relevant to context’ comment, here is one that caters to both expectations (but the latter only in that it is ‘Hindi film MD’-related and possibly captures the essence of the phrase “planning his journey home”).

    I’m not really a morning person, but would like to chime in(vicariously) on the 5am discussion over at stagulu’s, and say my favorite song is the RDB-Kamal magic combo (as opposed to this ARR-Kamal non-magic combo you write about) that’s “Sach Mere Yaar Hai” (and SPB quite possibly had everything to do with it).

  5. rameshram says:

    i think many of the sagar songs were classics too(is that why you adopted sagarika as a nom de plume? or is that really your name?)

  6. Sagar!ka says:

    All identity-related questions, direct to stagulu — apparently, he be its keeper. Nothing I say, no one is ever gonna believe.

    But my blabbermouth had better keep it a secret that selena gomez is your fb friend, or my “wizards of waverly hills”-loving 9-yr-old might very well have my head for lunch.

  7. rameshram says:

    waverly place.

    don’t tell anyone except posting it on the internet wehere anyone can read it ok?


  8. Sagar!ka says:

    ah ‘hills’. what was i thinking?

  9. Sagar!ka says:

    ha ha I sound so much saner after a snip snip. If I ever write a book, you’re my editor, that’s a promise (gotta love how true that word rings, coming from me, lol).

  10. Sagar!ka says:

    Hola, psycho(analyst) señor! Here’s one more for your sniffing, er, snipping pleasure. 🙂

    First, I thought I had the snoopy syndrome. Then along came señor Garfield, sermonizing on all the things that I shouldn’t do and voila, meet the new “me”!

    Now all I have left to figure out is, which “me” is this that’s facing the firing squad. So simple.

  11. rameshram says:

    karigai I sent you an email..was the address fake?

  12. Ram Das says:

    I liked this review. It just expresses the thoughts I have in mind after listening to the album several times. This time ARR has focused more on amalgamation rather than producing original tunes, or may be the originality of the tunes has been suppressed by excessive amalgamation.

  13. Karigai says:

    Ha, a new “kaattu vaasi, kaattu vaasi” header! And here I was, thinking you didn’t much care for the iRobo album(composer ku “mara kizhandu pochu” etc) LOL!

    I’m super addicted to Endhiran songs, shrink saar. (Everyone else in my house is too, though I’m clueless as to how/when their allegiance started to shift from obsure IR songs to cutting-edge ARR songs. But thanks to this happy development, I’m thrilled to no longer be the solitary reaper of Ragu-man love, domestically speaking.) In other words, Pasta-man has taken over every second of my spare time (“Ragu” is his “secret sauce” you said. Such a timely revelation!).

    Irumbile (its primal “Asimov meets Baum with a twist” feel is so my thing! Or is this “tin woodman falling for Dorothy” vibe that I’m getting, just my imagination trudging down the yellow brick road?) blew me away on first listen last Mon (“Google-gal kaanadha theydalgal ennodu”? w-o-w)!

    Arima Arima (Maria Maria? “ice-ukkey ice-ai vekkaadhey”) is just as awwwesome. And totally approve of Pirate man’s Africa obsession… the music, the mountains.. Aha aha!

    PS: Ava ava “Amadeus”-ngara; namma ennada na pasta, pirate, punnakku-ngarom, illa?, probably in affirmation of what Shankar (not the director but the commenter @ stagulu’s) says about Arr music hitting all the bases. 😀

  14. rameshram says:

    who asked you not to like it? you are a fifth column to my opinons out here anyway hehe( gay subtext in mani sivan, quoting my shahrukh khan review about pedophiles strategically , liking arr (nnai madhri rnu nanbargal…vendam ner ourvare porum)

    che che che enna sagarika! 😀

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