Music Review: ‘Thalaivi’


BizAsia Rating

Kangana Ranaut will be leading the biographical movie of actor and politician J. Jayalalithaa in the forthcoming film ‘Thalaivi’, the release date for which has been postponed. Trust Ranaut to be brave to handle a project like this that will raise a lot of eyebrows as she role plays one of the most powerful women in South India in a century. Directed by AL Vijay, this movie will be simultaneously shot in Tamil, Hind and Telugu languages and will of course have the music in 3 languages. Vijay doesn’t have a successful Hindi career but sure has a big one in the Tollywood industry so this is his big chance to make it in Bollywood. The music for the movie is in the hands of the young and dynamic G.V. Prakash Kumar who made a mark in Tamil cinema in his early 20s and has won multiple awards down south. His Bollywood efforts so far are rather mediocre so it remains to be seen how he translates his music into multiple languages. His uncle A. R. Rahman championed this art of transiting his compositions across various languages so Kumar clearly has the genes for this. He has roped in Irshad Kamil for the Hindi lyrics so that is definitely a good start to set good expectations from his album.

The first single Chali Chali is a typical Bollywood 60s song. The retro touch is quite prominent with representative music and vocals by composer Kumar’s Mrs. – Saindhavi Prakash. Her vocal style has a golden age element to it that is soft, sexy and very melodic. She delivers a fun and bubbly characteristic that suits her voice and Ranaut’s on-screen presence very well. The delivery is mostly at the high pitch that is quite synonymous with South Indian music and so suits the movie setting but what is best about Saindhavi’s vocal is its sweetness. The music works perfectly for the setting of the film and almost feels 50 years old in its instrumentation. It doesn’t feel like a remake but the original classic but more from the 90s Bollywood style with harmonica’s, violins and accordions. The lack of a beat or drums is quite evident and perhaps what drives the retro feel in the music making it fitting for Jayalalithaa’s peak period in Tamil movies. The ending is quite abrupt though and feels like the composition terminated prematurely. Kamil uses this opportunity to describe the filmy life of Jayalalithaa and what she was as a person. Lyrics capture the free spirited and deeply mesmerising personality of this leading lady who had captured millions of hearts through her movies. This is a good song overall with a catchy melody and a strong retro flavour from the south and a really sweet vocal. Question is if it has a place in the current music scene of the listeners or not. It has a small shelf life for radio play but it is more fitting to the movie than the overall music repertoire of current times. 3.5/5


More singles from ‘Thalaivi’ will be reviewed on this page when they become available.




Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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