Sunday, May 26, 2024

From Instagram Reels to Oscar Thrills

Written By Pratichi Satpathy (Grade 9)

“Not salsa, not flamenco, my brother. Do you know Naatu?”

The moment Naatu Naatu, from the movie RRR, won the ‘Best Original Song’ award at the 95th Academy Awards, will surely continue to live on in the hearts of 1 billion Indians forever. It brought home to India an Academy Award, and as the country celebrated this win, one could not help but wonder: What makes Naatu Naatu so special? What differentiates it from all the other, undoubtedly brilliant, nominated songs?

The choreography by Prem Rakshit was invigorating and fast-paced—everything the world enjoys. The actors, Ram Charan and Jr. NTR, executed the unforgettable, scintillating moves to a tee and had the internet in their clutches for a long time. Dancers and non-dancers alike scrambled to post their dance covers of the striking steps with the rapid footwork and grooved to the chorus online. At the end, the hundreds of variations of the hook steps, two months of rehearsal, and twenty days of shooting all paid off. 

Once you heard the song, you couldn’t get it out of your head, and even if you went months without listening to it, the tune would be as fresh and new in your head as ever. This can be attributed to the melody, rhythmic arrangement, vocals, and instrumentals.

M.M. Keeravani’s melody was riveting and carried a certain memorable simplicity to it, while the rhythm was dynamic and captivating, keeping the momentum of the song steady. Rahul Siplikunj and Kaala Bhairava, the singers, added the real flavour to the song through their emotive and passionate singing. The amalgamation of Indian instruments like the tabla and sitar and electronic western elements like the usage of guitars and drums lifted the song to greater heights.

The lyrics, written by Chandrabose, are another form of art in themselves. Funny yet power-packed, the song was translated into four languages, other than the original Telugu, so that it could transcend all barriers of language and connect India’s massive population. Lyrics such as “Like playing with the stick while wearing wooden slippers” and “Like a bunch of young boys gathering in the shade of a banyan tree” evoked a sense of nostalgia in the listeners, reminding them of their childhoods.

One mustn’t forget the beauty of the location chosen—the Presidential Palace in Kiev—due to the unfortunate monsoon blues in India. Every asset of the scene, including the excellent cinematography and colour coordination of the actors’ and dancers’ outfits, as well as the accuracy of clothing for the era in which the story plays out, has set the song up for success. 

Naatu Naatu was released in March 2022, when the country was healing from the COVID-19 pandemic. Its exciting dance moves, musical brilliance, and lovely set and costume have resonated with listeners and viewers alike. It had the power to lift Indians out of a state of despair and remove the shroud of gloom from the country with its electric energy. 

Featured Image Courtesy – BBC

Pratichi Satpathy
Pratichi Satpathy
Hi, I am from Bhubaneswar, the City of Temples! I am an avid reader, and writing and reading are my favourite pastimes, besides painting and occasionally holding a concert in the shower. I enjoy writing poetry, short stories, articles, and have a special passion for history, social science and political science.


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