చెరగనిదే ఈ స్నేహ గీతం
తరగనిదే మనలో వేగం
సరిగమలే పలికేను గానం
ఉరికెనులే గమ్యమెరుగని పయనం
యే చోటవున్నా మనమేం చేస్తువున్నా
ఈ జ్ఞాపకాలే మది విడువనన్నదే
యే తీరమైనా మనకే దూరమౌనా
ఈ స్నేహబంధం ఇక కరగనన్నదే
I really like this song. I heard it for the first time maybe 8 years ago as the credits rolled for Nakama Planet Green's first(?) short film. If you remember that time, you can recollect that Telugu short films were a major fixation for students and recent graduates. A popular meme from a little later went like this:
Things you did-
2012- Standup comedy
For some reason it popped into my head a couple of days ago and I've been humming it since. The poetry is beautiful and though quite simplistic it has a certain naive idealism to it- A lack of cynicism and a belief in the future being atleast as good as the present.
I like Vivek Sagar's music for Tharun Bhascker's films (haven't heard Yuddham Sharanam or Sammohanam yet). Like is probably not the right word, I find it so interesting that I choose to listen to it consciously. Usually I'm either paying attention to the lyrics or if its a beautiful melody, humming it absent-mindedly. With #Pellichoopulu, and especially with Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi, I find the music (and I use the word loosely) very captivating. There is so much happening here- a variety of sounds, titbits of sentences, different little sound structures coming together to mingle and separate, the main melody played as whimsical staccato and then abruptly changing into a very different tune. And despite all this cacophony, the whole thing still sounds good somehow. I find it impossible to hum at a later time but I find that the parts I love keep looping in my head (case in point, the part that starts with Niseedhi dhaarilona in Aagi Aagi). Until I learnt later in some interview that Raalu Poola is a new song that was specifically composed to make it feel the remix of an old one, I thought it was a remix. It does not feel sourced from one particular song as much as they'd somehow managed to capture the essence of whatever we think of when we think of an old Telugu song(that's composed sometime in the 50s) and then work on it until the song sounds like a remix of that one. Setting aside the fact that I don't like the song, I marvel at how they managed to pull it off. And the poetry of Tharun Bhascker's songs feels really fresh; Not always good but new nevertheless
I think this sort of music suits the rhythms of Ee Nagaraniki. It is a strange film. I like it when I'm able to view the puppet strings dancing behind when I'm interacting with any art work and #Pellichoopulu didn't give me that chance. It felt too masterfully written, too neatly sealed. I loved it nonetheless but I can see that the maker is in control, working within the realm of his powers. When this overstretch happens, it becomes interesting to try and guess what exactly he's trying to reach.
A similar analogy can be made between Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs. Grand Budapest is, as far as I'm concerned, a perfect film. Madhav garu once told me that as an editor, his primary job was to help the writer reduce the gap between what is in the head and what is being conveyed via the medium. With Grand Budapest, Anderson was in such control that the film seemed to be transcribed from inside his head. On the other hand, with the Isle of Dogs, Anderson's tone and narrative are frequently jarring and as much as it's frustrating when watching the film for the first time, thinking about it later gave me a better appreciation of what he was trying to convey and the ingenious devices he'd conceived to transfer those elusive feelings (in this case honour, duty, pathos, love, loyalty). I'm beginning to think that when a film is uneven, the moments that work make more impact than if it is uniformly brilliant. Like that wonderfully tracking shot of Akira leading the dog convoy while I won't hurt you plays in the background. Or the disarmingly honest way Nutmeg says, "Because he's a twelve year old boy, dogs love those".
It is an ironic twist of fate that reaching the summit diminishes the aura of the film. By falling short, that gap is filled by the admiring viewer and the film in the head is better, any day, than the one in the real world.
So, yeah, Ee Nagaraniki was unwieldy and stretched too thin but I fell for its charms. On the surface, both #Pellichoopulu and Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi have very straightforward, overabused storylines but while Pellichoopulu's genius was in world-building (It felt built and populated from the imagination of an idealistic township planner), Ee nagaraniki, while ostensibly reworking Rock On!! for the film industry, tried also to talk about growing up in the 90s and the famously millennial job dissatisfaction while also incorporating using Hyderabadi lingo. Tharun was trying to convey the pervading sense of unsureness within us, the lure of procrastination, the fear of walking away from the comfort zone, the inability to become a unified whole self. Yes, he fell short, but damn was he shooting for the stars.
I wish it'd come online soon. I want to watch it again.