Tansen is a sweet film with beautiful singers and a brilliant music director. Khemchand Prakash has been one of my favorite music directors since I saw Mahal (back during the first year of this blog), and I like Khursheed so much, I have been listening to a double-CD of her songs regularly for at least a couple of years. And I do like the voice of K.L. Saigal, which seems to grow on me continually. He is definitely one of my favorite male singers…
I should say more, but I don’t really know how to give either singer adequate praise. On the other hand, I can show some examples of their greatness via clips from Tansen, which clearly illustrates how much their voices could accomplish…
Because, you see, K.L.Saigal’s voice is so brilliant, it can light a house full of candles!
But at times, it is so soothing, it can calm a raging elephant.
And Khursheed’s voice is so moving, it can cause the clouds to burst.
…Which explains why it is so relatively easy for her to get the attention of livestock.
Meanwhile, when they sing together, it can… Oh, never mind, let’s just say it is sweet, indeed.
And that pretty much sums up Tansen. It’s a simple and straightforward fable (about a legendary singer named Tansen), and it’s very uplifting. Though it is not, I should mention, a film to look to for fine acting… (Khursheed and K.L. Saigal did have their moments here, and Khursheed, in particular, had a very expressive face. But as for the rest of the cast…) Additionally, it is probably not much of a source of historical realism and accuracy, nor does it ever even come close to being philosophically or metaphorically deep. (If you’re looking for a Tansen-related tale with great ambitions to be deep, go and watch Baiju Bawra. Though I’m not sure those ambitions were fulfilled so well…) But for me, at least, all those shortcomings are almost beside the point. I am certainly glad that I had a chance to see Tansen and, especially, to hear it.
P.S. January 18 is K.L. Saigal’s death anniversary. I actually did not know about that until I was just about ready to start this write-up, but even if it is basically a result of coincidence, I am glad that I can post something to honor him today.