The first song of the big budget Malayalam movie Pulimurugan starring Mohanlal is disappointing, especially considering the big names involved — music director Gopi Sunder, lyricist Rafeeque Ahmed, legendary singer KJ Yesudas and south India's favourite KS Chitra.
The drawback of the song, 'Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe', is the music itself. It lacks the novelty, excitement and magic that Sunder's earlier chartbusting numbers like 'Kizhakku Pookum' from the 2010 film Anwar possessed. The problem with the music of 'Kaadaniyum' is that it is too predictable.
One has to contrast it with the fact that the Malayalam film industry is now brimming with freshness across all segments of the film making — from production to distribution.
The routine visuals only add to the drabness of the music. We see sequences from the life of a happy family: the loving husband and protecting father Mohanlal, domesticated wife Kamalinee Mukherjee, and a cute daughter. The scenes seem like a replication of many recent Mohanlal movies in which he has played similar roles.
The two factors that come to the rescue of the song are the lyrics and the landscape.
The lyrics by poet Ahmed are redolent of nature and its freshness. The photography and the landscape reflect that. They are arresting. But are the forest and the rivulets indeed from Kerala? Does the state still have any such geographies intact?
In the film, it is learnt that Mohanlal is a villager living near a forest. Perhaps the settings in the song may remind one of another lilting song from an old Lal flick, Uyarum Njan Nadake, in which he acted as a tribal. The song, 'Matala thenunnan paripparannu vanna', is an all-time hit of VT Murali. And what a contrast the song, the settings and the acting of that movie offer a contrast to the dullness of 'Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe'!
Watch the Pulimurugan song here:
And the one from Uyarum Njan Nadake: