I first got hooked with Mickey J Meyer’s style of music composition with the Telugu movie, Kotha Bangaru Lokam which I discovered accidentally when I was searching for a Paiyaa Tamil movie song. I don’t understand Telugu but then the language of music is universal and thus found the Telugu song Nijangaa Nenena which was so refreshing that I started to dig further and created a personal Mickey J Meyer playlist. Image source: Amazon.
Two times winner and six times nominated for the Filmfare Best Music Director, Mickey J Meyer has always been my favourite music composer when it comes to Telugu songs with DSP and Thaman following closely. This is due to the fact that he composes songs and music in the same manner as AR Rahman in his early years and it is mesmerising to hear all day long.
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The Shyam Singha Roy Movie
The song scene is from the movie, Shyam Singha Roy starring Nani and Sai Pallavi in the lead roles and Mickey J Meyer did a fantastic job creating the movie’s soundtrack and the songs. The core story behind the movie is on the plight of devadasi who historically are temple female artists for the rest of their lives. There are also some elements of human rights, romance, legal tussle and reincarnation.
Nani is basically in his elements, especially as the lead character Shyam Singha Roy who is the legendary Bengal-Telugu writer in the movie. Sai Pallavi has given an equal quality of acting as one of the devadasis who Shyam Singha Roy rescues from the evil temple priest.
Probably Sai Pallavi’s best dance scene in any movie, she basically rocked the stage with her fluid movement and facial expressions. The background dancers rocked the stage equally as well. Image source: Telugu 360
Mickey J Meyers composed 6 songs for the movie and all of them are brilliantly composed as always. However, this particular song – Pranavalaya stands out for many reasons and I strongly believe that his composition for this song will be award-winning songs.
First, watch the final version of the song scene from the movie and trust me, when you listen again in audio alone, you will still see Sai Pallavi and the background dancers in your mind. And yes, you will see every move of the dance and the dancer’s expressions.
Interestingly there is a video of Sai Pallavi and others practising the dance for the scene and trust me, it would not be an easy thing to do especially in presenting it in South India’s ancient classical dance form of Bharatanatyam.
One has to say that for this Pranavalaya dance song, 4 elements connected perfectly to form one of the best ancient dance scenes in a movie in recent times.
No doubt that one has to have a very powerful yet graceful composition for this dance scene and Mickey J Meyer as the music director did not disappoint with his composition for this dance scene. It has a mix of smooth slow moments with fast-burning ones all the while not letting down the pace.
It starts with the sitar and a low growl and the vocals comes in slowly before picking up the pace. There was a moment in the composition which reminds me of the background music of Diablo 2. A great prelude of a battle scene dance before the chorus before it is back to smooth, soothing vocals with tablas in the back.
I was not aware of Anurag Kulkarni’s heavenly voice until this song and I realised that he has one of the smoothest voices ever provided the right songs is given to him. Mickey J Meyer matched the right songs with the right vocals. And in the dance scene, he actually appeared as the male singer singing the song for the female dancers.
The angles and the colour grains of the dance scene are perfectly captured by Sanu John Varghese who previously had worked on Kamal Hassan’s Vishwaroopam series. There are great shots from the top and also framed shots that add a good perspective of the dance scene.
The camerawork is brilliant with long and near shots at the right moments with a quick zoom to the dancers at one time. With fire and lanterns providing warm colours to the whole atmosphere, the dancers’ costume in red was a brilliant move by the director that add just enough colours for contrast.
The choreography for this dance scene is done by Kruthi Mahesh who is a trained classical dancer and had choreographed for several movies. She won the Best Choreographer award for the 2018 Padmavat.
She did an amazing choreography especially the battle part of the song and the last part with the fire which was not easy and was also dangerous to the dancers. Thousand and one thing could have easily gone wrong. Special attention was also given to the facial expressions of the dancers from happy, angry, fearful and sad – see the eyes of the dancers during the battle part of the dance.
The cinematography in this movie is outstanding, especially for this dance scene where it is shot at night with a dark background. The whole place is lighted with fire and yet clear enough for the camera to capture enough details. Image source: Youtube
Just like AR Rahman in his starting years, Mickey J Meyer’s strength is in the brilliant arrangements of the rhythms and the orchestration. Although he primarily composes for Telugu movies, there have been enough tunes with Tamil lyrics. such as for this Shyam Singa Roy.
And one added point to Mickey J Meyer’s composition would be the picturisation of the song scenes. It is clear that there is a clear understanding that both the movie director and Mickey J Meyer have well collaborated to bring out the best from the music composition and the scene.
Rest assured that there will be more posts on Mickey J Meyer’s beautiful compositions in future.