Film Review: This film depicts the disputes between two forms of the musical genres.Two group of artistes arrive in a village to perform . One being purely Classical (Carnatic) and the other being rural folk (Tamil Nadu folk).They will both hold concerts featuring their style of dance.
The film shows the egos, hatred and ignorance faced by both the groups towards each other when a guy and a girl from these opposing camps falls in love.Their rivalry gets manipulated by an evil landlord in the village. The movie is a remake of the black and white era South Indian movie ""Thillana Mohanambal" .The music was very folksy and A.R. Rahman has done a tremendous job in the soundtrack and background score.
Overall the movie contains some decent acting, screenplay and cinematography based on a rustic atmosphere.
The main highlight of this movie are the songs composed by A.R. Rahman, He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe
This movie of 5 songs with a pseudo rustic atmosphere was released in 1999 for a low budgeted movie which revolves around rural village oriented story. The songs can be best described as " rustic, with a cozy, old feel like a vintage vinyl" . THere was nothing special about the story which was recycled from old Tamil movies of the past era.. In this one AR Rahman was out to improve attitudes towards acceptance of folk music as a genre of rustic song, and clearly has made extensive use of the music; folk tunes and hymns were often used as raw material for the ideas and concepts of the songs, borrowed from traditional folk music. The whole affair was low key except for the name tag on the film "Suresh Krishna" who directed the record breaking Rajinikanth starrer ''Baasha'' in 1994. This film was the first teamup of Suresh Krishna and AR Rahman. the pre hype for the film was done on a low scale as compared to other commercial Tamil films released that year. Even so news of this film was around since 1997 on some Rahman fansites and reportedly delayed from time time in its release. Undoubtedly the final product was overshadowed by the other music releases in reaching the mainstream listeners The songs of Sangamam immediately may strike one as pleasant sounding on the first listen. And after a long time when one goes back to it again, it retains the same quality. However the commercial viability of the movie was put to test as it does not have any commercial elements Rahman came as the saving grace for it is a big plus for the movie. Rahman went for an all out traditional With a strong Indian classical base music which was unlike a anything he had done before.The music went down well with the older generation and critics hailed it as one of the best tributes to a bygone era in Indian classical music.The whole listening experience almost feels like digitally remade piece of music from a vintage vinyl of course coupled with the touch of AR.Rahman's grandeur. The concept is a second for Rahman, who did something along similar nostalgic lines in 1997 with ''Iruvar'' Sangamam consists of film songs based on a near pure classical music . A.R. Rahman had brilliantly used a western instrument (saxophone), which is also co-incidentally reminiscent of another Indian traditional musical instrument to play an Indian tune and fed it through a synthesizer modification giving an electronic sound. The concept of this I believe is a piece of genuine geniusness few composers in the world possess. Nevertheless this soundtrack is worthy of study decades later in the future It is indeed common to find an articles promoting the composer in the light of pop music. As one may believe his work in this genre had gone largely unnoticed. As for the arguments set forth by some in the light as stated earlier , it is to knowledge that no doubt his music is electronic and 3 dimensional, but the core concept seems to be largely spiritual and traditional. Many do also believe that the music he composes even in the electronic form is a fusion of soulful spiritualism and technology in an altered state. Sangamam at best turned out to be a cult classic in the dawn of the millennium and safely qualifies as a worthy addition to any AR Rahman library.
Buy the music CD if you want, but u can safely skip the movie if it is not your cup of tea.