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What is the role of "Songs" in Tamizh Cinema? What is the role of "Songs" in Tamizh Cinema?

Topic started by Naaz (@ on Mon Mar 10 14:42:37 EST 2003.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

It is thanks to TFMpage DFers that I have become familiar with the soundtrack albums of new releases such as Julie Ganapathy, Udhaya, Baba, Kadhal Virus, Gemini, and many others. Of course, it is also true that Indian Cinema sang just as soon as it learned to talk, and hence the vitality of songs in the scheme of south-asian celluloid imaginings.

While songs may have been an effective narrative device, it is something that has become more and more archaic and less and less relevant to the nature of story-telling these days. This might also be because of the absence of "genunine" story-telling in Bollywood/Kollywood churnings. As a result "songs" have become both redundant and recycled (in keeping with "reused" plotlines.)

Here are few concerns:

1. Would Tamizh cinema lose its "escapist" motivation if songs were minimised or dismissed altogether?

2. Are songs (and the music industry) detrimental (or a burden) to effective, mature screen-writing and narration?

3. Is the Film Music Industry complicit in the sad state of affairs with regards to "plotlines" ( stories, love triangles, love-lost-and-won and other such ventures) - and would ridding films of songs make for a more rewarding (intellectually) product?

4. In a country that produces 500+ films a year, would it be too much to ask for 100 films (in all languages put together) to be without songs? It is not like there haven't been Tamizh films without songs, but usually these have not been great draws at the box-office.

5. Is the insistence on the "song and dance" routine in tamil/hindi cinema a ploy to keep things as "status-quo" (read as: from growing up)?

6. With music videos, indipop, and other "visual" songs having carved a non-film niche for themselves, will the viewer really be deprived if the hero/heroine/sister/brother/mother didn't break out into a song about love or lovelessness at every given opportunity?

Please share your views. It would be great if you can also state with examples appropriate moments for songs or songs that have been effectively used to further plot in Tamizh films. Also don't hesitate to be frank about your views on the rank commercialisation that has become another overarching motivation in the Indian/Tamil/Hindi Film and Music Industry.

Thanks for your input and insights in advance!


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