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'Desai is known for neat and taut scripts. But his  perfectionism didn't go down too well with producer Shilpa Srinivas'
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Musical from an ace director

Sunil Kumar Desai, who gave several hits with Ilaiyaraja, now makes Parva with Hamsalekha's music

Rs 43

This musical is running all over Karnataka. It joins a not-very-long list of music-based films in Kannada: Santa Tukaram, Sandhyaraga, Hamsageete, Upasane, Sanadi Appanna, Malaya Marutha, Matthe Haditu Kogile, Ganayogi Panchakshari Gawai, Santa Shishunala Sharifa and Ananda Bhairavi.

That it comes from Sunil Kumar Desai, director of such hits as Nishkarsha, Nammoora Mandara Hoove, Beladingala Bale and Sparsha, is enough for the media to write extensively about it. Desai is known for neat and taut scripts. He is known as a perfectionist and who won't compromise till he gets each frame the way he wants it.

Desai's perfectionism hasn't gone down too well with producer Shilpa Srinivasa. As the production dragged on, Prema, one of the two leading ladies of Parva, moved on to her next film, and a dejected Shilpa Sreenivas went to her house, shouted abuses and broke the flower pots in her frontyard! Things cooled off after a while, and Parva has now hit the screen.

Besides Vishnuvardhan and Prema, Parva stars Roja, Bhavana and Rekha, all of whom play dancers. Thank you Desai for writing your own script, and for resisting the temptation to do a remake!

Since music and dance are central to the film, the album raises high hopes. Hamsalekha makes the music for Parva, although Ilaiyaraja has been a Desai favourite (his big hit Nammoora Mandara Hoove and his more recent Prema Raga Haadu Gelati had music by Ilaiyaraja).

Hamsalekha gives an opportunity to new singer Divya Raghavan, who, incidentally, has been singing with S P Balasubramanyam on the TV show Ede Tumbi Haduveu. That programme features SPB hits, both vintage and new, and he sings them to the accompaniment of an orchestra that features a couple of keyboards, and some acoustic instruments like the flute and the sitar.

The title song, Ee parva, is recorded twice in different tempos. Divya sings the slower version. In SPB's version, there's a lot of shouting and cheering and many changes in idiom. I feel Hamsalekha did a much better job in Yugapurusha, a remake of Karz, especially in numbers like Yaavudo ee bombe baavudo and Keli premigale obbalu sundari iddalu.

Elli hode hege hode is the first number in the album, and it is sung by Hariharan. Talks of separation from the heroine. Hariharan seems to have difficulty in pronouncing the stressed syllables, or what are called 'mahapranas'. The song has Arabian flourishes, and some raga alaps by a new singer called Nagachandrika.

Pallavi thane hadina prana is the kind of song you have heard hundreds of times before. It tries to acquire some classicism but is generally insipid.

In Antharanga aasegala aagasa, a soft number, Divya gets a chance to showcase her voice. She is fluent, and is definitely influenced by Chitra's style.

O nanna spoorthiye is spoilt by SPB's loud rendering. Drums everywhere, and a loud orchestra.

Sadhane paramapada is the kind of song you've heard in films like Shankarabharanam, a sort of filmi ragamalika made with a dance item in mind. The song gets its classical mood because Hamsalekha uses ragas like Jaunpuri, Hindola and Bageshri. SPB is fluent, and overshadows Chitra. But the number does not match the raga-based songs of Vijayabhaskar in films like Upasane and Malaya Marutha or G K Venkatesh's numbers in Sandhyaraga. Those seem more true to the classical spirit.

Ee parva bhavasagara moves across a gamut of idioms, from Spanish, ballet, swing jazz, heavy metal, kamsale and even Karnatak classical. SPB, Manu, Divya and Nandita are featured in the various parts of this number.

Dolu dolu dangura again shows Udit Narayan's difficulty with Kannada diction. It is a song praising the virtues of the village life, and uses the dangura drum as a symbol of rustic innocence and artistry.

Compared to Sandhyaraga, Hamsageete or even Upasane, the songs here do not make a huge impression. Hamsalekha is best at wit and street language, and while Parva has some intersting patches, a classical dance and music-oriented film like this perhaps calls for a different set of skills.

Vishakha N

Published on 25  January 2002

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