A Brief Note on Kannathil Muthamittal and Mani Rathnam

with subtitles

This is one of the greatest Rahman creations as well as one of the outstanding Rathnam videos to my mind. For those who haven’t seen this before this is very much Rathnam at his ‘abstract’ best. There were hints of this even in the Goodbye Nanba song (Ayudha Ezhuthu). But also Satrangi in Dil Se.
[with subtitles… start watching at 5 min mark…]

Incidentally in KM it is not just this song but a lot more that falls in this ‘abstract’ category. Most notably the framing of certain sequences in the Maddy/Simran flashback. I am thinking especially of the moment when they’re cycling and you get this enormous wide angle shot with the lovers seeming like specks in a landscape of epic emptiness. But all of this ‘abstraction’ occurs only in the first half. In the second half you get to very ’specific’ politics and the visual grammar changes in some ways. Dil Se though is a complete exercise in abstraction, for better and for worse.

2 Responses to “A Brief Note on Kannathil Muthamittal and Mani Rathnam”

  1. Nice thoughts. Dil Se’s visual abstractions are largely what makes that film oddly accessible amidst a very confused set of narrative twists and character motivations…KM was the last visually staggering work, even if it put its strategy across in a more naturalist mode. I really hope the next film proves to be a kind of return to these roots.

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  2. Satyam- thanks for posting. Great to revisit the lovely KM song- and remember how lovely Simran was all over again 🙂

    Like

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