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Khushboo in 'Karisakattu Poove'


Native Tamil flower in
a baroque garden

Ilaiyaraja's music conjures up a south Indian village even when he uses a European-style violin orchestra

Karisakattu Poove
Rs 40

Napolean, Khushboo, Vineet and Ravali star in Karisakaatu Poove, a film about vengeance and love. 'Karisakaatu poo' is a wild flower that grows on the Karuvela tree. Ilaiyaraja's music, true to the film's village setting, uses plenty of folk elements.

Hariharan sings Ayiram kodi, the only song with a non-rustic accent. The layers of orchestra are vintage Ilaiyaraja -- violins mastered to perfection, the bass a subtle design, and just one tinkling instrument somewhere, colouring the song with a distant but real yearning.

In Manasirukka (Pushpavanam Kuppuswamy-Swarnalatha) the lover asks his girl if she has a place in her heart for him. The tappanguchi style is neatly done, and is punctuated by the choppy chords Ilaiyaraja is so fond of. It appears Kuppuswamy would have been happier with a higher shruti; the power of his voice seems curtailed a little by the low key he is given.

Kuchanooru (Pushpavanam Kuppuswamy-Anitha Kuppuswamy), Ethanamanikku (Arunmozhi-Anuradha Sriram) and Un kendakkalu (Mano-Swarnalatha) are in the same style, and are characterised by lighthearted banter. "Let your sari down, I can see your red hot feet", sings Mano.

Anitha Kuppuswamy has a good metallic voice that suits these songs. Anuradha Sriram, by comparison, sounds thin and forced. Kuppuswamy sounds authentic in the folk style, as does Arunmozhi. Mano can put on any sort of voice, if you remember his SPB sound-alike songs and then his Arabian-sounding E shabba in Karna.

Unnikrishnan and Bhavatharani sing Maamaruthil, which uses the same sort of orchestra as Povomaa oorgolam from Chinna Thambi -- pipes, flutes, a violin ensemble and pizzicato. Who would imagine that a baroque violin orchestra can conjure up a south Indian village? That is the genius of Ilaiyaraja, but this song still doesn't have the flair of Povomaa oorgolam. Bhavatharani sounds like a novice, and cannot match the easy-flowing style of Unnikrishnan.

The lyrics are by Kasthuri Raja, who also directs the film. He writes some memorable lines.

Ilaiyaraja makes his cameo appearance in Vaanam paartha, which has a couple of haunting turns of melody though it may not rank among his most haunting tunes.

S Suchitra Lata

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