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Curious case of fewer songs

Curious case of fewer songs
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NTR Jr’s next ‘Jai Lava Kusa’ is making waves even before its release. The audio of the movie is out and irrespective of the success of the audio, it...

NTR Jr’s next ‘Jai Lava Kusa’ is making waves even before its release. The audio of the movie is out and irrespective of the success of the audio, it points out at a new trend in cinema – nowadays movies no longer have six songs. ‘Jai...’ has only four songs and the combined running time is less than 20 minutes.

Telugu cinema owes its beginning to the theatre and folk arts, and the song and dance sequences in the movies are a direct descendant. The influence of “Padya Natakaalu” was so great that even after eight decades; the songs are still a part.

In the early days, it was a sacrilege to make a movie devoid of songs. While the running time used to clock three hours, songs comprised one-third of the space. Over the period of time the number of songs decreased gradually and for long six songs has been a magic figure.

The formula was to make a two-and-half-hour film in which songs consumed 30 minutes. Filmmakers have rarely veered from the six songs formula. More often than not there used to be films that has more songs - the likes of ‘Sitakalyanam’ and ‘Srimadvirata Pravam’.

However, in the dawn of the new millennium, the length of the songs came down thought the number remained the same. They used to go by a formula; hero introduction song, a teasing song, romantic number, another romantic number, item song and a mass song/situational song.

This too has changed in the recent times and the number of songs reduced drastically. In Rana Daggubati - starrer ‘Nene Raju Nene Mantri’ the number of songs are four and of which one is a background song. Similarly, Vijay Devarakonda’s runaway hit ‘Arjun Reddy’ has very few songs, which were blended in the narrative.

Going by the trend it is safe to assume that the Telugu cinema is gradually cutting down on the number of songs, which often break the pace of narrative in the movie.

“For nearly a decade, songs meant it is time for cigarette or toilet break for the audience. In most movies, it is cut and song breaking the narrative. However, in recent times most directors are stressing on the narrative and are ready to cut down on the number of the songs if they disrupt the pace of the story telling. With audience lapping up to less number of songs, the trend is here to stay,” says a source from the sets of ‘Jai Lava Kusa’.

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