Shooting film songs

Picture the song: ‘Dreamum Wakeupum’ from ‘Aiyyaa’ is a ‘throbbingum and thumpingum’ ode to the ’80s

The most outrageous and hilarious moment in Sachin Kundalkar’s movie gleefully sends up the lurid ’80s aesthetic.

Filmmaker, playwright and author Sachin Kundalkar has a new movie out this week. Gulabjaam, starring Sonali Kulkarni and Siddharth Chandekar, is about a chef from London who returns to Pune to learn about traditional Marathi cuisine. Kundalkar’s debut film, Restaurant, also starred Kulkarni as a chef, and food featured in his 2016 movie Vazandar, about two friends trying to lose weight.

Kundalkar’s most lip-smacking movie doesn’t even have a food setting. Aiyyaa is his only Hindi feature till date, and it remains his most accomplished work. The 2012 production expands on one of the three stories that featured in Kundalkar’s 2009 Marathi feature Gandha. Aiyyaa follows Meenakshi (Rani Mukerji), a librarian at an art college who gets turned on a student whose eyes are as bleary as his scent is intoxicating.

Meenakshi’s head is stuffed with songs and images borrowed from the Hindi movies she adores. She is the kind of screen heroine who wants her life to resemble a movie – a meta-character like Mili from Rangeela, but far ahead in her Technicolour fantasies. The abundance of eccentrics at her home, including a blind grandmother with golden teeth, pushes Meenakshi to plot her escape. When Suriya (Prithviraj Sukumaran), a hunkier and less angst-bitten version of the suffering artist stock character, walks in, his smell fills the room. Meenakshi is besotted, and spends the rest of the movie trying to escape matches arranged by her parents and the horrible possibility that Suriya has not registered her presence.

Amit Trivedi’s catchy tunes are judiciously scattered across the self-consciously exaggerated comedy. Meenakshi mimes to her favourite ’80s tunes over the opening credits; Sava Dollar is a hip version of the lavani dance form; Mahek Bhi is a conventional love song in which Meenakshi luxuriates in her love for Suriya.

It’s no coincidence that Suriya is a Tamilian. Kundalkar cleverly uses Suriya’s cultural heritage to cue Aiyyaa’s most outrageously filmed song. Meenakshi is so desperately trying to inveigle herself with Suriya that she picks up some Tamil, and she enthusiastically takes up a suggestion that she should watch the show Midnight Masala to become Tamil in body and spirit.

Meenakshi’s eyes pop out of her sockets in delight as she watches choreography that simulates sexual moves. The fantasy song Dreamum Wakeupum that follows is an imaginative ode to ’80s songs that featured actors furiously gyrating against outsized props. The heaving breasts and thrusting hips in these songs from films in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu inspire lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya to come up with suitably outrageous lyrics, all ending with an “um” in keeping with Suriya’s linguistic background.

Bhattacharya is in full flow as Meenakshi and Suriya brilliantly mimic ’80s choreography in colour-coordinated costumes: “Face to faceum dharti putram; top to baseum kama sutram; thighsum thunderum downum underum; sizeum matterum thinkum wonderum.” Every breast thrust, hip wobble and facial expression is perfectly timed with Trivedi’s pulsating beats.

Many filmmakers have tried to send up the lurid and ridiculous aesthetic of the ’80s. Ooh La La Ooh La La from The Dirty Picture (2011) comes close, but it lacks the sheer wit of Dreamum Wakeupum. As Meenakshi and Suriya “jumpingum, pumpingum, throbbingum and thumpingum” with unabashed glee, Aiyyaa achieves peak meta-ness.

Play
Dreamum Wakeupum, Aiyyaa (2012).
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Can a colour encourage creativity and innovation?

The story behind the universally favoured colour - blue.

It was sought after by many artists. It was searched for in the skies and deep oceans. It was the colour blue. Found rarely as a pigment in nature, it was once more precious than gold. It was only after the discovery of a semi-precious rock, lapis lazuli, that Egyptians could extract this rare pigment.

For centuries, lapis lazuli was the only source of Ultramarine, a colour whose name translated to ‘beyond the sea’. The challenges associated with importing the stone made it exclusive to the Egyptian kingdom. The colour became commonly available only after the invention of a synthetic alternative known as ‘French Ultramarine’.

It’s no surprise that this rare colour that inspired artists in the 1900s, is still regarded as the as the colour of innovation in the 21st century. The story of discovery and creation of blue symbolizes attaining the unattainable.

It took scientists decades of trying to create the elusive ‘Blue Rose’. And the fascination with blue didn’t end there. When Sir John Herschel, the famous scientist and astronomer, tried to create copies of his notes; he discovered ‘Cyanotype’ or ‘Blueprints’, an invention that revolutionized architecture. The story of how a rugged, indigo fabric called ‘Denim’ became the choice for workmen in newly formed America and then a fashion sensation, is known to all. In each of these instances of breakthrough and innovation, the colour blue has had a significant influence.

In 2009, the University of British Columbia, conducted tests with 600 participants to see how cognitive performance varies when people see red or blue. While the red groups did better on recall and attention to detail, blue groups did better on tests requiring invention and imagination. The study proved that the colour blue boosts our ability to think creatively; reaffirming the notion that blue is the colour of innovation.

When we talk about innovation and exclusivity, the brand that takes us by surprise is NEXA. Since its inception, the brand has left no stone unturned to create excusive experiences for its audience. In the search for a colour that represents its spirit of innovation and communicates its determination to constantly evolve, NEXA created its own signature blue: NEXA Blue. The creation of a signature color was an endeavor to bring something exclusive and innovative to NEXA customers. This is the story of the creation, inspiration and passion behind NEXA:

Play

To know more about NEXA, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.