Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A day with Rahman!

Just imagine! If you have a bent for music and if you are creative enough to please the selectors you will win a day to spend with the Mozart of Madras A.R. Rahman.

The leaders in mobile phones - Nokia and Big Music have are getting together for this music carnival. All the participants have to do is remix two leading compositions of this music icon from the forth coming flick, 'Ada' – A way of life.

This is the first time ever that Rahman has allowed anyone to remix his compositions. The interesting fact is that Rahman had done music for this film as soon as he completed working for the Aamir Khan-starrer 'Laagan'.

This competition will go one for a month wherein fans of Rahman can remix two songs 'Gulfisha..' and 'Gum Sum..' from the album of Ada and remix it using Nokia's recently launched Nokia XpressMusic mixer application.

For those who are not aware of this application, Nokia XpressMusic mixer application is an online music mixer available on that has pre-loaded Ada tunes.

The chosen one will get to spend a day with the music supremo and also remix the Ada soundtrack from Rahman's studio.

Ada-A way of life has new comer Ayaan Ahmad and Nauheed Cyrusi playing the romantic lead pair. The film also stars Ayesha Jhulka, Rahul Roy and Milind Gunaji.

So grab a Nokia mobile and start your remix now!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

AR Rahman likes remixes too

One would have thought AR Rahman would be a fan of anadulterated music, but in an interview to TIMES NOW, the musical genius admits that he likes remixes too.

He's a musical genius whose work stands out from the usual remixed fare on offer in Bollywood, but the surprise is that AR Rahman actually enjoys remixes.

The ace musician says, "There are certain songs which are fun to remix, but sometimes certain songs, I don't think, are not right for remixing. One should get the consent of the composer and now, I am giving my two songs and wwould like to see how the effect is."

After the highly successful melodic 'Bombay Dreams' and theatrical production 'Lord of the Rings', A R Rahman is now coming out with the long-awaited Aamir Khan starrer 'Ghajini'.

About 'Ghajini', Rahman says, "Work on 'Ghajini' is in progress. We have to do another two songs. The release is for this year definitely, and it is a very exciting project."

Besides this, he also has a musical film 'ADA' for which he has composed ten tracks.

In the words of the musician himself, "It's something I have been wanting to do for a long time."

As always, Rehman is a busy man. But let's hope that even if he does find remixes fun, we
never get Rehman remixed but just unplugged the way we like him.


Will Himesh take on Aamir's Ghajini?

Last year, Himesh Reshammiya's acting debut Aap Kaa Surroor was released alongside Apne and Awarapan. Reportedly, Himesh's second release, Karzzzz, is expected to hit the screens this October and if rumour mills are to be believed, in the same week as the Aamir Khan starrer Ghajini. That's the speculation within the industry.

However, Karzzzz producer Bhushan Kumar denies the rumor outright. "We are planning to announce the release date sometime next week. But Karzzzz won't clash with Ghajini for sure. The audio rights of Ghajini are also with us and we wouldn't want two of our films to clash on the same date," he states.

Meanwhile, October 2 is being eyed by a few more film-makers, so let's see who eventually makes it on that date.


Aamir Khan plans theatrical teaser to launch nephew Imran Khan

Aamir Khan has thought of an innovative teaser theatrical trailer to promote and launch his nephew Imran Khan.

It is 2.5 minute trailer that takes a tongue-in-cheek dig at all star launches and all the hoopla over well toned muscular bodies. This includes him because of the news about his looks in Ghajini.

The trailer shows Imran Khan as a huge well toned muscular guy with all trimmings of a theatrical launch, only to reveal the real Imran Khan who is a boy next door as is his character in the film.

Khan Production's third production, after Lagaan and Taare Zameen Par, Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na is the launch vehicle of Imran Khan, Khan's nephew. Khan himself was launched in QSQT by Nasirsahib, who is Imran Khan's grandfather.

Khan has been taking very keen interest in the smallest details of the promotion of the film even though he is completely entrenched in shooting for a crucial portion of Ghajini in Hyderabad.

"Jaane Tu… as a film has a very young idiom, the language and the tone of the film is very tongue in cheek. We wanted the teaser to reflect the same irreverence in attitude", says Abbas Tyerwala, the director of the film.


A sneak preview: Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

Aamir Khan back again to make a hat-trick as far his production is concerned after the success of Lagaan and Taare Zameen Par; both did well in box office. Lately Amir Khan Production has launched a sneak-peak from his upcoming film ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ as producer featuring his nephew and debutant Imran Khan.

Though not much info of the storyline was revealed so far but ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ as the promos looks might be something in as usual fashion of Aamir who in his constant endeavour, trying to make meaningful movies.

Directed and written by Abbas Tyrewala the sound score has been goes to the credit of AR Rahman while introducing yet another newbie to Hindi films as Telegu actress Genelia in the role of leading lady. Aamir Khan and Naseeruddin Shah would also be seen doing cameos in the film.

Aamir Khan in his blog talking about Jaane Tu...says, “Abbas who has is an established writer having written films like Munna Bhai MBBS, Maqbool, and Main Hoon Na among others has done a great job as a director. While I was busy with TZP he was doing JT, and when I saw the completed film it was an excellent translation onto screen of the script, which for me is the most imp yardstick for any filmmaker”.

However Mansoor Khan, the well-known producer of Aamir’s debut movie ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’, who was out of film circuit for several years, too came in this production knowing that his cousin Nauzhat’s son Imraan is making his debut in this film.

Aamir says in his blog: “Yes, I finally managed to lure Mansoor out of his hiding place. When I took over as director of TZP I needed a hands-on producer on Jaane Tu so I requested Mansoor. To his credit despite his reluctance he did not hesitate to step in. I would like to think it was because of me but I suspect it was because of Nasir Sahab. Both Mansoor and I know that Nasir Sahab would have wanted the two of us to stand by Imran at this important juncture in his career. So Mansoor makes a return, albeit as Producer”.

The film is expected to be released somewhere in the first week of July.

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Starring: Imran Khan, Genelia D'Souza, Manjari Fadnis, Ratna Pathak, Arbaaz Khan
Director: Abbas Tyrewala
Screenwriter: Abbas Tyrewala
Music Director: A.R. Rahman


Now, remix A.R. Rahman on your Nokia mobile

As part of its endeavour to connect people to their passions, mobile phone major Nokia has joined hands with A.R. Rahman to give young Indians a chance to remix two tracks from the maestro’s forthcoming film “Ada… A way of life”. The announcement at a press conference here Monday marks the first time the composer is allowing listeners to remix his creations.

As a part of this initiative, Nokia and leading music house BIG Music will run a month-long contest where participants can remix the two “Ada” soundtracks - “Gulfisha” and “Gum Sum” on Nokia’s newly launched Nokia XpressMusic mixer application.

This is an online music mixer available on that has pre-loaded “Ada” tunes.

Users can remix the soundtracks by clicking on their favourite music genre such as Jazz, Folk, Punjabi, Hip-Hop and Rock amongst others. Participants also have the option to download the Ada tracks from the Nokia XpressMusic website and remix with their own professional music equipment.

The winner, to be chosen by Rahman, will get an opportunity to spend a day with the music legend and compose the remix soundtrack with him at his studio.

This remix would be released through a music video that would profile the winner and Rahman along with the top 10 finalists.

Elaborating on the concept, Rahman said: “India is full of talented young people and this contest is my way of unleashing their creativity.

“Nokia and BIG Music have come up with a very interesting concept and I am looking forward to see how the listeners interpret my music and give it a new form,” he added.

According to Raghuvesh Sarup, head of programme portfolio of Nokia India, “we share a very special and long-term association with Mr. Rahman and we treasure this relationship.

“We are very grateful to him for agreeing to this initiative and giving youngsters an opportunity to express themselves through music,” he added.


AR Rahman, Big Music, Nokia team for Ada music

Nokia has joined hands with AR Rahman and Big Music to give young Indians a chance to remix two leading tracks from A R Rahman's forthcoming film – Ada...a way of life. This is the first time ever that the beacon of Indian music is allowing listeners to remix his compositions.

Ada is directed by Tanvir Ahmad and produced by Kazaan Ahmad. It stars debutant Ayaan Ahmad, Ayesha Jhulka, Nauheed Cyrusi, Rahul Roy and Milind Gunaji.
As a part of this initiative, Nokia and Big Music will run a month-long contest where participants can remix the two Ada soundtracks namely Gulfisha and Gum Sum on Nokia's newly launched Nokia XpressMusic mixer application. The Nokia XpressMusic mixer application is an online music mixer available on that has pre-loaded Ada tunes.

The winner, chosen by AR Rahman, will get an opportunity to spend one day with the music legend and compose the remix Ada soundtrack with him at his studio.

Elaborating on the concept, Rahman said, "India is full of talented young people and this contest is my way of unleashing their creativity. Nokia and Big Music have come up with a very interesting concept and I am looking forward to see how the listeners interpret my music and give it a new form."

Sharing the details of Nokia's first-of-its kind initiative Nokia India head of GTM, program portfolio and categories Raghuvesh Sarup said, "We share a very special and long-term association with Mr Rahman and we treasure this relationship. We are very grateful to him for agreeing to this initiative and giving youngsters an opportunity to express themselves through music… Nokia's strategy is aimed at developing the market for mobile music and enriching consumer experience by associating with leading players like Big Music".

Big Music & Home Entertainment CEO Kulmeet Makkar, adds, "BIG Music is delighted to be associated with ADA - A R Rahman's signature works. We are committed to quality content and new talent development. Our association with Nokia is another step forward in our belief for music for everyone."


Monday, April 28, 2008

Aamir on his injury and Jaane Tu.. Ya Jaane Na

As we told you just a few days ago, Aamir Khan was hurt filming for Ghajini, so much so that he had to go to the hospital. Reports were that he was going to have to take some time off, but "Mr. Perfectionist" that he is, he is all ready back to work. Aamir recently updated his blog with the story and also a bit about his new film for his company, Janne Tu... Ya Janne Na. Here are a few highlights from his blog post.

About his injury Aamir wrote, "By now y'all must have heard various accounts of my injury so I won't bore you with one more. Especially since there is no particularly death defying moment in it. It was quite a boring injury, no anecdotal value or excitement whatsoever. Roll camera, action, run into frame, grab heavy goon, slam him against wall, lift him and throw him against second wall, shout in pain, hop on one leg, wave arm to call for cut, limp off to nearest chair. End result is that I had injured the adductor muscle in my right thigh. Which in layman terms means my inner thigh. There have been many more exciting injuries I have received in my career but again let me spare you the gory details. Importantly I'm recovering well and have restarted shooting with muscle supports and belts."

About Janne Tu... Ya Janne Na, a film for his banner Aamir Khan Productions he didn't say much but did reveal a picture of his nephew Imraan Khan, who is debuting in the film. "In the meantime I am readying my self for my next release. Jaane Tu. When I say 'my' I mean Aamir Khan Productions'. After Lagaan and Taare Zameen Par this will be our third release and I am keen to complete a hat-trick. We completed our test screenings end of March, and Rahman has almost finished the background score. Today the first promo breaks on TV. It should be up on the website as well.

This will be the first film of my nephew Imran, I think I'll post a photo of him. Tell me what you think of the promo, and him.

Jaane Tu is the debut not only of Imran but also Abbas Tyrewala who has written and directed the film. Abbas who has is an established writer having written films like Munna Bhai MBBS, Maqbool, and Main Hoon Na among others has done a great job as a director. While I was busy with TZP he was doing JT, and when I saw the completed film it was an excellent translation onto screen of the script, which for me is the most imp yardstick for any filmmaker."

Janne Tu... Ya Janne Na, or JT as Aamir calls it, is scheduled for release on July 4th of this year!


Kareena Kapoor Puli!

Though the Pawan Kalyan starrer, Jalsa, opened to mixed reviews, the film has been doing extremely well at the box-office. The success of the film has given Pawan Kalyan loads of confidence and the actor is all set for his next project, Puli.

Puli will be directed by S.J. Suryah and produced by Singanamala Ramesh; music will be by A.R. Rahman; Bollywood cinematographer Binod Pradhan will wield the camera; Hollywood action directors are choreographing the action sequences.

And to top it all, Kareena Kapoor has been approached to play the heroine opposite the Power Star. Given her star status in Bollywood, her presence in Puli will make the film the most-anticipated film of Tollywood in 2008.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Aamir Khan hurts himself while shooting for Ghajini

Aamir Khan’s Ghajini is in for great trouble as the actor reportedly hurt himself on Wednesday while shooting for the film.

Aamir got hurt while performing a stunt for the remake of the Tamil thriller ‘Ghajini’. He has been admitted to a hospital in Hyderabad, where the film is being shot. Aamir’s wife Kiran Rao has reportedly left for Hyderabad.

Shooting for the film has been postponed, which means that the release of the film would be delayed.

After the super success of Aamir Khan’s directorial debut TZP, his latest Ghajini was being awaited eagerly by his fans. But the news of his accident has brought great disappointment.

Aamir has been working like a machine for more than a whopping 12 hours everyday to wrap up the last lap of Ghajini`s shoot in Hyderabad.

And for his role in Ghajini, `Mr Perfectionist` Aamir has been rigorously training for 4 hours a day for the last one and half years, and also got himself the new designer buzz look.

But this latest unfortunate turn of events has surely brought great disappointment for Aamir and his fans.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A R Rahman Concert - A Magnificent Musical Show at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium

A R Rahman the popular Bollywood playback singing sensation came and performed along with other well known singers like Hariharan, Chitra, Sadhana Sargam, Karthick, BlaaZe, Madhushree Neeti Mohan, Naresh Iyer, Mohammad Aslam, Javed Ali and Benny Dayal, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday 18th April 2008 from 8.00 p.m onwards.

He held the audience spellbound for 4 hrs non stop, with his usual striking music performances, spectacular entertainment, multi-tier stage set up, back ground dancers, orchestra and amazing lighting effects.

The cricket stadium was packed with a large number of music lovers who yearned to listen to this great performer and his hit songs. This concert of A R Rahman was held in UAE after a span of 5 years. He performed and lived up to the expectations of music lovers in this live concert. The audience were glued on to their seats from the start till the finish.

The concert started with Bollywood hits like Masti Ki Pathshala, Jashn-e-Bahara, Khoja Khoja, Nannaare, Diya Jale, Tere Bina, Humma Humma and Rubaroo. Rahman took the audience on a wonderful musical journey that included his current hits and old favourites from Bollywood and South Indian films like Dil Se, Jodha Akbar, Shivaji, Guru, Rang De Basanti, Bombay, Kadalan, Boys and Roja to name a few. The song from the super hit south Indian Tamil movie Roja, that helped A R Rahman climb the ladder of success, fame and glory, Kaadal Roja was impressive and deserved the applause from an extremely responsive audience.

Shivamani the ace drummer and percussionist with his magical fingers and hands performed drum beats and regaled the audience. He was truly amazing. He received a huge round of applause from the crowd and mesmerized them with the drum beats. He also showed the audience how he could produce music from objects like spoons, a bottle of water and suitcases .
A brilliant performer with tremendous potential and energy AR Rahman was seen on stage right from the start till the end. He was either playing the keyboard, directing the orchestra, sensing the mood and the pulse of the audience and joining the chorus. He is indeed a fine musician, singer, director and a multiple talented personality - A priceless gift from God.

The singers reached out to every nook and corner of the stadium with their choicest selection of Hindi and South Indian songs and the music filled the air. The sequence and choicest selection of energetic dance tunes, spiritual devotional numbers, rocking rap music and soul stirring patriotic songs was well appreciated by the audience. The audience responded with a huge round of applause after every performance.

The English song Pray For Me Brother touched the inner core of each and every person witnessing this event. It was dedicated for the speedy recovery of ailing children all over the world and hence the crowd stood up holding illuminated mobiles in their hands and sent a prayer to the Eternal Creator. This song created a sense of belonging and spiritual bonding of brotherhood among those present within the stadium.

The audience also felt a strong spiritual bonding as he sang "Khwaja Mere Khwaja" on the harmonium, covering his head covered with a scarf. The entire audience stood up for the last song Vande Mataram, which was a befitting tribute to India.

Kudos to the organizers for organizing such a beautiful event. This was indeed a memorable event and a concert to remember. A R Rahman fans and music lovers would look forward to many more concerts like these in the future.

Brief interview

Our team member C Salaam met Mr. A R Rahman who shared some of his choicest thoughts on the Indian music industry. He said that it was not possible to have concerts like these regularly in UAE because of his love and commitment to music. He is thoroughly occupied with bollywood and south Indian films, and another international project which has been assigned to him by Mr. Shekar Kapoor. He is currently studying the finer details of Arabic music and wants to streamline and incorporate the same into his system. Jodha Akbar will be remembered not only by him but his fans too for the quality music rendered by him.

AR Rahman in addition to the above mentioned commitments wishes to open a music school called KM Music School in Chennai. At this point he praised the reality shows conducted by various TV channels for their contribution and hardwork in looking out for talents, providing a platform, training and shaping them up, and helping them to rise and shine like the stars in the galaxy.

He then mentioned the names of some fine performers and singers like SP Balasubramaniam, KS Chitra and Lata Mangeshkar. The names of these artists along with the legend of hindi music industry Mohammed Rafi needs to be etched on a marble in golden letters for generations to remember them for their contribution in the field of music he added.


Spell Bound, Courtesy : A R Rahman

All roads led to St.George�s School grounds on sunday evening for A.R Rahman fans. The Times of India, Changing Notes concert was a tremendous and splendid event for the concert thirsty Rahman Fans... With the crowd of more than 50,000, the area was jam packed even before the scheduled time. The gates were closed by 6.30 and the late comers were not let in... Swaying to the music, grooved in the set-up!

Rahman started the show by stating that the crowd and the cheering was awesome� With a terrific line up of singers and orchestra the show had no pit falls... The concert began with Ella Pugazhum - ATM and had all marvelous numbers by the maestro. Concluding songs were Antha Arabic Kadaloram � Bombay and the song which kindles patriotism amongst all Indians- Vande Maataram.

The who�s who of the music fraternity (especially those loyal singers of ARR) gave their power packed performance. A live show by our Chennai Mozart after a long gap proved to be a real treat for fans who were longing for such an event. The concert had Shivamani, Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Blaaze, Nithyashree, Sadhna Sargam, Madhushree, Javed Ali, Naresh Iyer, Karthik, Aslam and chinmayee.

Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan sang two of their hit numbers� The crowd went ga ga over Newyork Nagaram song by our very own A.R.R. Some of the note worthy performances were Munbe Va by Naresh Iyer and Chinmayee, Jaage Hain, Varaha nadhikkarai oram by Shankar Mahadevan, Dil Se by Javed Ali, Vaji Vaji song took the crowd to their feet by the stunning performance of Hariharan. , Girlfriend by karthick was also renditioned well.

Certain Hindi songs were also equally enjoyed by the fans� After all world is an oyster for ARR. Songs like Mayya Mayya, Rubaroo, Jashne Bahar, In Lamhon Ke, Chaiyya Chaiyya, were a huge hit among the audience.

Kannodu Kaanbadhellam, was a very special presentation by Nithyashree as she sat on the stage to present it in the typical carnatic way� Valayapatti Thavil and drums sivamani gave their bit of performance too without the singers. Steve on the guitars had a solo performance which was followed by Girlfriend song of Karthick.

The entire setup was amazing and so was the crowd. A land erected for the crazy fans of A.R Rahman. The lightings, the sound system, the stage setup, everything was just awesome and was done to perfection by the event coordinators.

Fans sitting next to me were more than delighted to even explain their happiness. He�s the best, that�s what most people said before, after and during the concert.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Rahman speaks before his live performance in Chennai

Outwardly, hours before the ‘Times Of India Changing Notes’ concert for the launch of the Times Of India in Chennai, the musical maverick A R Rahman is calm. Being imperturbable is second nature to Rahman. But every concert even today is a challenge and an occasion for serious soul searching for the 41-year old maestro who has re-written every rule of film composition since Roja.

"My life has always been a journey. When I was in my 20s, I went through the most turbulent and hectic time of my life. Now I spend as much time as possible with my children Khatija, Rahimaand Amin. My studio in Chennai is bang opposite my house, so they spend a lot of time with me. All they've to do is cross the road and they're with me," Rahman says.

About the fabulous evening on Sunday when he regaled audiences with a roomy retrospective of his filmic repertoire Rahman said, "Basically, we chose to perform my film songs. That seemed to be the need of the hour. It was a rather special occasion since the Times Of India was launching its Chennai edition. Besides me, there was my full orchestra, plus singers like Chitra."

Some hours before the show Rahman said from Chennai, "There's of course the usual chaos before a concert over here. So I can't speak at length with you right now. I love performing in Chennai. That's where my roots are."


Furor in A R Rahman’s program

Times of India, the prestigious newspaper of India, was launched in Chennai from the 14thn of April. They have arranged an evening of musical melody with Isai Puyal A R Rahman at St. George school grounds near Pachaippa’s college last evening. Free tickets have been issued to people who have subscribed to the newspaper besides counter sales
at the venue. Rahman being a popular musician has attracted huge crowds which thronged the venue resulting in a big commotion at the venue. Finally police officials had to resort to lathi charge to bring the situation under control after which the event had concluded peacefully.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Aamir puts 'Ghajini' on backburner

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has rescheduled the shooting of his upcoming film 'Ghajini' to concentrate on his home production `Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na,' where he introduces his nephew Imran Khan.

According to sources close to the actor, Aamir, who has given himself a new bald look for 'Ghajini', feels it is payback time for him because veteran filmmaker Nasir Hussain, who is the actor's uncle, had launched him in 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' in 1988.

Imran is Hussain's grandson and now Aamir is working equally hard to give a break to him in his third home production after 'Lagaan' and 'Taare Zameen Par'.

The actor has just shot Imran in a special promo for Jaane... with Abbas Tyrewala, who makes his directorial debut with this film.

The concept promo was Aamir's brainchild and has been shot over 10 days. The actor personally supervised all aspects of this shooting, even if it meant putting his own 'Ghajini' on a backburner, as the film's shooting had to be stalled and schedules reworked.


Aamir puts 'Ghajini' on backburner

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has rescheduled the shooting of his upcoming film 'Ghajini' to concentrate on his home production `Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na,' where he introduces his nephew Imran Khan.

According to sources close to the actor, Aamir, who has given himself a new bald look for 'Ghajini', feels it is payback time for him because veteran filmmaker Nasir Hussain, who is the actor's uncle, had launched him in 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' in 1988.

Imran is Hussain's grandson and now Aamir is working equally hard to give a break to him in his third home production after 'Lagaan' and 'Taare Zameen Par'.

The actor has just shot Imran in a special promo for Jaane... with Abbas Tyrewala, who makes his directorial debut with this film.

The concept promo was Aamir's brainchild and has been shot over 10 days. The actor personally supervised all aspects of this shooting, even if it meant putting his own 'Ghajini' on a backburner, as the film's shooting had to be stalled and schedules reworked.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

It doesn't get bigger than Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth's magic
That Rajinikanth is the only real superstar in Kollywood is like saying grass is green. It's an undisputed, inviolable truth. The man has been ruling the Tamil box-office for the last 23 years, a world record in itself.

It is said that Rajinikanth doesn't need to act or change his look from movie to movie. Distributors say that all he needs to do is stand in front of the camera, and people will flock to the theatres to see him do just that. In most of the 153-odd movies he has done in a career spanning 33 years, Rajinikanth does no more than play himself. He reaches out to the masses with his electrifying screen presence mixed with heroism, peppy songs and famous punch line dialogues, which in time become part of the common man's lingo.

What attracts today's Generation Next-audiences (some of them were not even born when he became a superstar) to the phenomenon called Rajinikanth, who turned 57 last December? Most of the young people interviewed by a marketing agency who carried a survey on the superstar say that the man's appeal largely revolved around his on-screen image.

Says Dorairaj, an 18-year-old student, "I'm crazy about Boss (nickname of one of his characters in Sivaji ). He has a unique style and comes across as a down-to-earth person without any star trappings." The young man says the first thing he learnt when he went to school were Rajini's punch lines!

Some of the more famous Rajinikanth one-liners that he spouts in his movies either to the villain, arrogant heroine or his side-kick are later rattled off by everyone, from an autorickshaw driver to an up-market IT professional. You can hear people quote his most famous dialogues and punch lines like " En vazhi, thani vazhi " (My way is a separate way), " Naan oru thadavu sonna, nooru thadava sonna mathiri (If I say it once, it is like saying it a hundred times), " Andavan solran, Arunachalam seyiran " (God orders, I do it). All this has become a part of Tamil folklore, adding to the mystique of the Rajnikanth persona.

Rajinikanth has never experimented with his screen image, and is very particular about doing only mass masala fantasies. The 2007 super-hit Sivaji opened new vistas for Tamil cinema at the worldwide box-office. The film said to be made at a cost of Rs 60 crore including the star's fees — an astronomical Rs 20 crore — is reported to have made around Rs 100 crore from theatrical and other rights.


Friday, April 18, 2008

It’s payback time for Aamir

Aamir Khan’s a busy guy these days. And it’s not only the around-the-clock shooting of his ambitious project Ghajini that’s keeping him on his toes.

The superstar’s been working equally hard on his production Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na , which marks the debut of his nephew Imran Khan. However, recently when it came to giving priority to one of the films, the actor without any hesitation chose his nephew’s launch vehicle over his own film.

The actor’s just shot Imran in a special promo for Jaane... in conjunction with Abbas Tyrewala who makes his directorial debut with this film. The concept promo, which is comic in style, was Aamir’s brainchild and has been shot over 10 days. Being the perfectionist that Aamir is, the actor personally supervised all aspects of this shooting.

This meant putting his own Ghajini on a backburner, as the shooting for Ghajini had to be stalled and schedules reworked. But a source reveals that for Aamir the decision was easy to make. “When he was launched in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak , Nasir Hussain had left no stone unturned and made sure that Aamir gets the perfect launch. This is Aamir’s way of thanking him by ensuring that Nasirsaab’s grandson Imran gets the perfect launch as well. Imran’s debut means a lot to him personally. Also, professionally Aamir is extremely confident about Imran’s acting talent,” the source said.

Surprisngly, while Imran’s one of the most closely-guarded newcomers, buzz on the actor’s acting capabilities have already been doing rounds. No wonder, the actor’s already been approached by several leading filmmakers including Rakeysh OmPrakash Mehra. Both Imran and Mehra were keen to work together on Dilli 6 , however, due to date problems, the deal could not be worked out. The actor will also be seen in Dhoom director Sanjay Gadhvi’s next action film Kidnap .


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rahman's next album after 'Vande Mataram'

Way back in the late 90s, A.R. Rahman's audio album for Sony, 'Vande Mataram', rocked the nation. In fact, it rekindled the patriotic spirit of 'Vande Mataram' through its contemporary sounds and classy arrangements. The album also marked the first and sadly the last union of two maestros. Obviously we are referring to the man himself, A.R.Rahman and the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the legendary sufi qawwali singer, whose replacement has still not been found in the music world.

Coming back to our headlines, especially for those music lovers who are wondering as to when the composer of works like ROJA, DIL SE, TAAL, the recent JODHAA AKBAR, will come up with another album, after the stupendous success of 'Vande Mataram'. Well, the long wait is more or less over and the good news is that music wizard A.R.Rahman is busy working on his next album. As per very reliable sources, almost a decade after 'Vande Mataram' , Rahman's next album should be out later this year, more details of which are expected soon.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Robot - The meaningless rumors!

We had reported that Sujatha’s unfortunate demise would be a stumbling block for Robot while praying that the prediction should fail. But how can the loss of a great writer such as Sujatha not affect a creative team, it has, and as a result Robot will be delayed. Bad news, but that is the truth. Though we don’t now the full details of the reschedule in the making of Robot it is confirmed that the movie won’t go on floors by April-May, the start will be postponed at least until May. This is due to the script and dialogue works that have to be completed in the void created by Sujatha’s absence. It might be fair enough to estimate that the movie will not take off until after June.

While this might not look to be of great significance given that Rajini has made himself available without any other commitments after Kuselan, the real problem is going to b with the dates of Aishwarya Rai. She is currently at the peak of her powers with offers flooding her and it is pretty well known that she has granted her dates to Mani Ratnam’s next project which will have Abhishek with her once again after Guru. This film will mark the return of Mani Ratnam to the small, charming romance. Aishwarya has reportedly given dates up until June for the proposed shoots of Robot and plans to join the sets of Mani’s film immediately after that. Now, this delay will throw all her plans into turmoil. Though Mani might understand the situation that Robot is in, and being a close friend of Rajini might try to work out some kind of arrangement, that might not be of great help because even Abhishek is in no position to make any adjustments. He is currently in the US shooting for Karan Johar’s production Dostana. Also, his movies such as Drona and Dilli 6 are in various stages of production.

So, the casting and planning of Robot is in a spot now. Various suggestions and ideas are doing the rounds that include shooting all of Rajini’s solo portions and fights first and scheduling Aishwarya’s shoots for later. But only Shankar, the one man who knows fully the requirements of Robot can take a decision on this. Meanwhile, there have been some meaningless rumors that have started floating around saying that Aishwarya Rai has opted out of Robot. Now, this is blasphemous, at least at this stage. Aishwarya’s casting was a carefully made decision after much thought from both sides and a mere two month delay will not undo that. If Aishwarya has opted out of any movie, it is Pan Nalin’s Buddha, where she was cast as Yashodhara.

With the current troubles Robot needs all the support that it can get, being Tamil cinema’s biggest dream yet. We have to be patient because the movie is a coming together of all that is big and mighty in Indian cinema- Superstar, Shankar, Eros, Ayngaran and Aishwarya-such combinations are not very easy to handle. Let’s hope everything is sorted out and Robot gets a free run until completion - even if it means a couple of months or even more of a delay. Good things never happen in a hurry.


Kamal in Mani Ratnam’s next!

We had to wait nearly 20 years after Nayagan to see this day. The duo that created one of the 100 all time greatest movies in the history of cinema is back together and there can be no bigger or better reason for celebration. Yes, Kamal and Mani Ratnam will work together in 2008, the only regret being that it will be a short association, a cameo. But never mind, at least we get that after all these years.

Mani will soon start work on his next movie, Hindi again, with Abhishek and Aishwarya. It will be an urbane love story showing the problems that newly married coupes face, Alai Paayuthey-like, but yet different. Music, no doubt will be courtesy Rahman and so we have another chartbuster in early 2009 for sure. But the biggest news now is that of Kamal’s entry into the project.

In Guru, Mani gave Madhavan a cracker of a role. In this move he was actually planning on giving Vikram the chance of essaying an arresting cameo, as we had reported some time back. But, on second thoughts, the role seemed to suit his old friend, ally and genius, Kamal. So, Mani Ratnam asks Kamal the question, explains the role, which Kamal simply loves and there we have it: the best combination in Indian cinema. The role, as we said, will be short and sweet, but just the fact that Mani called on Kamal to do it suggests that the role will be something very special, something ‘Kamal-worthy’. The wait has ended, or in another sense- just begun. We can’t wait for it to release.

One other thing: we had told you earlier today that Kamal was sporting a beard as part of his Marmayogi look. Maybe that’s not correct, maybe it is for the Mani movie! Perhaps for both. Let’s just wait and watch.


Aish speaks on ‘Robot’ & Rajini

Aishwarya Rai, who keeps details about her film close to her heart, has opened out on her Tamil venture ‘Robot’ opposite Rajinikanth.

When asked about ‘Robot’, Aishwarya said, 'I want to work with Rajinikanth. He is phenomenal. Everyone speaks of this experience. I'll actually go through the experience. It's very important for me to come away with something from my films since I give so much.'

The film is directed by Shankar, who gave Aishwarya her first break in ‘Jeans’.

'It's a total Rajini-Shankar styled entertainer. There's no logic as to why I agreed to do it beyond the urge to work with Rajinikanth. Shankar and Rajini have approached me for so many films, it's embarrassing.'

'Ever since we did ‘Jeans’ together Shankar has approached me for all his films except ‘Boys’.

'Rajinikanth, being the senior that he is, has shown no egoistic traits in approaching me for his last four-five films. And my refusal to do his films was never misconstrued by him. I admire him for that. It speaks volumes for his seniority and his caliber as a human being to never take offence to my no', she said.

Aishwarya Rai said, 'technically the movie it will take cinema to another level. I can only say I'll come away enriched.'


Aamir shoots for Ghajini remake in Hyderabad

We all know about Aamir Khan - the dedicated actor, director et al. But very few know about Aamir- the father. Before leaving for Hyderabad last week for Ghajini's shooting; Aamir spent the entire day with his children, since it will be only after one month or more that he will get to be with them.

For starters, Aamir has been working like a machine for more than a whopping 12 hours everyday since last Thursday to wrap up the last lap of Ghajini's shoot in Hyderabad.

And for his role in Ghajini, 'Mr Perfectionist' Aamir has been rigorously training for 4 hours a day from last one and half years, and has also got himself the new designer buzz look. So, what gets added to those 12 hours is yet another 4 hours of work!

Wonder from where does he derive so much of his energy from?


Awesome foursome for Kamal

Kamal Haasan's forthcoming film 'Marmayogi', to be produced jointly by Walt Disney and Bharat Bala, will go to floors very soon.

Buzz is that Kamal Haasan is planning to do the movie in four different languages - Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.

Sources say the movie pertains to incident that occurs in seventh century.

Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan's 'Dasavadharam' will be released this May. Featuring him in 10 different roles, the movie produced by Oscar Ravichandran has musical score by Himesh-Reshammiya.


I have started my own label: A.R. Rahman

From Roja, Bombay, Dil Se, Lagaan and Taal to Rang De Basanti, Guru and the recent release Jodha Akbar- A.R. Rahman has redefined Bollywood film music with his unique panache. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu catches up with the man with the musical Midas touch during his breezy trip to Kolkata.

What brings you to Kolkata this time?
I am here to shoot the season finale of Airtel Bandwagon, a television reality show to provide a platform to new music bands. We shot at the Technicians Studio in Tollygunge.

Why is that Kolkatans don't see much of Rahman in the city?
It's true that I don't frequent Kolkata unlike Chennai, or in that case, Mumbai, but this city will always have a special place in my heart and career. After all, it was in Kolkata that I staged my first concert in the country way back in February, 2003.

We heard that you are going to open a music conservatory?
Yes. It will be opened in Chennai in June this year. It is my dream project and is going to be the first music conservatory of India for training our musicians in western classical music. The first branch of the conservatory will be opened in Kolkata.

When is that going to happen?
See, this kind of project requires a lot of planning and time. It took us years to come up with the one at Chennai. I guess we will have to wait for another couple of years for the next one.

What about a concert in Kolkata?
I am planning to stage a larger-than-life concert here by the end of this year. Right now I am working on my new album. It is almost 10 years since I have come up with anything new- after the release of my last album Vande Mataram.

What is your take on the music scene in Kolkata?
Well, the city breathes refreshing music. Why only Kolkata, the traditional and folk music of Bengal is a pool of inspiration. I even included baul music in the Hindi film Mangal Pandey. I would love to explore the new talents and music of Bengal. Pandit Ajay Chakraborty and Ustad Rashid Khan are among my favourites.

Your music for the play The Lord Of the Rings staged at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London has turned into a phenomenal success. Do you plan a similar play in India as well?
If I plan a musical play in India that has to be superior than Bombay Dreams and The Lord of the Rings. Outside India people literally travel across cities and even countries to watch a play.

People from France and Germany booked their tickets in advance for The Lord of the Rings. India is strongly possessive about her tradition and genre of theatre and music.

If only we manage to break off this shell that we too will be in a position to experiment a little with Indian theatre, especially when today there is no dearth of sponsors here.

You started with Tamil films, then Hindi, and now composing music for Broadway and West End as well. What's next in line?
I have started my own label. That means I have the freedom to experiment and do whatever I want to do with and for music. I would like to exploit this opportunity thoroughly.


Aish dilemma: Mani ya Shankar?

Well now this one is going on and on like a never ending story. There was so much rumour coming out if the Bachchan bahu will agree to act opposite the superstar of Tamilnadu, Rajinikanth in the multi-crore project of director Shankar.

All the rumours were put to rest when the actress herself gave an interview to a TV channel confirming her presence in the sci-fi film 'Robot'.

Well there is rumour doing the rounds once again in the Bollywood as well as Kollywood circles whether the actress will act in the film. This time for a different reason.

Mani Rathnam is planning to make a romantic flick with Aish and hubby Abhi playing the leads.

There is also news circling that Mani's project that is yet untitled might start well before Shankar's and the heroine might end up with her dates for both these big projects clashing with each other. What a predicament? Two fantastic projects with two giants, and a clash of dates!

There are also other stories doing the rounds in the cine circles that Shankar is planning to finish the film in two years and Aish is finding it difficult to commit to a film for that long a time.

Well, we hope Aish is able to come to a conclusion regarding the dates, so that it will be a double treat for all her fans in Bollywood as well as in Kollywood!


Soundarya-Aishwarya: Super Duo

Another couple of star offspring to enter filmdom, albeit behind the camera, are none other than the Superstar’s daughters.

Soundarya Rajinikanth, his second daughter is working on her 3D animation movie Sultan -The Warrior, produced by her very own Ocher Studios.

And now Aishwarya, Dhanush’s wife, Rajinikanth’s first child, is starting off as assistant director to Selvaraghavan, who is directing Ayirathil Oruvan, starring Karthik (Suriya’s brother of Paruthi Veeran fame).

Just in case you forgot, Selvaraghavan is Aishwarya's brother-in-law, as he is Dhanush’s brother. In fact, it’s only from the second schedule of Ayirathil Oruvan that Aishwarya had joined as Selva's assistant. Previously it was the director’s wife, Sonia Agarwal, who was assisting him.

As they say, it’s all in the family.


Ash walks out of Robot

Shankar's Robot is in deep trouble. Aishwarya Bachchan calls it off after Shankar failed to keep his words of completing the film on a specific time limit.

Shankar has signed Ash with Rs. 4 crores and planned to shoot for over two years. Ash is not willing to devote two years time to a single film and hence asked Shankar to complete the film in a specific time frame. But Shankar wished to extent the shooting to two years and therefore Ash walked out. Talks are going on to finalize Deepika Padukone for the film. Aishwarya was delaying Rohan Sippy's film Happy Birthday opposite John Abraham for Robot but now that she had opted out from it she is in talk with Rohan Sippy to start the project. It will be directed by Sriram Raghvan.

The shooting of Happy Birthday will start from October as John is busy with Kabir Khan's film for Yash Raj Productions. By signing Robot at a whopping price, Aishwarya became the highest paid actor in Bollywood but now that she had called it off, her value again falls down. Robot is a sci-fi film and Ash had been cast opposite her hubby Abhishek Bachchan and Tamil superstar Rajinikanth.


A.R. Rahman to bring Western classical and Indian ragas closer

It took music maestro A.R. Rahman three years to finish the album for the stage adaptation of "The Lord Of The Rings", working with 200 musicians and technicians for every song. The album, which has pushed up his international status, was released in February.

"Since it required more finances than I could afford, a private airline (Jet Airways) is sponsoring it," Rahman, who has recently opened a western classical music conservatory in Chennai, told IANS.

"Every song has a minimum of 200 musicians and technicians involved in it. Huge choirs and orchestras were brought into play. We recorded the album in London and mixed it right here in Chennai in my studios. The whole crew came down from all over the world," he added.

All songs are in English and in Elvish... the language of the "Lord Of The Rings".

"I had lots of help from fellow-musicians like Christopher Nightingale. It took me three years to do the album. Without help from like-minded musicians it'd have taken five years."

With Rahman increasing his Western assignments, it looks like to be Bollywood's loss. Rahman is deliberately turning down big Bollywood assignments because of copyright and royalty issues regarding music sales.

Rahman is reluctant to talk about the issue. "It's too complicated. But yes, the issue of publishing rights does stop me from accepting more Bollywood offers," said Rahman.

"Those who want to work with me in Mumbai are agreeable to my terms and conditions. Those who do but won't agree to my conditions are going to other composers."

"At the moment, I've also cut down my film assignments because I want to focus on my western-classic music conservatory. With this conservatory I hope to bridge the gap between Western classical and Indian ragas. Imagine a thumri being played by an orchestra! Or a Carnatic raga being a part of a big Hollywood epic!" he added.

Commenting on his Bollywood assignments, Rahman said: "I can't be doing just films all my life. I need to take my music to another level now. But whenever I work in Mumbai, I give it my fullest concentration, as I did for Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Jodhaa Akbar', which I'm very proud of. The music takes both Ashutosh and me to another level."

Looking back, the talented composer is not the least content with his achievements.

"No matter how much you do, it's never enough. Music is my only therapy. There're so many awful things happening in the world. I wish I could heal the world. All I can do is use my music, which I do. My peace anthems like 'Vande Mataram' and 'Pray for me, brother' are a small candlelight in the storm. But you never know which candle will light a thousand other candles."


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Kamal's 'Marmayogi'

Well, he just cant rest. Can he? Even before his magnum opus 'Dasavadharam' is released Kamalhaasan is said to have started pre-production activities for his next 'Marmayogi'. The Film being made in a budget of 120 cr is a multi-lingual releasing in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Asin is roped in as the heroine of the film. The film is said to be based on a 7th century incident . film.

This is not the first time Kamal is using M G R's film title. Marma Yogi is also an old MGR flick, known as the first Tamil movie to receive an 'A' certificate in 1951. Kamal has earlier used M G R film's title 'Sathi Leelavathi'.

Walt Disney Pictures and Baratbala Productions jointly produce this mega venture. A R Rahman scores the music.


A. R. Rahman breezes through city of joy

Music maestro A. R. Rahman has a surprise package for Kolkata. He announced the setting up of a second western classical music conservatory in the city. The first one is being set up in Chennai and will be inaugurated in June, he told the city media.

Rahman was all praise for Kolkata and its music and said that he had been inspired by folk music called Baul music in Bengal, when he was composing for the film Mangal Pandey. He has every intention of dabbling in Bengali music and will also keep an eye out for talent from the state. The musician was in the city of joy to shoot the finale of Airtel Bandwagon, a television reality show promoting music bands.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Gautham ready to reshoot

Remember Gautham Menon's ‘Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikaalam’. The movie starring Trisha alongside five newcomers went to floors a few months ago.

However Gautham temporarily halted the shooting of ‘Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikaalam’ to concentrate on ‘Varanam Aayiram’ starring Suriya.

Now that ‘Varanam Aayiram’ is nearing completion, the director is keen to restart ‘Chennaiyil Oru Mazhiakaalam’.

Plans are on to commence shooting from the end of April. Interestingly Gautham Menon has teamed up with A R Rahman for the movie. In spite of his busy schedule in Hindi, Rahman has agreed to work for it.


Rakeysh Mehra ready with 'Dilli 6'

The public may be expecting a lot from 'Dilli 6', from the maverick director Rakeysh Mehra after the super success of his first film 'Rang De Basanti'.

The lead roles are played by Abhishek Bachan and Sonam Kapoor. The shooting was wrapped up last Friday. The film mostly shot in Rajasthan now enters the post production stage.

Sonam Kapoor will be hoping the film to be a big success after the bad fate of her first film 'Saawariya'.

Mehra had to spend much time to find the hero of this film. He had tried to get Hrithik Roshan for the main man, but eventually zeroed in for Abhishek. Sonam Kapoor is quite lucky to be cast as the heroine as a hit can do wonders for her in the B-town.

Rakeysh Mehra was not without his share of worries as his first assistant director during the shooting had to move out to U.S. due to personal reasons.

Aamir khan after knowing about Rakeysh's crisis wanted to be his assistant but could not because of his dates being taken by 'Gajini'. So Kiran Rao, Aamir's wife and an assistant director in 'Lagaan' went ahead and helped Mehra.

Rayeksh Mehra has been very much impressed by Kiran's work and was heard praising her work and initiative during his crisis.


Aamir Khan gets scarred!

To shoot for the remaining portions of his 'Eid' release, GHAJINI, actor perfectionist Aamir Khan has gone almost bald. As is known, Aamir made an appearance at the premier of Abbas-Mustan's RACE, last month, at IMAX Adlabs, Wadala Bombay, sporting his new look.

It is obvious that Aamir, who rarely makes appearances at public events, wants to familiarize the audience with his new look, just like the way he went around flaunting his MANGAL PANDEY get-up!

While on Aamir's new look, most people already knew about his almost baldpate, but there are still a lot of enquiries about the reason behind Aamir sporting a scar on his head. Well, we will disclose the reason and satisfy the curiosity. In the upcoming October 2 release, GHAJINI, Aamir Khan gets hit on the head by the villains, because of which he loses his memory. The scar is a result of the injury inflicted by the bad men of GHAJINI!


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

FX Labs develops PC, console game for Ghajini

Ghajini producers Arvind Allu and Madhu Verma are not waiting for their forthcoming film, remake of Ghajini to be a success. Rather to make it a raging hit, they are planning aggressive marketing and promotional strategies. One of which is building a computer and console game. FX Labs will be designing the game.

The game is being built on TROQUE, the new gaming engine which is also being used for D 2.5 and Archies.

FX Labs co-founder Sashi Reddy confirms the news, "Yes, we are developing a game around the film. It will be launched a month before the film releases, that is this year end."

A team of 20 people are working on this game, in the time frame of eight months. Reddy denied commenting on the budget of the game, however sources close to the film say it is around 25 to 30 million.

FX Labs is also developing a game on Dhoom 2 titled D 2.5 which will hit the stores in April. About this trend of structuring a game as a promotional step for an unreleased film, he says, "It will create a great marketing buzz around the film and certainly draw more viewers towards the film."

This game can be adapted to Xbox and PlayStation 2 if it proves to be hit.

The game is about surviving a gruesome attack and unlocking a mystery. The game promises to feature challenging quests, stunning sound and visuals.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The music of ‘Sultan The Warrior’

‘Sultan The Warrior’, the hi-tech and novel attempt on celluloid by Superstar Rajinikanth’s daughter, is growing in a fast pace with 20 per cent of the movie is completed.

More exciting news about the first ever 3D animation feature film in India is that the music wizard A.R. Rahman has so far composed two songs for the movie. As director Soundarya informed earlier, the film has all the ingredients of a Superstar flick, including the intro song for the Superstar. The song, penned by veteran lyricist Vairamuthu and sung by S.P. Balasubramaniam, is all set to enthrall the Rajini fans.

The other song is a duet song, which is again penned and sung by Vairamuthu and SPB respectively.

It is worth recalling that most of the intro songs in Rajini films, sung by SPB have become huge hits. The combination of ARR, SPB, Vairamuthu, and Rajini has rocked in films like ‘Muthu’ and ‘Padayappa’. We hope that the combination would recreate the magic in the animation film as well.