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Monday, April 2, 2012

Movie Music Monday: the "Why This Kolaveri Di?" phenom

Film Flam Flummox


This past weekend saw the release of the Indian romantic drama 3, whose release had been much anticipated since one of its original songs, "Why This Kolaveri Di?" ("Why This Murderous Rage?"), became a most unexpected viral Internet phenomenon across the globe (that is, as usual, except in any wide form in the U.S.) when it was leaked online a few months ago. That it caused such a sensation was and is rather unusual for a variety of reasons, one being that it is primarily in the regional South Indian language of Tamil, not the more widely reaching "Bollywood" tongue of Hindi, with generous smatterings of English (in short, in "Tanglish"); and second, it's a very context-driven drunken situational number in the film proper (my review of which will post later this week), not an elaborate dance-driven production number. That said, this tune composed by Anirudh Ravichander and featuring both lyrics and (in an Indian film rarity) singsong vocals by the film's star Dhanush is the sneakiest of earworms, its lazy yet irresistibly catchy vibe somehow impossible to shake after first listen.

But as with any viral sensation, the real fun lies in all of the varied spinoffs it inspires. There have been the expected flash mobs to the song around the world, including this one in Houston in February:

For me, though, the really creative offshoots are the various remixes, covers, and response tracks to the song. Here are my personal favorites of the many splattered across YouTube.

First, this smooth English language R&B cover by Arjun:

Taking things a step further, Charles Bosco's club-ready cover interpolating Arjun's aforementioned English language version with the original Tamil verses performed by Jackson Bosco:

Then one step further still, Ankit Love's crazy electro-rap version:

And, last and certainly not least, a most excellent instrumental heavy metal cover:

My review of Aishwarya R. Dhanush's 3 will be up in the next few days.

Download "Why This Kolaveri Di?" here.
Buy the 3 soundtrack here.

(Special thanks to Tamil Padam for their assistance in screening the film)

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