Discernment. Online
Search our site here         

News updates News
Reviews of tapes, CDs Reviews
Tributes, profiles Features
1-minute reviews Punch in
Book notices, reviews Books
Artiste and business classifieds Yellow pages
Expert recommendations Guru's choice
Editor's note and people behind The Music Magazine Editorial
Readers' mail Letters
Back issues Archives
The Music Magazine Home



Comeback for the
singing star

Rajkumar returns to the screen after many years, that's an event in itself

Rs 45

The release of a Rajkumar film is always a huge event in Karnataka, but Shabdavedhi is rather more special. The biggest star of the Kannada film industry returns after a break of several years, and so there's much more anticipation and excitement in the air.

Rajkumar is perhaps the only real singing star left in the Indian film industry. Others may sing a stray song here, or rap a couple of lines there, but can hardly claim a systematic grasp of music like him. He brings with him his experience of singing for company drama, and can handle with ease not just routine film tunes but tough classical ragas as well.

Rajkumar plays the role of a righteous police officer again. He is called 'Shabdavedhi', like Dasaratha, who could hunt with just his keen sense of hearing. By this very talent the king also earned a curse which sent Rama to the forest.

Hamsalekha's music is a mix of enjoyable and mediocre tunes. In the first category fall Prema Kashmira and O Gelathi (both by Rajkumar and Chitra). Hamsalekha retains an approachable simplicity in the music as well as the lyrics. Prema Kashmira is as much about the beauty of Karnataka as about Kashmir.

O Gelathi is a slower tune. The movements are dramatic with sudden changes of temper. The hero apologises to the heroine for his hurtful words, which he had to speak because the call of duty was greater than personal sentiment.

In both these songs Rajkumar's singing is open-throated. Nowhere does he falter; his voice is agile. Healthy, open-throated singing all his life has trained it no doubt, although you may feel it's not as good as it was when he sang his early '80s hits.

Rajkumar and Chitra sing Thayare thayare, a folk-style song with an energetic chorus and a vigorous beat. This love song has a sighing descent and the orchestra is well-arranged with short phrases.

Namma yajamanaru mocks at the middle class pride of the wife in her husband. Some speech and banter spices it up. He has bought her everything that caters to her snobbery -- a fridge, a TV, etc. Rajkumar advises her to overcome her greed (atiaase). When she says, 'What's god before my husband!' Rajkumar sighs 'Kottlalappa bhari title-u' (What a title she gives me!)

Baaro baaro, the film's only song by S P Balasubramanyam, eulogises Shabdavedhi as the slayer of evil. The tune naturally is aggressive and full of kettle drums and marching pipes and flutes. The opening shloka from the Gita is well sung and harmonised.

Janarinda is actually Rajkumar's conversation with his faithful audience. He says the people are his god, and have made him what he is. There's also a bit of rhetoric about youth and their power to change the world. The words remind you of Naaniruvude nimagagi from Mayura, the song that became Rajkumar's trademark at all his public meetings.

send us your comments

News | Reviews | Features | Punch in
Books | Yellow pages | Archives | Guru's choice | Editorial | Home

Copyright and disclaimer © 1999-2000, www.themusicmagazine.com, Inc.