Boys (2003 film)

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Boys
Boyssoundtrack.jpg
Release poster
Directed by Shankar
Produced by A. M. Rathnam
Written by Shankar
Sujatha
Starring Siddharth
Genelia D'Souza
Bharath
S. Thaman
Nakul
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Ravi K. Chandran
Edited by V. T. Vijayan
Production
company
Sri Surya Movies
Release dates 29 August 2003
Running time 170 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Tamil
Budget INR180 million (US$2.9 million)

Boys is a 2003 Indian Tamil coming-of-age film directed by Shankar. It stars debutants Siddarth, Genelia, Bharath, Nakul and Sai Srinivas Thaman in the lead roles. The score and soundtrack are composed by A. R. Rahman. Boys was simultaneously released in Telugu as well with the same name.

The story centers on six youngsters, who experience the downfalls of teenage life. The film conveys a message about the importance of a good education and career over other distractions, such as romance and sex. It was the debut for its five title characters as well as the female lead.

Plot[edit]

Munna (Siddharth Narayan), Babu Kalyanam aka Bob Galy (Bharath), Juju (Nakul), Krishna (Thaman) and Kumar (Manikandan) are five friends. They come from different backgrounds – Munna from a middle-class family, Bob Galy from a Telugu-speaking family, Juju from an academic-achieving family, Krishna from a rich family and Kumar from a poor family. But all of them have common interests – spending their time smoking, downing alcohol, ogling girls, watching pornography and complaining about their parents. Much to the chagrin of their parents, they have no interest in studies. They meet a depressed middle-age man, Mangalam (Vivek) in a bar one day and help him home after he passes out. Although they first use him as a source to get alcohol, Mangalam enjoys their company and becomes a mentor of sorts for the boys.They even go as far as hiring a prostitute(whose contact was obtained from mangalam) to have sex with while Munna's parents are out of station (Bhuvaneswari), but all of them back down at the last moment.

One day, the boys see a teenage girl, Harini (Genelia D'Souza), who is a science student, and all of them decide to ask her out. Everyone’s try ends in disaster, but they eventually become friends with her. However, Munna is still in love with Harini and cannot forget her. He conveys his feelings to her while on a day-out in a resort, but she rejects him. Later, Harini's friend tells Munna that Harini would accept him only if he streaks on Mount Road, which was not true. But he believes her, does it and gets arrested. When Harini finds out what Munna had done, she bails him out on jail and accepts his love.

Eventually, Munna's and Harini's parents find out about their relationship and are furious, as they want them to focus on their studies. Harini's father, who is a powerful Indian Revenue Service officer, holds a meeting involving Munna, his friends, Mangalam and Harini's friends at his house; both sets of parents decide that Munna and Harini will not contact each other till their studies are over. After that, if they are still in love, the parents will not stand in their way. Although the kids agree to this, they continue to long for each other. Meanwhile, Harini's mother, determined to end her daughter's relationship with Munna, arranges a wedding alliance between Harini and her younger brother, who lives in the US, despite Harini's protests. Harini and Munna eventually run away from their homes and go to Tirupati, where they get married. On hearing the news, Munna and Harini are disowned by their parents. Munna's friends walk out of their homes too, in a show of solidarity for Munna and Harini.

Mangalam helps the teenagers find a modest residence and they take up part-time jobs to support themselves, including their education. This does not prove successful, so Mangalam encourages them to explore their natural musical talents. The teenagers form a band named "Boys", making modern versions of popular Tamil devotional songs, and eventually gain recognition. Soon, they are approached by a Naxalite group to make songs against the government. They do it for the money and soon get arrested under POTA. They are subsequently expelled from their colleges.

After they are released from prison, the teenagers show more resolve to succeed. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they are finally signed by Sony Music and record their first album. While celebrating their success, a drunk Krishna accidentally tells Harini about their earlier encounter with the prostitute. Harini, who is deeply hurt at this revelation leaves Munna and returns to her parents, despite his insistence that they did not meet before the encounter and that he did not have sex with the prostitute. As the prostitute is the only one who can prove that Munna did not have sex with her, the friends begin searching for her. Kumar spots her on a moving bus and tries to get on it. In the process he falls under the wheels of the bus and dies. Munna decides that his words were more than enough proof for Harini and accepts her decision. Meanwhile, Harini agrees to marry her maternal uncle.

The gang's album soon releases and becomes a huge hit. But without Harini, the lead female vocal, the record labels are unwilling to sign them. When the boys request Harini’s presence for a live show on MTV, her parents accept, but on the condition that Munna sign the divorce papers. Munna agrees, realising that their career is more important than their love. The group has a very successful live debut. They dedicate their first live success in memory of Kumar.

On the day of the divorce hearings, Mangalam, now the pop group’s manager, fields many calls to replace Harini with another girl. When she looks at the pictures of all the pretty girls vying to be the group’s new lead female vocal, a bout of jealousy strikes her. She gets angry and starts hitting Munna. As they fight, they share a kiss. The judge (Solomon Pappaiah) sees this as a sign that she still cares for him and does not agree to the divorce. It is implied that Munna and Harini get back together.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In December 2001, it was announced that Shankar would make a film titled Boys featuring newcomers.[2] He had postponed the making of Robot featuring Kamal Haasan and Preity Zinta in the lead roles to start this film, with the announcement prompting hundreds of applications from youngsters who wanted to feature in it.[3] Shankar opted to introduce five debutants to play the lead characters and held auditions in 2002, with over 500 applicants being video tested.[4]

Siddharth had initially worked as an assistant director to Mani Ratnam in Kannathil Muthamittal, and the script writer of that film, Sujatha, were insistent that Siddharth auditioned for Boys. After consulting with Mani Ratnam, he met Shankar, auditioned, and got the role of Munna.[5] Shankar had seen Bharath at a dance programme, Inspirations at the Music Academy by 'Swingers', and called him to appear in screen tests that included delivering dialogues and dancing before selecting him to do the role of Bob Galy.[5] Bharath was initially earmarked to play the lead role in the film before the team found Siddharth.[6] Sai Srinivas, a percussionist and a drummer, who had worked with leading music directors was added after a successful audition in which he had to play the drums and went on to help out with the background score.[7][8] Nakul, brother of actress Devayani, was a second-year college student who was also chosen. His family had sent some pictures of Nakul's elder brother Mayur to Shankar's office and, after seeing Nakul in one of the pictures, Shankar approached him.[6] Manikandan, a visual communications graduate who had featured in Kala master’s dance troupe doing stage shows, was also selected.[5] Genelia D'Souza, who was shooting for Hindi film Tujhe Meri Kasam, was chosen among 300 girls after Shankar was impressed by her Parker Pen commercial alongside Amitabh Bachchan, her voice was dubbed by Rathi of Solla Marandha Kadhai.[9]

Ravi K. Chandran was the principal director of photography; he introduced the linking of 62 cameras for the first time and the use of time-freeze technology in Boys.[10][11] Cinematographers K. V. Anand and V. Manikandan were credited for filming two songs, while directors Gandhi Krishna and Balaji Sakthivel were a part of Shankar's assistant team.

Filming[edit]

Boys was launched at the Kalaivaanar Arangam in Chennai with Rajinikanth attending the event was chief guest and the new cast was introduced to the media. Filming began later that day, and two days later a teaser trailer of the film was broadcast on television.[12]

The song "Ale Ale" was picturised at the Bridestowe Estate Lavender Farm in Scottsdale, Tasmania, Australia where cinematographer Ravi K. Chandran linked 62 cameras, using a new 'time-freeze' technique with the help of Australian cinematographer Mark Ruff's rig.[13] Mark Kobe, who had been a part of the teams of Godzilla and Independence Day, carried out the computer graphic effects for Boys and created a 3D female to feature in the song "Girlfriend". Another song, "Dating", was shot at a set created by Sabu Cyril on the Chennai seashore where he created a seaside swimming pool, restaurant, water volleyball, and discothèque for the song sequence.[14] For "Boom Boom", Cyril made a set out of waste materials like steel, tin sheets, bottles, used cans of Pepsi, Coca Cola, Dalda (oil) and wood waste to create the backdrop, whilst the actors in the song were dressed by designer Arjun Fazil in matchsticks, film rolls, videotape, and crisps covers.[15] "Maro Maro" was picturised on 500 young dancers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi, while for "Secret of Success", the team were given permission to use the MTV logo as the scene saw the band performing at the MTV Awards.[16] The background score for both these songs were sung by Gulzar, Sherefa, Ranya and Sameera.

Reception[edit]

This high-budget production opened to mixed reviews. Siddhu Warrier of Rediff cited that the film "gets enmeshed in an intricate array of sub-plots. And somewhere along the way, the story begins to meander", adding that "college students, especially guys, might watch Boys more than once for the titillating scenes, the non-veg jokes, and, most importantly, the skimpy, transparent clothing sported by the heroine."[17] Guru Subramaniam, also from Rediff stated that "Shankar's overconfidence in selling situations to the audience has failed this time. Many scenes, including the climax, look ordinary without any build-up sequences."[18][19][20] The film became an "average" with Shankar later pointing out that "only youngsters" came to watch as he failed to appeal to "other age groups" as well.[21]

Soundtrack[edit]

Boys
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released
28 June 2003
15 August 2012 (Hindi)
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre Pop, pop rock, dance music, world music
Label Star Music (Tamil)
Aditya Music (Telugu)
Pen Music (Hindi)
Producer A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Parasuram
(2003)
Boys
(2003)
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
(2004)

The soundtrack, featuring seven songs composed by A. R. Rahman, was launched on 28 June 2003.[22] It was the tenth collaboration of Shankar and Rahman, a combination that is widely accepted to be one of the most successful in whole India.[22] About the making of "Girlfriend", Shankar said,

"I had told my crew and associates in the beginning itself that we had to think like an 18-year-old as the film is about youth and their desires. So when lyricist Pa.Vijay and Rahman sat together, we wanted a catchy number which the youth can relate to. At 18, every boy dreams of having a girlfriend. Rahman came up with a perfect fast paced peppy tune and Vijayan’s lyrics fell into place as it establishes the yearning for a girlfriend. It sets the mood for the film as it appears in the first reel of Boys."

After 9 years, Boys will be dubbed in Hindi and is to release in 2012. The Hindi version's songs were released on 15 August 2012 by Pen Music Ltd.[23]

All songs were chartbusters and the whole album remained on top for several months. This album, like "Kadhal Desam", made waves in the hearts of young people. Often termed as one of the landmark album's of Rahman, the whole album is noted for unique tunes and grand orchestration. As a result, this album garnered a special and unique place in Tamil music. After "Kadhal Desam" and "Kadhalar Dhinam", "Boys" is considered as A. R. Rahman's genuine youthful offering.

Original tracklist[edit]

Tracklist
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Girlfriend"   Pa. Vijay Karthik, Tippu & Timmy 5:03
2. "Dating"   Pa. Vijay Blaaze & Vasundhara Das 5:03
3. "Ale Ale"   Kapilan Karthik, Chitra Iyer 6:26
4. "Secret of Success"   Vaali & Blaaze Lucky Ali, Clinton Cerejo, Blaaze & Vasundhara Das 6:07
5. "Boom Boom"   Kapilan Adnan Sami, A. R. Rahman & Sadhana Sargam 4:59
6. "Maro Maro ("Break The Rules")"   Vaali Karthik, Kunal Ganjawala, George, Anupama & Sunitha Sarathy 5:41
7. "Please Sir"   Vaali Kunal Ganjawala, Benny Dayal, Clinton Cerejo, S. P. B. Charan & Chinmayi 1:58
Total length:
35:20

Telugu tracklist[edit]

All lyrics written by A.M. Rathnam & Siva Ganesh. 

Tracklist
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Girlfriend"   Karthik, Tippu & Timmy 5:03
2. "Dating"   Blaaze & Vasundhara Das 5:03
3. "Ale Ale"   Karthik & Chitra Sivaraman 6:26
4. "Secret of Success" (Additional lyrics by Blaaze) Lucky Ali, Clinton Cerejo, Blaaze & Vasundhara Das 6:07
5. "Boom Boom"   Udit Narayan & Sadhana Sargam 4:59
6. "Maro Maro ("Break The Rules")"   Karthik, Kunal Ganjawala, George, Anupama & Sunitha Sarathy 5:41
7. "Please Sir"   Kunal Ganjawala, Clinton Cerejo, S. P. B. Charan & Chinmayi 1:58
Total length:
35:20

Hindi tracklist[edit]

(Released on 15 August 2012 by Pen Music Ltd.)

All lyrics written by Abbas Tyrewala

Tracklist
No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Girlfriend"   Karthik 5:03
2. "Dating" (Additional lyrics by Blaaze) Blaaze & Vasundhara Das 5:03
3. "Ale Ale"   Shaan & Madhushree 6:28
4. "Secret of Success" (Additional lyrics by Blaaze) Shiraz Uppal, Kunal Ganjawala, Blaaze & Vasundhara Das 6:10
5. "Boom Boom"   Rashid Ali, A. R. Rahman, Adnan Sami & Sadhana Sargam 5:04
6. "Maro Maro ("Break The Rules")"   Karthik, Kunal Ganjawala, Anupama & Sunitha Sarathy 5:45
7. "Please Sir"   Kunal Ganjawala, Clinton Cerejo, S. P. B. Charan & Chinmayi 1:58
Total length:
35:34

Critical reception[edit]

The album was met with positive reviews upon release, but the sales were lagging initially.[24] Star Music, the company which had bought the rights of the soundtrack, was able to sell only 60,000 records in the first week.[22] Fortunately, in the following weeks, sales drastically increased and the soundtrack became the best-selling album of the year.[25] Rediff stated, "A R Rahman has helmed the scoring of what is certainly the best of Tamil music this year. Take note of Vaali's lyrics for 'Secret of success' and P.A Vijay's 'Dating'."[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Watch boys tamil movie online w/eng subtitles | Watch Tamil Hindi Movies". Tamilhindimovies.com. 27 March 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Yahoo! Groups". Groups.yahoo.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "rediff.com, Movies: Boys zone". Rediff.com. 2 January 2002. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Welcome to". Sify.com. 20 January 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Welcome to". Sify.com. 20 January 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Boys: A Preview". Rediff.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Boys: A Preview". Rediff.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  8. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040603171224/http://www.chennaionline.com/entertainment/filmplus/boyscrew.asp
  9. ^ "Genelia, the 'Uthamaputhiran' girl". The New Indian Express. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Welcome to". Sify.com. 20 January 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "'Koi Mil Gaya, India's first sci-fi film'". Rediff.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Yahoo! Groups". Groups.yahoo.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Boys: A Preview". Rediff.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  14. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040603172318/http://www.chennaionline.com/entertainment/filmplus/boyscrew01.asp
  15. ^ "Boys: A Preview". Rediff.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Boys: A Preview". Rediff.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Boys just wanna have fun!". Rediff.com. 30 August 2003. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  18. ^ http://www.rediff.com/movies/2003/sep/16reader.html
  19. ^ "'Shankar has taken Tamil films to new depths'". Rediff.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Shankar's landmark films before Endhiran/Robot – Rediff.com Movies". Movies.rediff.com. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Striking gold, Shankar style". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 22 December 2006. 
  22. ^ a b c "Singing a different tune". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 July 2003. 
  23. ^ `Boys` is a great entertainer: Shankar. Sify
  24. ^ a b "Boys tells it like it is!". Rediff.com. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  25. ^ "Tuning in to better times?". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 July 2003. 

External links[edit]