Lal Salaam – Music Review
Aishwarya Rajinikanth’s directorial and the much awaited and talked about “Lal Salaam” will hit the screens on 9 Feb. ’24. The film features a host of artists such as Vishnu Vishal and Vikranth as the key characters with KS Ravikumar, Thambi Ramaiah, Livingston, Senthil among many others, playing support roles.
Bankrolled by Lyca Productions, Aishwarya’s third directorial has music by Oscar Winner and Mozart of Madras, AR Rahman, where the two are collaborating for the first time.
The director’s first film titled “3” was released in 2012 and featured Actor Dhanush (to whom she was married back then) along with Shruti Hassan, the elder daughter of Actor Kamal Hassan. Her sister Soundarya Rajinikanth directed her maiden venture “Kochhadaiyaan” feat. Superstar Rajinikanth which released in 2014.
Superstar Rajinikanth will be seen as “Mohideen Bhai” only in a cameo role in Lal Salaam, though his presence is expected to increase the “saleability” of the film across cinema theatres.
The first single “Ther Thiruvizha” was released in Dec. ‘23. The folk number has been crooned by the inimitable Shankar Mahadevan.
The festive-spirit song eulogises the social event that is the Pongal festival, perhaps an important setting in the movie. The film was supposed to release during the Pongal weekend in 2024, however it didn’t.
The second single, “Ae Pulla” has been sung by AR Rahman’s prodigy and heartthrob of thousands, Sid Sriram. The romantic number is a melody with a folk touch with the typical histrionics of the singer, who has somewhat become stereotyped with his style of singing, according to many of his ardent fans.
“Anbalane” sees a rare combination coming together.
The arch-rivals of the 2000s, Music Director Deva and AR Rahman have come together with this song. The melancholic tune is an ode to Allah, perhaps a setting in the movie where the community is offering their humble prayers with tears, as we reckon from the lyrics.
This is one kind of song that we have never heard from “Singer Deva”, who is usually known for his fast and crunchy numbers, whether in his own music or that of others.
Thimiri Yezhuda has been sung in chorus by Shahul Hameed, Bamba Bakya and Deepti Suresh and Akshaya Sivakumar and is a fast-paced peppy number.
Jalali is the final number sung by AR Rahman and this is sure to be the moment of reckoning in the film with the Superstar’s entry. By the tone of the lyrics, this is sure to be either his introduction song or a montage tune where he is thrashing the baddies.
At an elaborate music launch event held on 26 Jan. ‘24 in Chennai, Aishwarya Rajinikanth said that her father has always been portrayed as a “Sanghi” - someone who supports the Sangh Parivar (the right wing).
If that was really the case, he would not have donned such a role, she said.
The actor will be seen in the character of a muslim in the film Lal Salaam after 40+ years. In 1985, he played the role of Inspector Hussain in the Hindi film Geraftaar.
In his 1995 outing Baasha, the character changes his name from Manickam to “Baasha” after his childhood friend of the same name is killed.
Going by the teaser of the film, this could possibly be about communal tensions around which the story has been weaved. Two friends turn rivals due to communal clashes in their town which takes away precious lives, perhaps.
The grand finale is a cricket match (we see Legend Kapil Dev walk with both characters in the teaser), which is hotly played on the ground as well as rivalry between the two religious communities. We need to wait for 2 more weeks to see how the film has shaped up.