There is very little that differentiates Ariya Vazhikalil from the many soul-stirring melodies that Raveendran Master has given us once. Ramesh Narayan gets Yesudas to render the song, and even seems to use a Darbaribase, a raga Raveendran had employed in some of his most memorable sad songs. But the said similarities end up making the song a daunting listen as it progresses, the slow pace adding to the tedium. Though the song with the father doesn’t work out that well, the composer puts the son Vijay Yesudas to good use in the folksy Chaadi Chaadi. Kavalam Narayana Panicker’s lines as usual charm for their simplicity, and the orchestration is made matchingly simple, particularly noteworthy being the use of the kids’ chorus. Continuing on folk lines Ramesh Narayan next offers the most Malayali of folk genres, a nicely done thiruvathira song called Margazhi Manjil. And with Chithra doing the singing, there isn’t much more to ask for.
Shwetha Mohan’s sprightly rendition is what makes the retro Manjadi Penne engaging despite a slightly overworked arrangement. But the composer totally nails the mostly instrumental Kadankatha, with a wonderful array of folk sounds led by a brilliant flautist. Prithviraj does a cameo at the start narrating the riddle about a manjadikkuru. Kavalam gets behind the mic himself (with a second singer I don’t know the name of) to do an ad lib rendition of Manne Nambi. More of a functional nature, the track might be better watched than listened to as a song. The same holds true for the final narrative by Prithviraj talking of a Kerala of yore, seemingly an intro piece in the movie.
Manjadikkuru. A simple, feel-good soundtrack from Ramesh Narayan. I am told the same can be said about the movie too.
Music Aloud Rating: 7/10
Top Recos: Kadankatha, Margazhi Manjil, Chaadi Chaadi