12 January 2012

When A 'Flop Song' Brought on a Kolaveri!!

Looking at the sudden craze over Dhanush's nonsense song from the movie "3", I really want to shout, "People! Why this kolaveri?!?! It's just a song!!!" 

But then, from the beginning, everything about this song has been odd to me. I just can't make up my mind on whether I like it or hate it!

First of all, I heard about this song from the most unlikely source on the planet - my husband. The man who is totally clueless about pop culture, who uses Twitter to read about world news, deleted his Facebook account because he had too many friends (more than 900!), listens to Beethovan and classical instrumental music on YouTube, and has no idea what an Internet meme is! Most importantly, I sometimes think he is oblivious to the Tamil movie industry! So imagine my surprise when he asked me "What is this new Tamil movie song that everyone is talking about? Some Dhanush song?" I would never have imagined that the words 'Tamil movie', 'Dhanush' and 'song' would come out of my husband's mouth in the same sentence, so it took me a couple of minutes to process the information. When I surfaced, he showed me a news story that NDTV was running on this new song that Dhanush had composed and sang. I saw our skinny hero, complete with headphones and nifty recording paraphernalia, belting out a 'nonsense' song. Everything made sense about the song, except that NDTV felt the need to cover this story on the morning news. Then I reasoned that it must be a really slow news day, no earthquakes, fast-unto-deaths, or pregnant celebrities. 

And then I looked up the video on YouTube. Whaa??????? The song had just been released, and on YouTube no less, and already it had hits somewhere in the six-digit area. Whoa! Where was I when all this was happening? Okay, so then I sat down to listen to the song.....

The first reaction from me was one of disgust and shock - "What the...? Is this the song that everyone is making such a big deal about? It's a simple, no-need-for-creativity Tamil gana song, with words that make no sense to any one! Worse - the song is absolutely predictable!" 

But I clicked 'Replay' and listened to it again....... and then I listened to it 5 more times.... and then I created a new YouTube playlist for it, and I had no heart to leave it all alone, and I added 50 more Tamil songs to the playlist, played the playlist and simply hit 'replay' everytime the "Kolaveri" song ended.....


I shared it with a million friends, and also grabbed the headphones from someone else and listened, if I knew that they were listening to the "Kolaveri" song. I hate listening to songs on people's mobile phones, because I hate the tinny quality of the audio, and am totally disgusted with the audacity of the person who thinks that everyone will appreciate him and be grateful for forcing them to listen to his choice of bad music. But for the first time in my life, I listened to the "Kolaveri" song on a friend's mobile phone, in a public place!! I shocked myself!

So, if you follow a phenomenon so closely, you HAVE to Google it, amirite? So, yeah, I did a Google search, and I saw links to articles talking about what a big hit the song was, then I saw a couple of tangent videos - one was the original leaked audio of the 'kolaveri' raw version, another was the female version (not that impressive, by the way), and a kiddie version (absolutely adorable rendition by Sonu Nigam's little son... must watch!), an English R&B version (VOM!)and a thousand low quality uploads from fans of Dhanush!!! There was so much material on the Net, I was mind-blown!

Oh... and I forgot to mention the interviews! Switch on the television that week, and all you could see was mikes shoved in Dhanush's face, asking him "How did this happen?" (erm... people.... a song was composed. That is ALL! It was not the discovery of alien life on Mars, or the discovery that Dhanush himself  is alien life!! Sheesh! Now THAT would have been real news!) And Dhanush blushing (if that's even possible) and saying, "It is nothing, folks. Ignore it! It is just a nonsense song. I wrote it in 20 minutes. It's not that good...really... you all should just ignore me and my media-hogging wife with the superstar Dad! Really....." But the more he said it, the more people fawned over him and his super-successful family and their super-duper hit song, and the more hits the song received on YouTube, and the more it got tweeted, and the more hashtags it spawned, and the more celebrities wrote the lyrics down on a piece of paper and tried to sing it (badly) in front of a bunch of press cameras (looking at you Abhishek!) and the more people went berserk over a self-proclaimed "FLOP SONG"!!!!!!!!

Shame on you if you can't see the irony of it all!!!

Well. If you don't, let me explain....

1. The song calls itself a 'Soup Song' - meaning it's about guys who get unceremoniously dumped by girls who failed to see their usefulness. And yet, I can just picture every guy in the country singing it to his girlfriend, and making her laugh with glee!

2. It's a 'flop song' - Dude, can the song BE any more of a hit????

3. Every one from the director to the composer to the singer is asking us to ignore the song "It took us 20 minutes to compose.....we did not even have lyrics written down.... we just sang whatever came to mind... we made this song for fun... we were just fooling around.... it was no big deal! Ignore us!" - Then what the heck are you doing topping the charts in several countries and going all kinds of mad viral on the Web!!! Explain Yourself!!

4. Dhanush, singing, popularity, international appeal - everyone of those words is paradoxical to the rest. And yet..... every one of those things happened one after the other as if they were direct and predicable results of the previous.... Twist your brain around that, if you will!

Conclusion: Well, I guess the down-to-earth nature of the song is what appeals the most to people. And most definitely the customizability (is that a word?) of the song.... you can change it to suit any situation. There is one guy who rewrote it to talk about problems that Tamilians face in Jaffna, there is this IT version that laments the plight of IT guys in India working for foreign clients, there is a version by a couple of girls that is a sort of reply to all the "accusations" leveled against them in the song (probably not tasteful enough to be featured here), a flash mob version (always my favorite versions) and, well, there are so many versions, so why don't you just see for yourself!!! (scroll down in the flash mob video's page)

Anyway, we could talk about this all day, or you could decide for yourself if this song is really that big of a deal. So here you go:

And the flash mob, because I thought it was cute:

Hehe! Check out that guy in the striped blue t-shirt!!


Karen Xavier said...

I had the same incredulous look on my face when I saw the rage this song was becoming... and even though it is catchy, I never really understood the hype it created. I think it captivated the senses because it was utterly nonsensical... kinda like how Mr. Bean provided comic relief. Been long, hope you, debbie and husband dearest are doing good.

Jane Hamilton said...

Hey Karen! Phew! I'm relieved that you commented... I was a little anxious, wondering if you had forgotten about me... but then I deserve it to fall of the blogging grid for so long, right? We're doing great here...what about you? what's the latest....
The kolaveri song died down almost as fast as it sprouted, right? And to add insult to injury, Dhanush wrote a similar song for Sachin... I was like "Dude! we get it! Now move on, for crying out loud!"

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