Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rahman’s favorite enlivens Sabarimala

Rahman’s favorite on the drums, none other than Sivamani was at Sabarimala recently. You can’t keep this man away from rhythms and he proved this once again when he gave an impromptu performance right at the foot of the 18 holy steps that lead to the sannidhanam.

Of course, he had not carried his
drums along with him and so had to provide his rhythms on small vessels and other assortments that doubled up as percussion instruments. This was a different type of entertainment which the Ayappa devotees thoroughly enjoyed.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ghajini (Hindi) Music Review

 On grounds of reality, one fine factor should've got your adrenalines shot with 'Ghajini'. Aye! 2-A factors (Aamir Khan-A.R. Rahman) had enthralled nook and corners with their previous ventures 'Rangeela', 'Lagaan', 'Rang De Basanti' and Aamir's Production 'Jaane Ya Tu Jaane Na'. And now, guess what could be your verdicts after heeding to album of 'Ghajini'.  Well we've got it spelled on the tagline 'Run-of-the-mill musical' and merely it's passable score from ARR who fascinated with his spellbinding style in 'Yuvvraaj'.  The maestro had hop-skipped different genres with each song to another; be it 'Dil Ka Rishta' or 'Mastam', they sounded great with grand orchestras and unique style of composition. Of course, it's been a mixed bag of simultaneous hits 'n' misses lined up from Rahman with his 'Rang De Basanthi'- 'Guru' – 'Jodha Akbar' – 'Jaane Ya Tu Jaanena' – 'Yuvvraaj' and now 'Ghajini'. 
It's not just his directorial debut in Bollywood, but the first time we see Murugadoss and Rahman gearing up together (they hadn't teamed up for Kollywood projects). Tamil version of Ghajini had Harris Jayaraj tuning in laudable melodies and maestro strides with his own √©lan in the remake. The album comprises of 6 numbers with a duet, an instrumentals and rest of solos…
Guzarish – Elegance unveiled  Listen here
Singers: Javed Ali, Sonu Nigam
Perhaps, with the sensational promos continually screened all over, 'Guzarish' should've really grabbed everyone's senses much before audio hitting the markets. All praises for Javed Ali as he turns entire glares with huskily-toned voice. Right from alpha; with his mesmerizing hum, Javed carries off the entire song with his plushy intonations. Well, does the song possesses Rahman's USPs? Obviously, synthesized-beats aren't so catchy. But don't miss the fantastic vistas of transfixing vocals filled-in and mandolin played by Seenu. Overall, it's a song that'll go straight into everyone's stereos and Ipods undeleted for long time.
Aye Bachchu – Suzanne's show Listen here
Singers: Suzanne
Hah! It's a bedazing piece from Suzanne. Her style of vocalizing illustrates her unstrained approach on rendering this song. Of course, she impinges on with her bold voice that more or less goes the same as Sunidhi Chauhan. Awesome indeed, the rhythmic notes on lead guitars by Ivan, Neil and Sanjeev make it happen as a live concert of western rock (but not the best as Shankar-Ehasan-Loy's score on guitar in Rock On).  Srinivas' supervising on Suzanne's shifting of paradigms of vocalisms are over-the-top and somewhat noteworthy. Beguiling combos of percussions, guitars and fill-ins of single notes on bass instruments make the show more lavish. On the dot, Rahman seems to have coalesced Madonna's style of voice and rhythmic patterns that sounds alike ones in Backstreet Boys.
Kaise Mujhe – Heart-binding duet Listen here
Singers: Benny Dayal, Shreya Ghosal
Its synthesized harpsichords and fortepiano played on interlude with simple percussions mingled in the following seconds. With Andante cantabile set on rhythms, it's a melodious duet rendered by Benny Dayal and Shreya Ghosal. Well, both singers and brightly-spotted instruments tantamount and song would peak to the best once it goes on visuals. Nevertheless, this isn't as extraordinary from the trio Benny Dayal-Shreya Ghosal-Rahman as with 'Tu Hi Meri Dost' in Yuvvraaj.
Bekha – Off an unusual panache Listen here
Singer: Karthik
And again, the teasers are sure to have got the tunes lined in your minds. Bekha seems to be appearing on the screens as young lad falls for the beauteous missy. As the courtesy goes, couple of samples on rhythmic tunes seems to have been picked from Martin's booming saxophone adds rich colors to the tango-typed rhythms. The entire song is about Karthik's ostentatious modulations on tongue-twisting words that have been fabulously enunciated. Saxophone, trombones, strings and piano keeps flowing simultaneously for the complete 5mins. Yeah! Getting to watch Aamir Khan in 6 different stylish get-ups should again make it more pop.
Latoo – Middling on all vistas Listen here
Singer: Shreya Ghosal
Be it style, rhythms or kind of sound; nothing sounds the best as other numbers. Possibly, lets us doubt is it straight from the shoulders of Rahman? Nothing of his archetypal elegance is spotted other than choral vocalisms of Tanvi, Sakthi, Anisha and Suvi along with Benny, Karthik and Tippu. Shreya Ghosal's decent efforts look more appealing and Pravin Mani's English lyrics with atypical rhythms may sound more in disco floors.
Kaise Mujhe (Instrumental) – All praises for Kiran Listen here
Symphonious instrumentals of classic 'n' western styles mingled get us for a soothing ride of melodious tune. Fine! It's Kiran's flute that eclipses every bits of tunes including Shreya's voice in the second minute of song. Perhaps, Neil Mukherji's pleasant-sounding notes on guitars accompanies for making it more glistening. Interlude in the initial seconds played reminds us one of Rahman's recent tunes in Tamil (similar to 'I Miss You Da' from Sakkarakatti). Exquisitely as background scoring, the instrumental may enhance the emotional feel on screens.
On the whole, Rahman's musical on 'Ghajini' looks quite middling as compared with his trenchant work in 'Yuvvraaj'. Indeed, amongst all his ventures with Aamir Khan, the melodies spelled by maestro aren't attention-getting. With promos continually hitting the screens of television round the clocks, Aamir Khan would extend his brilliant tactics and make the songs topping out.
Verdict: Moderate-yet-impressive
Rating : ***  


Rajini shoots in Prashanth's place

The shooting for the Rajinikanth starrer 'Endhiran' which is directed by Shankar is progressing in and around Chennai.
In spite of heavy rains, director Shankar has opted to go ahead with the shooting on Wednesday. Amidst tight security, the crew is reportedly shooting at a jewelery house owned by actor Prashanth which is located in T. Nagar, Chennai. Since Aishwarya Rai is busy shooting for the Mani Ratnam movie, scenes involving Rajinikanth are being shot.
Shooting for the movie is on at a rapid pace. The movie stars Aishwarya Rai opposite Rajinikanth and is produced by Ayngaran International. The film has musical score by A R Rahman.
Interestingly, some important sequences were shot in Europe followed by one schedule in Goa.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gautham & Rahman - One more!

While Harris has gone on records about his rift with Gautham Menon and announced about his split with the director, the latter remained tightlipped about the whole issue. Soon enough, as if to acknowledge the split officially, Gautham has recently struck a deal with A R Rahman for his Telugu venture produced by the UTV Motion Pictures
Gautham Menon
with Mahesh Babu in the lead. Kollywood sources predict that Gautham’s association with Rahman will continue in his future projects too. Rahman is also scoring for Gautham’s Chennayil Oru Mazhaikaalam, which is reportedly 60 per cent complete.It is to be noted that the recently released Vaaranam Aayiram has blockbuster music scored by Harris.

What were our expectations?

Huge with a capital H - That's the best way to describe the expectations that one has from the 
music of Ghajini. An Aamir Khan project is always big. When A.R. Rahman gets involved, it only becomes bigger. And when it's a project likeGhajini, which is a hardcore commercial fare, it has to be of one of the biggest, if not 'THE' biggest soundtrack of the year. Add in a name like Prasoon Joshi, who writes the lyrics for the film and you know that there is just no room for any error whatsoever. So what do we get here? Let's read on!

How does the music sound?

Ever since the music release of Roja, the common saying for almost a decade and a half has been - 'Rahman's music takes time to grow'. That has indeed been the case for some of his best work ever which has gone on to be huge commercial success. Now imagine his music appealing to your ears in the very first go itself! The results are meant to be fantabulous and immediately acceptable, something which happens in case of 

A.R. Rahman truly creates a soundtrack which makes an instant impact and yet retains the classy touch which is expected from him, especially noticeable in songs like 'Guzarish' and 'Kaise Mujhe'. Both being complex compositions due to the kind of variation that Rahman brings in spinning a melodic tale, 'Guzarish' and 'Kaise Mujhe' work and how! While 'Guzarish' is sweet-n-saccharine with Bollywood romance at its best, 'Kaise Mujhe' reminds of the kind of work that Ismail Darbar has been doing ever since his Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam days. Slow and pensive, it has a classy feel to it and sound even better in its 'instrumental' version. Someone bring on that 'Karaoke' please!

Only Rahman could have made something like this possible and if you have been a fan of 'Latka Dikha Diya Tumne' (Hindustani), then be sure that 'Aye Bachchu' would get the house on fire, which is a foot tapping track that is way beyond the likes of 'Shano Shano' (Yuuvraaj). It is a party track which has an out and out Western rhythm to it and should be quite some eye candy. Ditto for 'Latoo' which is heavy on orchestra, rightly so since the genre of the number requires that to be the case. The only number which is 'un-Rahmanish' in appeal and appears to be coming from the house of Pritam or Vishal-Shekhar, it is fast paced and boasts of an instant recollection quotient.

'Behka' could well be the 'Main Aisa Kyon Hoon' (Lakshya) moment for Aamir Khan in the way it is has been composed. The most unique composition of the album and something which Rahman has attempted after a long time. 'Behka' has an international sound in the way it is paced and arranged. Especially watch out for the 'antara' portion and you know for yourself that what sets it apart from any other Rahman song you would have heard in the recent times.

Are the lyrics impressive?

With Prasoon Joshi around, lyrics are bound to be not just impressive but even way different from what one hears in a regular Bollywood album. Whether it is the poetic feel of 'Guzarish' or the intoxicated feel of 'Behka', Prasoon is in full form here. Of course when it comes to bringing on some fun on the house, 'Aye Bachchu' and 'Latoo' win hands down.

How do the 
singers contribute?

Javed Ali makes best use of the opportunity that he gets with 'Guzarish'. First 'Jashn-E-Bahaaran' and now 'Guzarish', the young man is certainly looking up in his career. Another new singer, Benny Dayal, who made a worthy debut with 'Tu Meri Dost Hain' (Yuuvvraaj), is good once again in 'Kaise Mujhe'. What comes across as a pleasant surprise is to see Shreya Ghoshal letting her hair down for 'Latoo', a kind of track which, on any other day would have fell in Sunidhi Chauhan's lap. Suzanne, who continues to make an impression with every opportunity that comes to her, knows that 'Aye Bachchu' is the number for the dance floor and she gets the right attitude in place to justify her presence in the song as the chosen one.

What we get eventually?

Ghajini is what one calls as a chartbuster album in the offering. Clearly boasting of Rahman's best soundtrack of the year (yes, it is better than Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa, Jodhaa Akbar, Yuvvraaj and Ada), Ghajini in fact, sees Rahman-Aamir collaboration being successful yet again after some of their best work together in Rang De Basanti, Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India and Rangeela. The music of Ghajini is all set to make waves way into 2009 after the Christmas release of the film. When 'best of the best' list would be compiled at the year end, it would be hard to ignore Ghajini.


Music Review: Ghajini

Aamir Khan's new movie GHAJINI has been hogging the limelight since a good 12 months now, and the film is arguably the BIGGEST movie of the year, along with SRK's Rab ne bana di jodi.
Aamir Khan has transformed into the incredible (looking) hulk to fit into the role for GHAJINI and has even sported his nearly shaven head throughout 2008. Ghajini had its ups and downs while filming that led to a number of delays.
We've been waiting for sneak peaks of the film and the songs since two months with little avail. The announced date for the music release was November 15th, yet nothing came but the atrocious Golmaal Returns. So after sweating with impatience for about a week, we finally managed to get our hands on the music CD of the film.
I must say the presentation is impeccable. Laced with red overtones, the CD box features a hulking, sunken Aamir Khan with on screen love Asin on his biceps. The inside sleeve of the box is quite uniquely designed, it opens in 3 parts, with the CD placed in the middle. A little booklet pops out of the left compartment which contains all the lyrics and some saucy snaps of the film (including a very sexy leggy Asin). While a bare legged Asin strolling in the Namibian desert brought a smile upon the face, the six different looks of Aamir followed in the next pages.
Without further ado, we shoved the CD quickly in the player and turned up the volume. Immediately Sonu Nigam hummed a haunting tune and the fantastic guitar from 'Guzarish'flowed. The beautiful lyrics by Prasoon Josi and soothing vocals by Javed Ali straightaway bring out the goosebumps. The music by A.R Rahman is stunning as it sets the mood, and a little other worldly operatic cameo by an unnamed female melts your heart. Guest vocalist Sonu Nigam comes back again with 'oohs and aahs' and then again with an excellent crescendo. The song has been picturized in the deadpan desert of Namibia, Five out of five for this song. Simply Superb.
Next up, we hear an old tape playing and someone singing 'Jhoom le jhoomjhama'... and the song 'Aye Bachchu' explodes in full swing, complete with an electric guitar and a Pop-Rock sound. Newcomer Suzanne provides vocals with a lot of enthusiasm and we LOVE it. The lyrics are crazy and peppy, with percussion that will get lazy bones shaking to the tune. Turn up the bass and enjoy this great track. We definitely want to hear more from Suzanne.
As if the joy from the previous song wasn't enough, a guitar reminiscent of 'Won't get fooled again' shimmers. 'Kaise Mujhe' has Benny Dayal and Shreya Goshal for the vocals and beats that evoke memories of Sukhvindar's 'Jaane mai'. A svelte piano plays near the end of the track. While the lyrics and music are really good, Dayal needs to stop rolling his tongue every time there's an 'R' sound.
Next up is the highly publicized 'Behka' with Aamir Khan's six different hairstyles and billion different colours in the wardrobe. The track has a nice saxophone but quite strange vocals by Karthik. Out of nowhere Rock kicks in and as unexpectedly it disappears. Very uneven, probably would gel better while watching the movie.
Providing some respite after the utter weirdness of the earlier song, some Enigma style chrome music and DJ scratches kick in followed by the words 'One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind'. When you least expect it, Shreya Goshal does an 'S for Sonia' crooning 'Latoo'. Shreya is talented but is certainly not cut for songs like these, she should stick to the glummer side of music. The lyrics make little sense (thoda thoda Zimbabwe and mazari mazara??). Unless this song is shot in Africa, Ghajini could do without this song. Suzanne from 'Aye Bachchu' would have been so much better for this number.
To finish things off is the instrumental version of 'Kaise Mujhe'. No difference, except for the tongue rolling vocals replaced by the guitar and flute. This track might probably play when the end credits roll in. Not the best ending to a music album, but still listenable while you're driving a car.
So there you have it, the music of GHAJINI is a fifty fifty. While the first three songs are really swell, the rest of the album is sort of disappointing. We probably expected too much from Aamir Khan after the exquisite music in 'Taare Zammen Par' and 'Rang De Basanti'. A.R Rahman hits a hat trick with this film after 'Yuvvraaj' and 'Jaane tu'. Lets just say this album comes third in the lot. 'Guzarish' and 'Aye Bachchu' make it worth the money. Whatever the case, the album is BETTER THAN 'RAB NE'.
So at least in the Bollywood segment Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy take the crown in 2008 for 'Rock On' and 'Taare', nudging out Rahman. But then Rahman has got the magnificent music of 'SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE' up his sleeve for Hollywood. Check back on the 27th for the review on that album. Until then, there's Ghajini.


N.E.E.T./Interscope Records to Release Renowned Composer A.R. Rahman's Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack Available Online Everywhere November 25 and in Stores December 23

In composing the music for acclaimed director Danny Boyle's intoxicating new film Slumdog Millionaire, now playing in select theaters, A.R. Rahman has conjured the sound of a city, fusing the frenetic scramble of daily life in Mumbai, India into beautiful fugues that ride upon the dust clouds kicked up by its everyday people.
From the movie's first frames -- with children racing through alleyways, knocking over merchants and pottery, police kicking loose clay roof tiles, disrupted birds fluttering from gutters -- we hear the sound of their commotion made manifest in "O ... Saya." It's a rumbling hybrid of Bollywood and hip-hop, a brand new collaboration between Rahman and M.I.A. It's the kind of cinematic moment where image and sound coexist. And that's only the first five minutes.
Filmed in the streets and slums of Mumbai, India, Boyle needed just the right music to complement the film's cinema verite urban realism. He turned to internationally renowned composer A.R. Rahman (a huge star in South Asia -- selling more than 100 million albums worldwide and 200 million cassettes -- Rahman is one of the world's top 25 all-time top selling recording artists.) The film's score is central to the propulsive modern grit that pervades the story, but is also a nod to classic Bollywood productions where the music is front and center. And loud. Says Rahman, "We wanted it edgy, upfront. Danny wanted it loud."
M.I.A.'s appreciation for Bollywood music led her to record much of last year's Kala inside A.R. Rahman's studio in India, although the two had never worked together until now. Referring to him in URB magazine as "the Indian Timbaland," M.I.A. obviously jumped at the chance to work on "O ... Saya" with the famed composer. Rahman says, "She's a real powerhouse. Somebody played me her CD and I thought, 'Who is this girl? She came here and knew all my work, had followed my work for ages. I said, 'Cut the crap, this "my idol" crap. You have to teach me.'"
M.I.A. crops up again, later in the film, with the remix of her worldwide hit "Paper Planes" seemingly made for Slumdog, as the lyrics pronounce, "Sometimes I feel like sitting on trains ... " while a light blue locomotive chugs and hurls its way through India, young boys perched up top in the sepia sunlight scoping out for a scrap of food.
Other songs on the soundtrack include "Gangsta Blues," featuring hip-hop artist BlaaZe, which flutters with the rhythms of a film projector, capturing a bit of the madness of crowds as they disperse in a thousand directions to escape the claustrophobia of back alleys. And nothing quite prepares you for the triumphant climax, the overarching ode to joy that is "Jai Ho," closing out the film in a rousing sing-a-long that's had film audiences burst into spontaneous applause. As Rahman told Variety, "The energy of the film takes you through a roller coaster, and that's one of the main inspirations for the whole music."
"The propulsive score, by Bollywood soundtrack auteur A.R. Rahman, is hip-hop
           fusion of a very up-to-date kind." - Kurt Loder, MTV.COM

"The film is a visual wonder, propelled by A.R. Rahman's hip-hopping score and
Chris Dickens' kinetic editing." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Danny Boyle has upped the ante by hiring the great A.R. Rahman, the king of
Bollywood music, to contribute one of his unmistakable propulsive scores." -
Kenny Turan, Los Angeles Times
The full track listing for Slumdog Millionaire Music From The Motion Picture:
1. "O ... Saya" Performed by A R Rahman & M.I.A.
    2. "Riots" by A R Rahman
    3. "Mausam & Escape" by A R Rahman
    4. "Paper Planes" Performed by M.I.A.
    5. "Paper Planes" DFA REMIX  Performed by M.I.A.
    6. "Ringa Ringa" by A R Rahman featuring Alka Yagnik & Ila Arun
    7. "Liquid Dance" by A R Rahman featuring Palakkad Sriram & Madhumitha
    8. "Latika's Theme" by A R Rahman featuring Suzanne
    9. "Aaj Ki Raat" Performed by Sonu Nigam, Mahalaxmi Lyer & Alisha Chinoi
    10. "Millionaire" by A R Rahman featuring Madhumitha
    11. "Gangsta Blues" by A R Rahman featuring BlaaZe & Tanvi Shah
    12. "Dreams on Fire" by A R Rahman featuring Suzzanne
    13. "Jai Ho" by A R Rahman featuring Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah &
        Mahalaxmi Iyer


SOURCE Interscope Records

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved End of Story


Rahman continues to sizzle in Bollywood

Music composer A R Rahman whose magic is making wonders in Tamil Cinema for nearly a couple of decades now, is still going strong and steady in Bollywood.
He has come up with a hat-trick of successes in Hindi filmdom recently. He made it big with 'Janu Tu Jane Na'. The song 'Kabhi Kabhi' is still topping the charts all across the country. His recent release 'Yuvvraaj' is topping the charts right now. Subhash Ghai and Rahman have successfully recreated the magic of the 'Taal' days.
Now, Rahman has gone a step further with 'Ghajini'. In the Hindi remake of the Tamil original, Rahman has scored half-a-dozen numbers all of which have won rave reviews. Reports suggest that the number 'Behka', is gaining immense popularity.
It's three-in-row and three cheers for Rahman.


Aamir Khan’s avatars

The USP of Ghajini is not just Aamir Khan’s physique but also a song, Behka, where Aamir has six different looks that too in a single 
Aamir Khan.
Aamir Khan. More Pics

A source present on the film sets said, “Aamir was quite skeptical about whether he would be able to pull off the six different looks required for the song. But he took it as a challenge.”

In the song Aamir is wooing Asin, his leading lady in the film. The song was choreographed by Ahmed Khan. Arjun Bhasin (Rang De Basanti) styled the look and Avan Contractor (Dil Chahta Hai) did Aamir’s hair. It was shot in Cape Town, South Africa for around 20 days.

How did they stumble upon the idea of the looks? Ahmed Khan said, “While flying to South Africa, I told Aamir about my idea of putting all six looks in a single frame, which was possible with the use of motion control camera.

He too jumped at the idea, knowing it would be a difficult one to pull off. He’s wearing clothes that he’s never been seen in before like low waist and narrow fit jeans, low-neck chest revealing tees, hats and other fashionable clothes.”


AR Rahman tunes for Mahesh's movie

AR Rahman scored his first for Mahesh in the movie 'Nani'.  Mahesh Babu and Ameesha Patel played the lead cast. The movie was directed by SJ Surya.
Being SJ Suryah's favorite songster, Rahman is once again composing music for Pawan Kalyan's 'Puli' directed by Suryah. Once it is done, the music director is going to carry on orchestrating for Tollywood with Mahesh Babu's next to be directed by Gautham Menon.
The team usually comprised of Harris Jayaraj and Gautham Menon since a long time, but due to an estranged relationship between them, the duo has split-up. After parting ways with 'Surya s/o Krishna' being their last, Harris moved out and Rahman stepped into the project.


‘Slumdog Millionaire’ a rare gem, worth every rupee

Probably my favorite film of the year, “Slumdog Millionaire,” hit me like a ton of bricks. What marvelous alchemist brewed this heady, cinematic moonshine?

The answer is Manchester, England-born auteur Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”). After making the trend-setting 2002 zombie movie “28 Days Later” and taking a sci-fi misstep with “Sunshine” (2007), Boyle has adapted Vikas Swarup’s acclaimed 2005 novel “Q&A.”

The resulting film, which I’m told veers from its source material, is bizarre, curry-colored, wildly sensuous and utterly captivating, a hybrid shot on location in the modern-day subcontinental boomtown of Mumbai.

Framed by scenes in which Jamal Malik (Dev Patel), a lowly chaiwalla (tea server), competes on the Indian “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and featuring music by the incomparable A.R. Rahman, the film tells the story of Jamal and Latika (Freida Pinto), a parentless Romeo and Juliet. Orphaned street urchins, Jamal and Latika meet and fall in love while enduring hardship and peril at the hands of a grotesquely cruel descendant of “Oliver Twist’s ” Fagin. Years after their separation, Jamal still vows to be reunited with his beloved.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ trailer (Story continues below)
Earlier, before the death of his mother in an anti-Muslim riot, Jamal (played as a younger boy by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar) leaps into a pool of excrement so he will not miss the chance to meet his movie-star idol. The scene is both a baptismal taste of what life has in store for the poor and a demonstration of his unusual resolve.

The riveting, rapturous, often terrifying story that follows is a “from-rags-to-Raja” tale, a Bollywoodized “Oliver Twist,” a Hindi “Orpheus and Eurydice” a modern-day “Three Musketeers” and a cinematic Taj Mahal all rolled into one.

About a third of the film is in Hindi with subtitles because of the talented, nonprofessional child actors cast in it.

The structure is ingenious. In between Jamal asking for lifelines and polling the audience are flashbacks to his childhood and scenes in which an angry police officer (Irfan Khan of “The Namesake”) interrogates him after the show.

“Slumdog Millionaire” asks us to believe that dreams can come true, that a beautiful flower can spring from a garbage heap and that a poor man can be made rich in the wink of an eye.

It’s an Anglo-Indian fairy tale worthy of Dickens or Disney. Boyle, co-director Loveleen Tandan, who handled the Hindi-speaking actors, and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (“The Full Monty”) have hit the proverbial jackpot. “Slumdog Millionaire” may be the 13-million-dollar baby that wins all the chips on Oscar night. You heard it here first, Dark Knight.

Vishnu and Rajini comes together

Popular Kannada actor Vishnuvardhan is a name to reckon with in the Kannada film industry. He is a sought-after hero in the neighboring State.
Vishnuvardhan, who played a prominent role alongside Rajinikanth in Viduthalai, will back to do a similar role now. Rumours are abuzz that Vishnuvardhan has been urged to do a cameo in 'Endhiran', starring Rajinikanth and directed by Shankar.
A magnum opus by Ayngaran Internationals, the movie is expected to be released in several languages. Wonder if it would be dubbed and released in Kannada for Vishnuvardhan has agreed to act in the movie.


Aamir dances to Behka song from Ghajini


Rahman goes gloriously wild with Ghajini

Sometimes you just can't help but gush.
An AR Rahman album is often cause for celebration, but I've always been partial to the albums where he seems to be experimenting even more than usual. There's a palpable childlike enthusiasm in tracks where he riffs with such constant improvisation that the results are as close to jazz as Bollywood can get.

Putting it simply, Ghajini  is a phenomenal album. You'll find -- and argue over -- your individual favourite tracks, but very honestly, this could just be one of his finest albums ever. Not just are the tracks great, but each one segues into the next with perfect unpredictability. There is much chaos and musical anarchy packed into this taut album, but when the revolution is in the hands of this man, well, don't you know it's gonna be alright?
As soon as the opening bars of Guzarish kick in, you know you're onto something special. Rahman structures the deceptively simple-sounding basic melody almost into a fugue, the melodic lines intertwining around each other into a wonderfully complex tune. Javed Ali's vocals start easy before they progressively reach a point where his tongue is excitedly tripping over the words, before AR tosses in some space for refrain. This is ballad as it should be, an intoxicating song best left played on loop for a good half hour. Let the brilliance seep in, you'll love it.
Aye Bachchu starts off with a raspy-radio feel, hiss and crackle barely masking the aggression displayed by a couple of punchy guitars revving each other up like duelling bikers. It doesn't seem very Rahmanesque at first, but the way he builds up something this arbidly belligerent around a series of simple melodies, each cutting unpredictably into the other... wow. It's a 3.49 long track, but Rahman fills each second with pure energy, making it seem way longer. This one's destined to be a college anthem.

The nearly-headbanging vibe gives way to Kaise Mujhe, a mellow duet sung by Benny Dayal and Shreya Ghoshal. Dayal is made to sound somewhat like Rahman himself, and the only problem with this innocuous mush-track is the fact that the composer's structure overwhelms Prasoon Joshi's deftly balanced lyrics. The words are less accessible than they deserve to be. Yet when Ghoshal kicks in, she's given enough room to play. Of course, in all likelihood we'll be worshipping the track after forty listens.
Behka has one of the most intriguing opening seconds of any Rahman song, a flirty keyboard tangoing merrily around a heavily thudding snare drum. So heady is the rush this start gives you that you want it to go on for longer, but AR cuts you off craving more as a youngster called Karthik proceeds to rock the vocals.
Joshi's lyrics are fantastic, and when the langurous Behka-Behka chorus kicks in, it's hard not to be swept away. And just when you know which way the track is headed, Rahman mixes things up with all the glee of a mad scientist. And what a funky Frankenstein he serves up. A very hard track not to grin immediately at.

"Houston... the eagle has landed"? Perhaps the last words you expect to hear in an ARR soundtrack, but the man is clearly having fun with Latoo, a joyous ditty where the composer goes into sampling mode with an eclectic bag of sounds. The sounds seem poured sporadically into the mix, but the layering is a silky masterclass. Ghoshal does well, almost as well as the male chorus singers -- who seem to be singing, um, 'Zimbabwe!'(?). Living up to its name, this is a very standard track except poured through an aural kaleidoscope. Much madness ensues.
The Kaise Mujhe instrumental, honestly, is basically Rahman showing off. Heh. It's the master showing off an immaculate composition without letting singers and vocalists get in the way. And it works beautifully.
Ah, damn the review. Buy it now.
Rediff Rating: 


How Aamir got his Ghajini cut

What Aamir Khan wants, he gets.
For example, the actor wanted a different look for his latest film Ghajini. And luckily for us, he even got the whole procedure on camera.
As the photographer clicked away, hair stylist Avan Contractor got busy with Aamir's hair. The actor looked calm and composed, and he had every right to be. The two have worked together before in Dil Chahta Hai. Aamir really liked Avan's work and became a big fan atfer the movie.
First, Avan trimmed the hair with a pair of scissors. Then out came the shearers, giving a new shape. Strategically placed grooves were shaved. After the work was done, Aamir critically examined the cut before giving his thumbs up.
We just hope his new look works for Ghajini.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Rajini: From Ambassador to Toyota for Endhiran

Endhiran’s shooting is currently taking place in Chennai, confirms our sources. It is said that Shankar is filming a few important scenes in the northern parts of Chennai and the locations are kept so secret that the crew are not aware of the shooting spot even a day prior.

Interestingly, Rajini is also trying
to mask himself in anonymity and is adopting various new techniques to get away from the fans and bystanders. It is well known in film circles that the Superstar prefers and uses either an Ambassador or Fiat car. In an attempt to conceal his identity, Rajini is off late spotted seen using a Toyota Qualis.


What Aamir Khan won't do for Ghajini!

It seems that Aamir Khan is willing to do quite a lot for his upcoming film, Ghajini. First, he shaved his head. Then, he whipped up his body into deadly shape. And now, he's all set to dazzle us with six new looks in a single song!
Titled Behka, the song sees Aamir playing six outrageous characters to woo his heroine, Asin. And here's a sneak peek.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mani Ratnam chooses his Hanuman

Mani Ratnam’s project with Aishwarya Rai, Vikram, Prabhu, Priyamani and Karthik is shaping up really well. It was mentioned in these columns just a few days ago that Prabhu plays the role of Vibheeshanan in the film. The actor, who is seen sporting a beard these days, has raised many an eyebrow over his role.

Now the buzz is that Karthik, who had been in hibernation for long, will play the role of a forest officer. In terms of the epic Ramayana, on which the story is based on, Karthik’s character is akin to Hanuman’s role. It may be recalled that Mani Ratnam churned out two mega hits in the past with Karthik. One is Mouna Ragam in which he played a guest role and the other is Agni Natchathiram where he co-starred with Prabhu.


Catch Rahman, Salman sing Yuvvraaj

Music has always played a powerful part in Subhash Ghai's films. Yuvvraaj is no different. And doing the honours is the brilliant A R Rahman.
We got Rahman to talk about the film's music, and sing as well -- don't miss the video! Salman Khan could not resist the songs too, and gave us the unplugged version of Dost.Katrina Kaif had her say about the music as well.
But first, over to Rahman:
You have worked with Subhash Ghai in most of his films.
I have been working with Mr Ghai for almost 10 years, from Taal days. We have always been in love with musicals. He came for the opening for my [Broadway showBombay Dreams in London and said that he wanted to do a full-fledged musical with the great dancers and live orchestra. I think his dream came true with Yuvvraaj.
I gave a Lord of the Rings CD to Mr Ghai, and he fell in love with it. He wanted his musical to be like that. There were about 400 people involved in each track of LOTR, and he said we would get those 400 people. So it started with that vision. Some of the tracks were as huge as that, others were simple.
How do you handle the pressure of making different music, especially in a Subhash Ghai film?
Pressure has always been there but if you let it get to you, you will land up doing wrong things. So we go with what our heart says.
Working as a team reduces the tension, especially with Gulzarsaab and Mr Ghai. It becomes easier.
What is new about the music of Yuvvraaj?
With Yuvvraaj, it is like taking a U-turn -- going back to orchestra and choir that you don't get to hear these days. Most of the music is beat-oriented and the industry thinks that that is what we want. I think it is a very bold step by Mr Ghai to do what we like and give people what we want them to like.
How well do you relate with the tag-line of the film: Music binds love?
Music always binds love. It affects people's lives. It's the best thing about me coming into music. If I hadn't got into music and had been a bank manager, I wouldn't have got the joy of entertaining people or changing their lives. I'm greatful to God for that.
Do you like the response the music is getting?
I did not expect the music to be out this early. I thought they would take months to launch the music. But T-Series has done a great job in promoting the music. So it is a blessing for all of us -- Mr Ghai, Gulzarsaab, me and the whole team.
Taal had larger than life music as well.
Taal had more ethnic and electronic stuff, Yuvvraaj is more classical. I wont call it pure classical but it has traces of acoustic and orchestral instruments.
You have had five hit albums this year. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Most of them were done in the last two of years. [Music forJaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na was done two years ago, Jodhaa Akbar was done last year... we started with Yuvvraaj last year. God has been very kind to me by giving me 5 superhits this year.
What is music, according to you?
When I started off, I wasn't interested in music. I realised the power of music when I started composing at the age of 18. I knew then that music could have your own expression and your own voice. It led me to spiritualism and that keeps me going.
Can you give some tips to aspiring musicians?
All they need to do is take a flight to Chennai and join my school for music.

Katrina is a part of an orchestra in the film, and plays the cello. And the beautiful actress knows how important music is to Hindi cinema.
Watch the video to hear what Katrina has to say about the music, and don't miss her favourite song, Muskura.

Ask Salman Khan about the music of Yuvvraaj and he says, "It's wonderful. I am very excited about the film and I hope it does well."
The actor seems to be quite excited about his new film. He gives us an unplugged version of Dost -- check out the video.