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Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar

Songless Indian Films by S.D Burman

apparaohoare IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 23 March 2006 at 9:11pm | IP Logged

Opinion

"An out-of-place song is the most horrible thing imaginable in a movie" - S.D Burman

Songless Indian Films

by S.D Burman

Occasionally Dada would put his baton down and pickup the pen. This article on the role and indispensability of music in Indian films was one such instance. This piece was written in 1966 and appeared in the 8th September issue of the Cine Advance film journal.

(Circa 1966, Cine Advance)

 

 

See Also

The Road to Success - by S.D Burman

SD Burman

"...  instead of placing a song in an unwanted position it should be removed entirely..."
- S.D Burman

       The main factor in the film is its story. Everything else, including songs and background music, serve only as a fine embroidery to improve and enhance the impact and beauty of the story content. Hence it is a logical argument that if the film has a powerful and gripping script that holds the audience interest from beginning to end, then I agree that the other paraphernalia like songs, dances and even other allied embellishments are not a must.

While songless films are a rarity in Hindi, they are common on the Bengali screen. For the reason I enumerated above and because being regional films with limited markets which stands in the way of their affording costly production values, they give powerful story content instead, which balances the absence of songs in those films. There is also the case of Satyajit Ray who makes internationally acclaimed films, and most of his films don't carry songs. As I said he compensates this with his camera work and engrossing direction.

But songs are very necessary in musical films. Even here care has to be taken in their use. If songs are not properly utilized and merged with the film as a whole, they create the hindrance which affects the continuity of the story. It is this aspect which causes all these complaints in Indian films. It's not that the people don't like and enjoy songs as such; it's how they are presented in the film which matters to them while witnessing a film.

Many a time even best songs are wasted either by placing them in odd situations or by picturising them badly. People get disgusted with the results and they adopt the surgical course of saving themselves from this evil – they walk out of the auditorium and have a quick cup of tea or their puffs of smoke. The fault in this case doesn't lie with the music director. The matter is out of his hands the moment a song is properly recorded. But even before that it is the director who decides the necessity of a song in a particular sequence. And what type or kind of songs it should be. It is also left to him whether he gets the required results after picturisation.

I personally believe that instead of placing a song in an unwanted position it should be removed entirely. An out-of-place song is the most horrible thing imaginable in a movie.

Finally the question of having songless films as a regular feature in India is a very risky proposition. In fact it's the songs which are the main prop of an ordinary film with a weak story and inefficient direction. Even in the case of films having powerful themes, should direction lack deftness, the characters do not register properly , the sequences lack the easy flow of continuous motion; and at the same time- suppose by a stroke of luck or by calculations- the songs prove popular, they become the sole saving grace of the movie. It may save it from becoming a fantastic flop. This is the silver lining which will make songs a must in Indian films for years to come.

 

 

mudabid Goldie
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Posted: 23 March 2006 at 9:20pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by apparaohoare

The main factor in the film is its story. Everything else, including songs and background music, serve only as a fine embroidery to improve and enhance the impact and beauty of the story content. Hence it is a logical argument that if the film has a powerful and gripping script that holds the audience interest from beginning to end, then I agree that the other paraphernalia like songs, dances and even other allied embellishments are not a must.

What our filmakers today need to learn from this.

Also, interesting to note that songless films are nothing new to Bengali cinema. They have given us some great films.



Edited by mudabid - 23 March 2006 at 9:38pm
ab_srgmp Goldie
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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 12:42pm | IP Logged
These days I welcome songless movies. But usually, unless the songs are really good, we fastforward most of the songs.

Songless movie I liked: Bhoot
Songless movies I didn't like: Pushpak
apparaohoare IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 12:54pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by ab_srgmp

These days I welcome songless movies. But usually, unless the songs are really good, we fastforward most of the songs.

Songless movie I liked: Bhoot
Songless movies I didn't like: Pushpak

How about SARKAR??

 

mudabid Goldie
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Joined: 13 October 2005
Posts: 1745

Posted: 24 March 2006 at 1:01pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by ab_srgmp

These days I welcome songless movies. But usually, unless the songs are really good, we fastforward most of the songs.

Songless movie I liked: Bhoot
Songless movies I didn't like: Pushpak

Bhoot was a good movie. If RGV had shown ghosts dancing in it then it would have killed the mood of the film. 

I recently watched Pushpak and found it to be great, but that is just my opinion. Another good songless film is Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara released recently.

 

ab_srgmp Goldie
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Joined: 12 January 2006
Posts: 1249

Posted: 24 March 2006 at 1:02pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by apparaohoare

Originally posted by ab_srgmp

These days I welcome songless movies. But usually, unless the songs are really good, we fastforward most of the songs.

Songless movie I liked: Bhoot
Songless movies I didn't like: Pushpak

How about SARKAR??

 



Was that songless? Sorry, my memory fails me.  Nice and different movie. Katrina Kaif was unecessary though.
mdroy Goldie
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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 5:51pm | IP Logged
One note, while it is true that Ray did not use many songs in his films, I
would like to take note of Charulata which had Ami Chini Go chini and Phule
Phule - -both well placed. I forget - -didn't Jashaghar have songs as well.
Fellow Ray fans, please refresh my recollection.

greatmaratha IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 7:07pm | IP Logged
One of the best examples of a "songless movie" is the old "Kannoon" of B.R. Chopra. When it was released, it was a revoluntionary kinda movie, in a day and age when music ruled supreme in movies and story line literally progressed in the songs, a crisp and terse murder courtroom drama, with no songs. Fantastic movie. Till the movie got over, one never realised that there was just no need for a song there.

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