Posts tagged A R Rahman
Jigar Shah (MID-DAY; May 9, 2013)
A R Rahman has been one of the most influential musicians in recent history. Not only India, even the world recognises his music. But he always likes to return to his roots and this time around, he is going back to Ustad Bismillah Khan — the Bharat Ratna-awarded shehnai player from Benaras who passed away in 2006.
The film’s director Aanand L Rai says, “When Rahman sir heard that the script is intrinsic of Benaras flavour, thoughts of Ustad Bismillah Khan immediately came to his mind and it was then that he suggested using elements of shehnai in Raanjhanaa in honour of the music maestro. Rahman sir holds Bismillah Khan in high regards and has even met his family.” Not only that, in fact Rahman is also presenting a documentary made on Ustad saab produced by Nasreen Munni Kabir. Rahman had also got the opportunity to work with Khan saab for a Tamil film some years ago where he spent an entire day with him.
BOMBAY TIMES (May 7, 2013)
South superstar Dhanush plays a rough-around-the-edges hero in Aanand L Rai’s Raanjhanaa, his debut film in Bollywood. Talking about the decision to cast him, the director says, “After Tanu Weds Manu, I had the opportunity of signing some of the biggest names in Bollywood, but I knew right from the scripting stage that my hero had to be Dhanush. I stand vindicated because the trailer has hit bullseye. My only concern was the language barrier, but Dhanush bowled me over with his dedication.”
When it came to Sonam Kapoor’s character, Aanand was looking for someone who is real and desirable. “I was looking for a girl who seemed unattainable to the boys and Sonam has that characteristic. I needed someone high on emotions and she was the ideal choice.”
With Dhanush as the lead, the makers required someone who could hold his own and this is where the versatile Abhay Deol came in. Says Aanand, “I was always sure of casting him because I am yet to find an actor as dedicated, secure and talented as him. I needed someone very gutsy opposite Dhanush.”
Producer Krishika Lulla says, “We needed a non-stereotypical lead pair for Raanjhanaa. Dhanush was a decision made on instinct. We were also looking for someone like Sonam who had great screen presence and made for a beautiful yet grounded character. This is a straight-from-the-heart film. We are also fortunate to have Academy Award winner AR Rahman composing for our film.”
Raanjhanaa, produced by Eros More >
Prasoon Joshi credits AR Rahman for introducing him to the various facets of Sufism
Shakti Shetty (MID-DAY; April 16, 2013)
Of late, Sufi music has become a staple diet for Bollywood with several films carrying numbers from this particular genre.
Incidentally, Prasoon Joshi recently wrote a devotional song named Khwaja Ka Ishaara to mark the 801st anniversary of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Dargah.
Turns out the songwriter is grateful to AR Rahman for introducing him to unknown facets of Sufism.
Interestingly, Prasoon also wrote his first Sufi track titled Arziyan for Rahman in the Sonam Kapoor- Abhishek Bachchan starrer Delhi 6 and has words of gratitude for the musical maestro.
“Since I was born and brought in places like Lucknow and Rampur, which are centres of Sufi poetry in India, the fascination was always there. But I’ll forever be indebted to Rahman for adding new dimensions to my understanding of Sufism. He made me aware of so many Sufi saints and shrines that I didn’t even know existed,” says the lyricist.
Ameen Peer Dargah, situated in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh is one such place of worship that was shown to Prasoon by Rahman.
“It is also known as Ajmer Dargah of the South and Rahman is a regular visitor there. I pay my respect every year now and draw inspiration for my work from these travels,” adds Prasoon.
Garima Sharma (BOMBAY TIMES; March 14, 2013)
With his last two films being shot in Delhi, it seems Imtiaz Ali has a fascination for the city. Now, the director is back shooting on real locations in the capital for his next, Highway, with Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda. Says Imtiaz, “Highway is a story that has been in my heart for years. I’ve been waiting to get into it. When AR Rahman agreed to join me on this journey, I felt blessed. This movie needs him more than ever before. We also have an ideal cast — Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda — and an ideal crew. The journey has begun and it will be some experience together.”
AR Rahman, who’s composing the music, says, “It’s a highway journey this time, with the same good company of Imtiaz and lyricist Irshad Kamil.” Presenter Sajid Nadiadwala is kicked about the team. He says, “The film will be an all-new musical experience for AR Rahman fans and who better than Imtiaz to bring them to life on screen. I am delighted to present the film.”
The 62-year-old does a combat scene with Deepika in London and sings a song composed by A R Rahman as well
Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; March 2, 2013)
Rajinikanth’s legions of fans around the globe may now breathe easy. Their icon’s much-awaited film Kochadaiyaan, co-starring Deepika Padukone, has finally wrapped up and could hit theatres later this year.
The historical drama, produced by Rajini’s daughter Soundarya and Eros, written by K S Ravikumar, is Rajini’s first film after his long and serious brush with illness. But Kochadaiyaan’s sheer scale and the star’s unstable health had led to the film missing its August 2012 deadline.
Ravikumar who wrote Kochadaiyaan when Rajinikanth was recuperating in a hospital in Singapore, said: “We are late because we had to put in a lot more work than we had imagined. We are done with the shoot, and will now start dubbing.”
According to the writer, none of the action sequences had to be toned down because of the star’s fragile health. “The action sequences were all shot indoor. The audiences will see Rajini in the avatar he is famous for – fit and fabulous,” he said. Though extremely tight-lipped about the film, Ravikumar let it slip that one of the high points in the film is a combat scene between Rajini and Deepika, who plays a princess. “Shot in London, it has the two in a deadly face-off,” he smiles, adding, “And it looks stunning.”
It is not just the high-octane action sequences that the 62-year-old star has pushed himself More >
BOMBAY TIMES (February 13, 2013)
When asked whether she is doing Rajiv Menon’s musical film, the multiple-award winning, mysterious Vidya Balan sent us a smiley. In the movie, her character will be based on Bharat Ratna winner, Carnatic music legend MS Subbulakshmi and the music will be composed by AR Rahman. Buzz has it that the role was earlier offered to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. However, it didn’t materialise. And now, Rajiv, who has made critically acclaimed Tamil films like Minsara Kanavu (1997, starring Kajol) and Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000, starring Aishwarya and Tabu), is in talks with Vidya.
Ever noticed how the hero’s voice changes each time he hums a song in a film these days? Using multiple playback singers is a trend that seems to have the vote of both music directors and artistes who say it is the best thing to have happened to the music industry in a while, report
J Kothari and Itee Sharma (MID-DAY; February 10, 2013)
The recently released Race 2 would have us believe that the character played by Saif Ali Khan can transform his singing voice at will, perhaps depending on the situation and the leading lady prancing alongside. Saif sings in Atif Aslam’s voice as he woos Deepika Padukone with ‘Be Intehaan’; he has KK filling in for him in the dance number ‘Party on my mind’; and when he parties with Jacqueline Fernandez, a third playback singer, Benny Jacob, croons the upbeat ‘Lat lag gayi’. The film’s music director Pritam explains, “If I feel a voice suits a song, I utilize it. Whether the singer is old or new doesn’t matter. The voice should suit the requirements of the song.” It is almost as if every time a contemporary hero clears his throat to launch into song, the audience can expect a different playback singer’s voice to waft into the airwaves.
Take the case of 2012’s biggest crowd pleaser — Ek Tha Tiger. Composers Sohail Sen and Sajid Wajid have four different singers exercise their larynxes for leading man Salman Khan in four songs (Wajid in ‘Mashallah’, KK in ‘Laapata’, Sukhwinder Singh in ‘Banjaara’ and Mohit Chauhan in ‘Saiyyara’). Not to be More >
Shakti Shetty (MID-DAY; January 10, 2013)
He’s not the one to mince words, be it on microblogging sites or in front of the media. Known for freely expressing his opinion, Shekhar Kapur strongly believes that children — despite their prodigious talent — are better off without an early exposure to the glitz world.
In collaboration with AR Rahman, the 67-year-old filmmaker recently launched a social media platform for creative minds in the country. While talking about this project, Shekhar pointed to the ongoing trend of encouraging little kids on national television.
“I’m much against children being exploited for entertainment’s sake. Not only that, I believe physically-challenged folks performing on stage is generally indecent. Different people have different point of views and I have my own,” says the director of films like Bandit Queen and Elizabeth.
Interestingly, the award-winning auteur served as one of the judges on the first season of reality TV series India’s Got Talent.
However, he didn’t repeat the act in the consecutive years. Turns out he wasn’t invited back on the show.
“I’ve always been sensitive towards the idea of using underage kids and disabled folks for TRP. On top of that, I was very vocal about the way I felt about it so naturally, the powers- to- be must have been apprehensive about me,” adds Shekhar.
After Bhanu Athaiya returned her statuette to the Academy for safekeeping, Resul Pookutty could follow her lead
Faheem Ruhani (MID-DAY; December 18, 2012)
The world took note when iconic costume designer Bhanu Athaiya returned her award to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in Los Angeles last week. Close on its heels, Oscar winners AR Rahman and Resul Pookutty highlight the need for national recognition for her achievements, who 30 years after her historical win, has still not received any recognition from the Indian government.
Resul Pookutty says:
“It is a pity that we had to let go of Bhanuji’s Oscar which is the first that this country won. The question arises — how do you safeguard something so precious? I have kept my Oscar in a bank vault. That way I am assured it is safe.
But if a situation arises in the future where I think I will be unable to care for my trophy, I may also have to return it. Let’s hope in my lifetime, we are able to have a museum where things pertaining to our film heritage can be preserved. This is also a comment on what we do to our artistes and I can understand what Bhanuji must have felt.
This is a reflection of how we are not in the habit of preserving our legacy. For the filmmaking community the Oscar is a symbol of outstanding achievement in the area of art. It is as good as the Nobel Prize.
It is a shame that we do not have a system to preserve our film related heritage. As per the rules of the AMPAS you are More >