It was a dream come true, for my mother that is. She is fond of all of his films and ranks close to Sivaji Ganesan who was the hero from her times. So when Singapore hosted the music release to Kamalhaasan’s latest movie, Manmadanambu, it was a boon sanctioned. I got tickets to take ma live her dream. She is someone who will watch the reruns of these shows on television, long after they are done. For once she wanted to be at the scene of the happening, to experience the ambience and the grandeur and of course see in flesh and blood the man that she loves to watch performing in the movies. I suspect that the fact that Kamal is a Brahmin also contributed to her devotion to the man. She will argue that of course.
Max Pavilion turned out to be a huge outdoorsy hall within Singapore Expo that could seat up to 10,000 people. The aircon in the pavilion was superlative and despite the 9000 odd people that evening, continued to chill us to our bones. The seats were large and comfortably cushioned, there was enough leg room and the rows were spaced out.
The program was to start at 7 that evening. We were there in time and could survey the scene and take in the ambience and settle down well before that time. However, the program didn’t start as scheduled. I was reminded that even though it was Singapore, it involved over 9000 Indians plus the crew, so the delay in start time should have been anticipated. The pre show time at the pavilion was primarily filled with some visuals of the sponsors and co sponsors of the event with little music. The show finally kick started at 7.30.
No, I am not going to take you through the details of what happened in the four hours that evening but will highlight what we liked or disliked about the evening.
The male compere- Gopinath of the Neeya Naana fame. His voice modulation deserved a standing ovation and he knew how to throw his voice without actually shouting into the mike. His sense of humour was intact and he used it well to elicit responses from the audience. He is a celebrity in his own right and many of us including my ma, were keen to see him live too!
The male participants from the show Airtel SuperSingers Junior. I won’t quite agree with the sentiment that all mothers in India want their babies to be performers like these guys, but these children were gifted. There were three boys under 15 who could sing melodies from Kamal’s old movies and they sang well.
The winning participants of Jodi No.1 – Sheer entertainment. They took to the stage like a fish in water and danced to the peppy numbers when introducing the guests of the day and filled in down time when the others were being invited on stage.
The Guests – KS Ravikumar was humble and made a no nonsense short speech thanking his team and everyone involved with the film making. Udhayanidhi Stalin was decent and was accompanied by his pretty wife and son. Maddy was gushing and at his charming best, Trisha looks prettier in person. Kamal was looking dapper in a black Indian suit.
The female compere – Divya Darshini – Someone ought to tell her that she has a loud voice. Even when people hinted at it ( KS Ravikumar and Gopinath mentioned it to her on stage) she discounted the feedback as a joke and continued at her loudest best as a result of which I came out of the show with a splitting headache . She called ten women from the crowd to accompany her to bring Maddy on stage with bouquets. She ran ahead of them and brought him on stage and said coyly into the mike, that many of the women wanted to hug Maddy but since they did not get a chance, she would, on behalf of them and she did. Gopinath said something apt to cut her down to size. She was gushing at Gowthami who was seated in the front row, hoping to win points with Kamal too.
The girls from Airtel Supersingers – Agreed they are a gifted lot with fantastic support from their families and music teachers who trained them to sing, but do they have to pretend to be miniature actresses? And what is it with women and mikes? The girls chose songs that made them look older than their ages and they contributed to the headache as well. I would never want any child to compete with such pressures.
Andrea- the singer – Divya Darshini and the Junior Supersingers had stiff competition from another woman who sang the OST of the movie. The only part of the lyric that was clear was the first line- Who is the hero? (which pretty much sounded like Whoozhuhhero). The men in the crowd didn’t seem to mind Andrea much since she looked hot in her shiny brown knee length one piece dress and walked about the stage with a mike, seductively.
Suchi – the singer – Just when I thought the loudness quotient could not get any worse, on to the stage stepped the famous Mirchi Suchi. Though the song was a peppy number from the new movie, I am not exaggerating the fact that Suchi too, has a loud voice.
DSP- The stale acronym is taken by none else than the music director of the movie, DeviSree Prasad. The man stomped up the stage like Michael Jackson in All I want to tell you is, they don’t really care about us, except that he was not accompanied by the black drummers. He gave the loud voiced women a run for their money. He almost lost his voice at one point when in his inimitable style called the singer Andrea on stage to belt out the OST.
Apart from these charges, the show was conducted well. The icing on the cake was when KamalHaasan sang a song from the movie that he wrote lyrics for and also recited a kavidhai in Tamil from the movie along with Trisha who matched his tamil fluency without stutter.