The song ‘Naatu Naatu’ from the Telugu film ‘RRR’ has received the prestigious ‘Golden Globe’ award in the ‘Best Original Song – Motion Picture’ category. The music of ‘Naatu Naatu’ is MM Keeravani (Kareem) and it is sung by Kaal Bhairav and Rahul Sipligunj. SS Rajamouli’s film of ‘Bahubali’ fame is presenting its claim in film festivals of western countries after hoisting the flag of success at the box office. ‘Naatu Naatu’ has also been shortlisted in the category of ‘Music (Original Song)’ for the prestigious Oscar Awards ceremony to be held in March.
Songs and music are an integral aspect of life in Indian society. In South Indian cinema, including Bollywood, there has been such an emphasis on the ‘star’ that critics rarely talk about lyrics, whereas lyrics have been central to films. Many films, even after failing at the box office, remain on people’s lips even after decades only because of the songs and music. MM Keeravani himself is not an unknown name for the Hindi heartland. Under the name MM Karim, he has given excellent music in some Hindi films in the nineties of the last century. ‘Tum mile dil khile aur jeene ko kya chahti’ (Criminal), ‘Chup tum raho chup hum rahein, khamoshi ko khamoshi se zindgi se baat karne do’ (Not in the morning of this night), ‘Jane kitne dini baad gali’ People still remember songs like ‘Aaj Chand Nikla’ (Wounds), even though they have forgotten Karim! What are the reasons for this forgetfulness?
‘RRR’ is an ‘action drama’ film which has been created on a grand scale around history, myth. The pomp and technique (VFX) skills it resorts to have been used by Hollywood for years. In fact, the distribution and promotion of the film ‘RRR’ has made it reach a large audience in the country and abroad. Recently, the enthusiasm that people had towards this film during its screening in Los Angeles (USA) remained a topic of discussion on social media. Recently, I was surprised when Professor Michael Baurmann, a sociologist from Germany, talked about ‘RRR’ during the meeting. However, in the center of his interest was the manner in which nationalism has been served in the film. There is no talk of politics in this film. The way religious myths and symbols have been used in the film during the freedom struggle from the British is not beyond criticism.
However, after the liberalization-globalization in the last century, it was being expressed that Hollywood, American pop music may take Indian society under its ambit. Articles were being written in newspapers and magazines about MTV, the danger of deculture. In such a situation, the presence of an Indian film in the international platform and being rewarded shows reverse wind. Globalization has also brought opportunities for Indian films to compete with the best filmmakers in the world.
It is pertinent to note here that Keeravani’s competition was with famous musicians like Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. In such a situation, his victory should not be underestimated. Although music connoisseurs believe that it is not the best of Keeravani (Karim), nor is it the best of Indian cine music. Undoubtedly, the energy shown by NTR Jr. and Ramcharan through dance in the song Natu-Natu captivates the people. Internet and social media have given this song a life different from the film.
Vishnu Khare, a Hindi poet and a deep connoisseur of cinema, has written at one place: “After 1950-60, film music has given expression to the lower middle class sentiments of Indian youth and women, it is impossible to find in any popular music of the world. .” Talking about Hindi films, there have been many music directors whose soulful songs and music have ruled the hearts of people for decades and are an important part of folk memory. This international award will inspire Indian film composers to create more excellent music. Also it should be expected that Bollywood will be able to make proper use of Keeravani’s (Karim) talent.