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The God of small things on celluloid,
director Bala’s Paradesi is special for more than one reason. After
critics coming down at Avan Ivan  denying the acclaim he is used
to, the eagerness to demonstrate his long seen magic on screen is
something to look for. A period film, set in the British ruled India of
1930, is aimed at conveying the plight of the bonded workers at the Tea
plantations in southern India. Not only that, Paradesi marks Bala’s
first alliance with many times National award winning Vairamuthu and GV
Music Composer: G V Prakash
Album Release: November 25, 2012
Studios: B Studios
1. Avatha Paiyan…
Voice: Yasin, Vandana Srinivasan
Track Length: 05:34 min.
This track sets the naive romance of two
miniscule folks who know not more than their soil. He and She look to
their land for their being and the nascent romance is the only music of
their lives. The recurring peaceful flute and Veena act toppings on the
folksy rhythm. Vandana and Yasin offer the sweetness crafted by the love
and it’s a track to lighten up the screen. The lyrics do remind us of Vaagai Sooda Vaa…
Sengade is an adieu to the
barren homeland, which failed to feed the natives. The pain of the
goodbye reflects through the golden thoughts of Vairamuthu. “Uyirodu
vazhvadhu kooda siru thunbame, vayirodu vazhvadhu dhane perum
thunbame….” And the recurring line “Koottam koottama vazha pogurom kooda
varugudhe saavu…” is the one-line anecdote of Paradesi.
The rendering starts with a guitar- flute
ensemble with a changeover to the keyboard, which is commendable.
Pragathi’s opening hymn plays a perfect escort to of the following deep
cry by Madhu Balakrishna. The song testifies the profundity of his
voice, one of the favourites of Bala [Can you forget “Pichai Pathiram…”
yet?]. Madhu reaches to incredible decibels in this bidding tune for the
soil. The use of conventional percussion is also the highlight of this
3. Or mirugam…
Voice: V V Prasanna, Pragathi Guruprasad
Track Length: 05:47 min.
The proficiency of the singers in
Carnatic Hindustani styles is evident and is exploited effectively in
this track, which is a mournful search into the lives of bonded slaves.
Suffering and helplessness is the notion here: “Or mirugam or mirugam
thannai than adimai seivadhum illai, or manidhan or adimai endral adhu
manidhan seiyum velai…”. It is a hectic mission of humanity, which is
the favourite subject of Bala. The single violin in the later portion is
The 15-year-old Pragathi [Airtel Super
Singer fame] with her flatteringly mature voice more than amazes the
listeners. The skills are striking and hers is a notable introduction.
One wonders why does Prasanna get to sing more of such songs? His forte
remains untapped in Tamil Cine music. Yes, as the lyric says, the tears
go ignored [kanneer thudaikka aal illaye…]; this few minutes can be
looked forward to as the most passionate ones on screen.
4. Thannai Thaane…
Voice: Gaana Bala
Track Length: 03:07 min.
This is a typical folksy eulogy to the
Jesus Christ, which is a new province to Vairamuthu. But he sets simple
verses chanting the greatness of the Alleluia. Set in 1930s, when the
East India Company was at its slaughtering peak, the modern Christian
movement has long dominated the southern India. This track is just a
Senneer is the closing register of
protest against the denial of an ordinary life to a community that was
long forgotten. Gangai Amaran’s inherent sombre voice is a plus to this
slow and dying articulation. This slow number adorns the remnants of the
slaves. The use of cello and string instruments is noteworthy.
On the whole, Paradesi’s instinctive
soundtrack travels long with the choice of singers who are both
exponents and newcomers, and use of conventional instruments to suit the
epoch in which the story unfolds. The soundtrack is flaunted of being
produced after the filming of visuals, which is no mean task for a
musician. But this talented kid handles the challenges. Hence, the album
is a visual infusion into the music board, preserving the torment in
each note. Be it Bala-Ilayaraja, Yuvan or Bala-GV, the music is an
obvious support system. Vairamuthu’s lyrics are written in blood and
goes past bounds into the mainland to explain the grief. Pick of the
album is Sengade, Avatha Paiya and Or Mirugam.
Why Bala is duty-bound to Atharvaa?
When news arrived that Atharvaa
has been cast for Bala’s next movie many were surprised. Some even
critical and some are still waiting to watch the movie and decide for
themselves. Well to much surprise Atharvaa himself disclosed why he was
chosen to be part of Bala’s periodic epic Paradesi.
According to Atharvaa, Bala and
his father Murali share a bond that was beyond the greed for their
personal ambitions. The actor went on to narrate a short incident that
had much impact on Bala personally.
Atharva mentioned “Some
years ago Appa was all set for doing a major role in Sethu directed by
Bala Sir. After a personal request from him Appa decided to give Vikram
the role. Appa has a lot of respect for him and he too has a similar
feeling for Appa.”
statements by Atharvaa cleared the air for many who wondered how the
lanky star had made it finally. Furthermore, it should also be noticed
that sometime ago after Atharvaa’s debut movie that turned out to be the
last movie his father Murali saw. Bala had given him a call suggesting
not to accept any new offers after Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal. As
promised here he is in Paradesi. The movie is scheduled for December
21st. Good lucky to Atharvaa, now that you have been chosen there is a
lot to live up to.
The two iconic directors of Tamil Industry are Maniratnam and Bala. All
of their movies are trend setters. It is known already that both are
mutual admirers. Maniratnam praised Bala and his movies on numerous
occasions. He said 'Pithamagan' is his all time favorite movie of Bala.
Now Bala has opened up about Maniratnam. He said in a recent interview
that Maniratnam is one of the legend of Tamil Cinema. His many movies
are awe-inspiration. He also proudly added that, if he gets an
opportunity, he is ready to assist Maniratnam in at least one movie.
That was a most humble statement from an ace-director about another