Mussanje Maatu – notes

mella mella melluva
sanneyalle kolluva
sadde irada utsava
preeti onde allava?

This is one of the most singularly beautiful descriptions for love, I have heard in recent times.
Roughly translated, it means –

Slow and stealthy
Signals and gestures…
is all it takes – to kill
The noiseless celebration that is…
Isn’t that love and love alone?

This and seven other songs are the only reason why one would want to sit through this otherwise ordinary movie – called Mussanje Maatu.

Frankly, my expectations – looking at the refreshingly different posters and the melodious songs, were high. And they were simply not met. The movie and Sudeep’s performance have been praised excessively by several folks, as I found out – on the net and by the media. But it is exactly the latter that was a total dampener for me. Sudeep, with his new lean look in the role of a radio jockey – with a stylish haircut, snazzy glasses and trendy clothes, is fab looks-wise, but it’s when he talked that I had a problem. Though the role he plays has undergone a massive change from the regular tapori/ goonDa roles he has mostly played with a few notable exceptions, the same change is not effected in his dialogues. The Kannada he speaks lacked the refinement and the polish that the role demanded. I found it totally jarring and it played havoc with my patience and nerves. That along with the repeated hamming in mouthing his RJ lines – most of which are overbearingly philosophical – I simply couldn’t forgive to appreciate his performance otherwise. On the other hand Ramya has put in a restrained and pleasing performance. The other actors’ roles never really developed enough to warrant any mention. The haasya-kavi Pranesh looks totally out of place and Anu Prabhakar is wasted in an inconsequential role.

Now for the good bit – the songs are an absolute delight to the ears. There are eight songs in the album and the beauty lies in the fact that there is no single song that would qualify as being the best – all the songs being equally well composed and well-sung too. Sonu Nigam gets to sing 2 of the melodies – one aforementioned duet “Ninna nODalento” with Shreya Ghoshal and the inspirational song “Enaagali munde saagu nee”. Kunal Ganjawala excels in the peppy foot-tapper – “kaddaLu manasanna”. Shreya also does a solo with “Akasha bhoomi” which is a relatively average number as compared to the rest. Our dear Udit gets a look-in with the sad and sentimental “O hrudaya” which seems heavily inspired by his own “Ae ajnabi”. The remaining three are sung by the local singers – “Mussanje maatali” – the title track well-sung by Hemanth; “Anuraaga araLo samaya” – a soothingly fresh romantic ditty sung by an inspired Karthik and the sober lullaby “hettavaLa muddu maatu” rendered beautifully by Nandita.

The music by V.Sridhar (though there have been complaints that many songs are inspired!) is by far the best feature in the movie and the cinematography by the veteran Sundarnath Suvarna is worth a mention too. I was compiling a list of the latest songs that I’d like to have a CD collection of and to my own surprise I found that there are nearly 35 songs – from movies released in the past 2 years, that easily find their way into this list! It is heartening to note that there is some sort of a revival in the fate and fortunes of the Kannada film music. Though it would be foolish to expect a resurgence of the golden times of yester-years which saw the likes of GKVenkatesh – PBSrinivas – RNJayagopal – SPB – SJanaki; this nevertheless is not a bad trend.

Tune into the lovely tracks of MM here. Happy listening! 🙂

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One thought on “Mussanje Maatu – notes

  1. that is a well written blog. thanks for those kannada muuvi updates!!

    my soul twists and turns whenever sonu sings in kannada…just the same as SPB singing in hindi!!

    probably nigam ain’t as bad as our ‘uttu oratagararu’ in our ‘ittalu’ who keep saying ‘funkksannu chinnagi aayitu, hallava?”.

    karma karma, hayyo devre!!

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