the perks of undergoing a "beautiful torture"
A few days back, the track ‘Naatu Naatu’ from the Indian epic action drama RRR, bagged the Golden Globes Award in the “Best Original Song” category.
Penned by Chandrabose and composed by MM Keeravani, the song competed against tracks including Taylor Swift’s ‘Carolina’ from Where the Crawdads Sing and Lady Gaga’s ‘Hold My Hand’ from Top Gun: Maverick. Therefore, we can safely conclude that this was not an ordinary feat.
The song, featuring Jr NTR and Ram Charan, received an incredible response from all around the world and quickly became one of the most remarkable tunes of 2022. The choreography became an instant hit and countless people across the world started posting videos on various social media platforms emulating the steps and mirroring the energy and enthusiasm of the original.
“I did not guess there would be this kind of response for this song, even in my dreams,” the song composer MM Keeravani told Variety. “But as a paradoxical statement, it’s a dream coming true.” It has been reported that he came up with 20 different songs for the director SS Rajamouli to choose from, just for the dance-off sequence.
Keeravani further said, “The ‘Naatu Naatu’ song has to make you forget everything — and not just the viewer who is watching the movie, but the characters from the story, too, need to forget every other thing happening around them and pay their full attention towards the song. And the coda, the end part of the song, consists of so much stamina, you cannot call it merely a song — it is an action sequence.”
After winning the Golden Globe, the song’s lyricist Chandrabose told ANI, “It’s a big deal for me… I wrote 90% of the song within half a day and the rest 10% took 1.7 years. My effort, hard work and patience have paid off.”
Earlier, Keeravani had described the song as something that tests “the endurance and stamina” of the dancers. Jr NTR similarly joked about how Rajamouli had ‘tortured’ the cast and the dancers for days. “We shot that song for 12 days, and this man would torture us from 8-8, we would sleep at 11:30, and wake up at 5:30. This happened after 7 days of rehearsals. He was so hell-bent on synchronization, watching on the monitor if the legs and hands went together, and I was like ‘Jesus, why are you doing this?’” he said.
As per media reports, there were almost 80 variations to the hook step of the song Naatu Naatu. The actors, Jr NTR and Ram Charan, reportedly gave 18 takes while picturizing the song. And Rajamouli eventually selected the second take as the best one. Apparently, the filmmaker didn’t want to compromise and consistently froze frames to check how much the actors were in sync while doing the step.
Talking specifically about the song in a conversation with Marc Malkin of Variety on the Golden Globes red carpet, Ram Charan said: “My knees still wobble talking about it today. It was a beautiful torture and look where it has got us.”
The song Naatu Naatu has also made history by becoming the first Asian song to win a Golden Globe and the first Indian song to be shortlisted for the Oscars.
So, I hope this success story inspires and motivates you to give your best at work no matter how fatigued and exhausted you feel. If you’re in the middle of a massive project and think you’re going through prolonged torture right now, just keep going. Develop faith within yourself that it’ll all be worth it in the end.