Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rahman’s sacrifices

A R Rahman has every reason to be the toast of the nation. Despite having won Golden Globe awards and Oscar nomination, the talented music composer remains grounded as always. In a recent interview to a vernacular weekly, Rahman mentions that he has sacrificed a lot in his life to reach this current place.

A R Rahman
He states, “In my musical journey I have given up many things and had forfeited a lot. I have not been getting time to relax. I don’t party also. But as I love my job, I drown myself in it and deliver my best. As my life itself is around music I cherish every moment of it.”


Friday, January 30, 2009

A R Rahman: The making of a genius

The Oscar nominations for Slumdog Millionaire has turned the spotlight squarely on everyone associated with the movie. More so on the man behind the film's music -- A R Rahman. Rahman has become the first Indian to get three Oscar nominations.
PEOPLE magazine's latest issue explores the musician's amazing journey with the help of his mother Kareema Begum -- who offers a glimpse of the genius at work -- his friends, and of course, from the man himself. We present the story here.
On January 11, as Kareema Begum watched her son, the prolific Allah Rakha Rahman, walk up to the stage inside The Beverly Hilton Hotel, California, and accept his first-ever Golden Globe for Best Original Score for a motion picture, tears streamed down her face.
The rest of Rahman's family including sister, A R Rehana, who caught the live telecast at his Chennai residence, tried pacifying her but the moment was too emotional for her to stop. "My son looked so tall, holding his award among all those foreigners," says Kareema, clearly moved by Rahman's achievement.
If a Golden Globe win had this effect, imagine the impact of an Oscar victory for her son. It now seems a real possibility after he snagged three Academy Award nominations for Slumdog Millionaire on January 22.
Besides receiving a nomination for the Best Original Score, he has been nominated in the Best Original Song category for 'O... Saya' and 'Jai Ho'. Even as the accolades started pouring in, the man at the centre of the jubilation was typically self-effacing. "It was really unexpected and we all are very surprised," Rahman said in an interview to CNN-IBN. "I have received so many SMSes from all over the country. Thank you so much for your love and prayers."
Before the international recognition, Rahman has long enjoyed a reputation as a quiet musical genius among contemporaries and critics in India. Since he burst onto the mainstream with the soundtrack to Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Roja in 1993, Rahman has composed for nearly 110 films including southern hits like Bombay, Thiruda Thiruda, Gentleman, Rakshasudu, Kannathil Muthumittal, Minsara Kanavu, Kandukondain Kandukondain, Sivaji and Hindi blockbusters like Rangeela, Taal, Dil Se, Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar andJaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.
In 2002, Rahman collaborated with British producer Andrew Lloyd Webber for the West End musical Bombay Dreams, announcing his presence on the international scene.
Combining diverse genres and arrangements, Rahman is the consummate artist constantly experimenting with new sounds and challenging the boundaries of music with his creations. As filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who worked with Rahman on Taal, Kisna andYuvvraaj, describes him: "Rahman has been restlessly in search of excellence since the time he started making music."

The philosophy that underlines his quest is simple - a good human being makes a good musician. In an interview to PEOPLE at his Chennai residence-cum-studio (the ground floor houses his studio, the Panchathan Record Inn) after his Golden Globe win, Rahman repeatedly emphasises this. "Being a film music composer is not just about scoring good music. It is also about having ethics, commitment, passion and friendship," he says.
It was his father, Malayali music composer, late R K Shekhar, who showed him the way. Rahman remembers how he was a man who always valued musicians as "human beings first."
"My father was a hard worker and never judged musicians by their compositions. He had great respect for them as people and I learnt the same. He was always ready to help those who are in need."
In the 1980s, Rahman work as a keyboard player with legendary south Indian composer Ilayaraaja, which turned out to be his other learning ground. "Ilayaraaja taught me great discipline," says Rahman. "With other musicians, I always saw that there were people, who would drink and smoke. With Ilayaraaja, things were always systematic and disciplined. He was dedicated towards work and, once again, respected every musician."
Those who know Rahman well observe that the musician strives to live by the same tenets. Suhasini Mani Ratnam, wife of director Mani Ratnam, Rahman's good friend sees in him, a child-like innocence at heart. "I have seen A R Rahman showering lot of sympathy on children and people in need," says the actress. "His family has a very positive influence on him and I guess that makes his music more sensitive."

When sound engineer S Siva Kumar first joined Rahman's studio, Panchathan Record Inn Studio in Chennai, he did not know much about computers. Rahman, ever technologically savvy, helped him get acquainted.
"He is more like a friend," says Kumar, whose association with Rahman began with the 1993 Tamil film, Gentleman. "He introduces us to new technology and patiently waits for us to get accustomed to it. He always takes care of his team and I feel fortunate for having known him so long," says Kumar.
Rahman is a devoted student of the very latest in music, especially its technical aspects. He acknowledges that people initially had difficulty understanding what he was attempting with technology. "With technology, I don't have to be present physically at each recording. I can do things efficiently with fewer people. Technology has improved my output and made me more objective," he says.
While composing the music for the Oscar-nominated 2001 filmLagaan, director Ashutosh Gowarikar wanted Rahman to create a musical sound indicating thunder, as a prelude to the rain song 'Kale Megha.'
"I was clear I didn't want to use the usual sound effect for thunder," says Gowarikar. For nearly a week, Rahman toyed with different instruments and various sounds like drumrolls. "Ultimately, he picked up the words 'Ghanan Ghanan', looped it and gave it a repetitive effect," he says. "It became a brilliant sound indicating clouds arriving on the horizon."

According to Subhash Ghai, Rahman possesses the most amazing stock of sound templates and he creates them all on his own.
"He is a musician, singer, composer, technician, recorder and mixing man -- all rolled into one. He is able to focus because he is also a divine person."
In fact, "divine" is a word that often crops up in conversations about A R Rahman. The music director, who was born as Dilip Kumar, converted to Islam when he was nine and has been known to possess a mystical side. "Even his dance tunes, it has a spiritual streak," says Gowarikar.
Every recording in the Rahman studio begins with a prayer. A devout follower of the teachings of his Sufi saints Kareemullah Shakhadiri and Mohammed Hasan Khadiri Rahman, Rahman often pays his respects at Moosa Shakhadiri Dargah on Mount Road in Chennai and Ameen Peer Dargah, in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh.
Spirituality fuels Rahman's creativity. "I believe if you don't have a clean and calm mind it is impossible to churn out great music," he says. "It boosts my confidence, instills humility and detaches me from everything else."
Famously media-shy early on, Rahman has come around to living under the spotlight. "Sometimes I think silence is best. That's why, I am often disconnected from the outside world," he says.
Rajiv Menon, director of Minsara Kanavu, has known Rahman from his days as a jingle composer for advertisements. In all these years, Menon says, Rahman has remained unchanged -- "down-to-earth, humble and willing to help others." The only difference is that "he has become more articulate now."
Of late, Rahman has also dabbled in multiple projects including releasing two private albums, judging a reality show and endorsing big-named brands.
"In any profession, you develop relationships and have good friends, who can handle things efficiently for you," says Rahman about managing these responsibilities.
Last year, when he turned 42, Rahman announced his plans to establish the K M Music Conservatory and Audio Media Education in Chennai, which will train budding musicians. He has also established the A R Rahman Foundation, which has an even loftier goal -- eradicating global poverty.
Perhaps recognising the sheer magnitude of the prospect, Rahman says, "I realise that it is not something that can be achieved in one lifetime. But winning international acclaim is a starting point. I hope that I can give my best to society by collaborating with many kind-hearted people."

Apart from music, the only people who claim Rahman's undivided attention are his family members. Mother Kareema often calls her son "God's gift" to them. A young Rahman had no time to be carefree and always shouldered the responsibilities of his family.
Rahman was nine years old when his father R K Shekhar passed away. "Other boys his age were interested in outings, films and fun but Rahman worked hard to make both ends meet. I have never seen my son having a good time as a youngster and work has always been worship for him," says Kareema.
Rahman, however, does not feel like he is missing much. "I don't have a social life," he says. Spending time around his three children Khatija, 13, Rahima, 10, and son Ameen, 5, is his greatest joy.
At his Kodambakkam residence, they playfully cycle around the house while Rahman attends to visitors. All three of them love their father's music and are big fans of Miley Cyrus's Hannah Montana and High School Musical like many kids their age.
Rahman definitely wants his children to learn music someday. "But they are too playful right now," he says. Being A R Rahman's children has its advantages at school. All three of them are often besieged with autograph requests from friends, which they are happy to oblige with.
After the Oscar nominations were announced, Rahman declared to a news channel that it is his wife Saira's dream that he win an Oscar. Saira was the first person he SMSed after his Golden Globe win. "She was the right person to call. She can inform everyone else in the family," he says.
It is hard to miss the predominantly female presence in the Rahman household. Apart from his mother, wife and two daughters, the musician also has three sisters. Rahman laughingly quips that "there are too many women" in his house. "Maybe that's why I was never interested in women after marriage."
He is incredibly protective of his family and guards them from the public eye even if that means compromising on his own privacy. "I can't go jogging on Chennai roads nor can I enjoy a great time with family or friends in a restaurant," he says. "At least my family can do it. I wanted to ensure that happiness for my entire family."
As Rahman immerses himself in different projects and becomes busier, his mother frets about his food habits. A non-fussy eater, he usually doesn't have any special preferences at the dinner table. "He feels happy with clean, homemade food even if it is piping hotrasam," says Kareema. But the work often eats into his diet. "I have to send my grandchildren to the studio to remind him to have his food. These days, he has lunch as late as 5 pm and dinner at 1 am."
This year, Rahman is hoping to make amends to his routine. In 2008, he worked on around nine big film projects, something he is not too happy about. He wants to be choosy about his local assignments in the future. "It is too exhausting to have many films on hand. We all need a personal life. I need to spend quality time with my family," he says.


The Surpanaga of Mani’s Ashokavanam

Ace director Mani Ratnam takes his inspiration from many sources but sticks mostly to our Indian stories and epics. If it was Mahabharatha in Thalapathy, then it is going to be Ramayana for Ashoka Vanam. It is well known that Mani and his crew are currently stationed near Jhansi in Madhyapradesh and are shooting
Mani Ratnam
sequences involving Priya Mani, Prithviraj, Vikram and others.

Kollywood sources also whisper that Prabhu’s role is akin to that of Vibhishana and Karthik that of Lord Hanumar. By far Priya Mani is said to be doing the interesting role of Surpanaga in the film. She is said to have been shot at on the day of her wedding by Prithiviraj who in all likelihood plays the role of Lakshmana. Priya Mani’s death will be avenged by her brother Ravana played by our very own Cheeyan. Interesting characterization indeed


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

“Ghajini collection report is false”

Following the orders of the Madras High Court, the producers of the Hindi Ghajini submitted the accounts of the film’s profits yesterday. When the matter was taken up for hearing, the producer of the Tamil version, Salem Chandrasekar, alleged that mere submission of accounts are not enough but should be in the form of documents.

The advocates on behalf of the petitioner (Salem Chandrasekar) brought to the court’s notice that newspaper reports suggest that the film has raked up over Rs. 200 crores from December 25th to January 15th but the defendants have shown a mere Rs. 104 crores profits in India and Rs. 7 crores from abroad. The case was posted for hearing on February 5th. The Judges also ordered the defendants to file the collection report from January 15 to February 15 on the 17th of February.


“A.R. Rahman knows nothing of ghazals”

Lashing out strongly on the present generation of music directors and filmmaker, ghazal singer Jagjit Singh asks, “What does AR Rahman know about ghazals? He will never use a ghazal in his films. All they do is pick up tunes from the West.” He rues that there is no poetry in the lyrics these days and language used is tapori, which is a mix of Hindi and English.
A.R. Rahman

The singer says that the audience for the ghazal form of music has only increased over the last few years. He added that he tries to improvise on this ghazals and this brings a lot of audience to his concerts. Interestingly, the singer only performs for a cause nowadays.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Endhiran - Exclusive pics from Peru

Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan


'I was very surprised with the three Oscar nominations for Slumdog'

To say that A R Rahman has had a busy day is nothing new but he had an extraordinarily hectic day on Saturday last week.

In between giving the finishing touches to the score for Delhi-6 and taking in over a dozen congratulatory messages following three Oscar nominations for his work in Slumdog Millionaire, he was also getting ready to fly to Los Angeles to join fellow Oscar nominees at a formal dinner. The following interview with's Arthur J Pais was conducted in his Chennai office.

How did you hear about your Oscar nominations?

I watched the live announcements on TV. You know they announce on TV just a few nominations including the best picture, director, script and the actors. The announcements were over and I switched off the TV and got ready for another working day at my studio in Chennai.

Just then I got a call from my agent in Hollywood, and I heard him say something about three nominations for Slumdog Millionaire. And I told him, Yes, I watched the TV and I know the film has received three nominations. He then said, you have received three nominations and in all the film had received 10.

You surely were expecting the nominations, weren't you?

I did not think seriously about the prospects. I am like the film's director Danny Boyle. You do your work and hope things work out well. Frankly speaking, I was very surprised that I got three nominations, two of them going for the songs. Some of my songs in Water and Rang De Basanti have made to the short list, and yet I was very surprised with the three nominations for Slumdog in two categories.

Why were you surprised?

I knew Jai Ho was a hit. I had heard about people cheering the song wherever the film has been shown. I though it would be okay to push for one song (for nominations) but MIA (who joined him in writing and singing O Saya) thought we should push that song too. And she proved to be absolutely right.

What happened to you when you heard of the three nominations for you?

I was happy for all the nominations the film had received. And I felt people in India will continue to be proud of this film. I was feeling very gloomy and I was very upset before the nominations were announced. I could not understand why and how some people had made the film controversial. I was deeply disturbed by the controversies. I was hurt. I knew the film was made with good intentions, and it shows in every scene in the film.

I always believed that this film is about goodness triumphing over evil. It sent out the message that life was indeed worth living and that all of us can come out of the darkness.

I also knew the film was about pure love and that it also celebrated the human spirit. There is a lot of negativity around us but here is a film that showed that people can actually overcome the divisions among ourselves and go beyond the things that are hurting us. It is a film all Indians can relate to and we ought to be proud that we are associated with it.

Director Danny Boyle says he just could not believe how excited you were when he offered you the film.

(Laughs). I was very exhausted when he met me over a year ago. I thought I was not going to do a film for a few months. When I saw the rough cut of Slumdog Millionaire, I knew I had to do the film. He wanted me to do a few songs but I said I wanted to do more.

Like what?

He had wanted some old songs to be used in the film. For instance the Choli Ke Peeche number. I offered to create my own version and that is how Ringa Ringa came into existence. And I was going to do the background score, too.

And how many days did all this take?

This is one of the fastest works I have ever done for a film. The songs and the rest of the score were done in just about 15 days.

You have said that when you took up Slumdog, you had to sacrifice a couple of movie projects.

True, especially Ashutosh Gowarikar's What's Your Raashee? We worked together for Lagaan, Swades and Jodhaa-Akbar. All three were acclaimed and all box-office hits.

What went through your mind when you jumped at Slumdog?

I knew one doesn't get such an offer every day, and that the film could touch many people. One never thought of it getting any nominations or turning into a big hit. The film was showing only in about 500 theatres in America, and now it has expanded (grossing about $56 million in less than three months). I also felt that having worked with Ashutosh three times, I needed a break. And he too felt the same way. We said we will work together some time soon.

Another composer might have worried that he (Gowarikar) might not return to him.

(Chuckles) I believe what is my share would always come to me, and what isn't mine will not be there.

Have you also missed out other films because you were busy with other assignments?

There are quite a few. I could not take up Dil Chahta Hai. Also, Bunty Aur Babli. But I am glad that Shankar (Ehsaan and Loy) were able to shine in these films. I love their work in these films.

When you received the Golden Globe for Slumdog Millionaire the first thing you did was thank the Almighty.

I believe in the saying that if you recognise God in the smaller gatherings, God will recognise you in the larger gatherings. I don't consider myself a religious person, but I am inclined to be spiritual. When I pray, I do it hoping to be a better person, a better spiritual person.

You have worked again with director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra recently.

I enjoyed working with him for Rang De Basanti and now we have completed Delhi-6. He is a visionary, and he is very focussed. He knows how to make the best use of a composer, and everyone associated with the film.

One of the much discussed songs in Delhi-6 is Bhor Bhaye and it uses the voices of Shreya and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

I heard Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's classic just about four years ago when I was buying classical Indian music at Rhythm House in Mumbai. I thought the song was divine. It was profound and yet it was accessible to anyone who had good musical sensibilities. There was no gimmicks in the song. I wondered why I had not heard it before.

What did you want to do with the song when you first heard it?

I heard it again and again and again. Then I discussed with Ashutosh Gowarikar the possibility of using it in Jodhaa-Akbar, but we could not find a situation for it. Here (in Delhi-6), it works very well. We have the song in his voice and we have Shreya singing the same song in such a way that you get the feeling that she (actress Sonam Kapoor) is learning to sing it.

The song Masakalli became a hit overnight.

It is a catchy song, and it is a matter of days that people get used to the other songs in the film. Mohit Chauhan and I had worked well in Rang De Basanti, and I wanted to work with him again. And this was an excellent opportunity. I felt he could bring freshness to the tune. There is laughter in the song, and an immediate appeal. The musical situations in the movie are quite interesting. Have you heard of a song that features pigeons, at least in recent films?

Tell us about the qawwali in Delhi-6.

You listen to it carefully and you get to feel what Delhi-6 is about. I wanted Javed Ali for this song, and to give it some edginess, I added Kailash Kher's voice.

You also found an opportunity to sing the lovely Rehna Tu number.

(Chuckles). It is not always easy in the singer in me to persuade the composer in me. I think I was selfish but I wanted to sing Rehna Tu.

You use many voices in your films but we haven't heard songs by some of your favourites like Sadhana Sargam in your recent films.

(Chuckles). I think I am becoming forgetful like Ghajini. Some times what happens is that my assistants show me a list of singers and I pick from the list. Yes, I have not done justice in recent months to some extraordinary voices. I would, for instance, like to use Hariharan's voice more often. And I thought of this when I recently recorded a song with him for Rajnikant's Tamil film Robot.

You seem to enjoy a great deal working with Sukhvinder Singh, and now that Jai Ho is a big hit.

Working with Sukhi means you don't have to start from the first note. You can start at any level and work with him through the rest of the tune. He gets charged with a tune he really loves but one has to be careful while working with him (chuckles). He can meander. He loves to improvise. But there was no scope for such a thing with Jai Ho. The tune was set, and it was going to be pictured on dancers. And Sukhi surely enjoyed singing the song.


A.R. Rahman Shares His Glorious Moments


Monday, January 26, 2009

A.R. Rahman comes to your home on Republic day

As India celebrates her 59th Republic Day on January 26th, 2009, Vijay TV will bring out special programs to celebrate the occasion. The Airtel Super Singer 2008 will be the highlight of the day, as the “Mozart of Madras” A.R. Rahman will be the chief guest! All the participant singers will sing just the compositions of A.R. Rahman as a mark of respect to the
A.R. Rahman
musician. The winner of this contest will get a guitar that is autographed by Rahman! Playback singers Unnikrishnan, Srinivas and Sujatha will be the judges in the show.

Harini, Tippu, Karthik will share some important aspects about working with A.R. Rahman. The show will be telecast at 9 pm on the Republic Day.


Priya Mani’s thrilling wedding

Ashoka Vanam being directed by Mani Ratnam is proceeding as per schedule. The unit has moved north from Chalakudy in Kerala to the dense jungles of Madhya Pradesh. Recently a few sequences involving Priya Mani, Vikram and Prithviraj were shot near Jhansi. The shot that was canned was that of Priya Mani’s wedding. Vikram who plays Priya
Priya Mani
Mani’s brother in the film hands over the mangalsutra to the bride groom- a new face- who ties it around Priya’s neck. Following this, Prithiviraj shoots Priya Mani ensuing in a fiery action sequences between Vikram and Prithviraj. Vaiyapuri, the comedian plays a transgender in the film and his character is reported to be very crucial to the film. Ashoka Vanam is said to be inspired from the Hindu holy epic Ramayana. Suhasini Mani Ratnam is penning the dialogues for the Tamil version.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Aamir Khan’s arrival, Danny’s pleasure

Aamir Khan made it to the premiere of Slumdog Millionaire at the J W Marriott much to the astonishment of his fans and critics. When Danny Boyle, the film’s director, called Aamir he could not refuse and arrived at the venue.

Those who joined the celebrations soon after the show were Aamir,
Aamir Khan
Danny, Anil Kapoor, Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi, Shekhar Kapur, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and wife Anupama, Sudhir Mishra and Baba and Tanvi Azmi.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

A.R. Rahman’s absence at the Slumdog preview

A.R. Rahman’s absence was noticeable at the preview of Slumdog Millionaire, which was held at the Satyam’s Six Degree screen. Sources close to the maestro say that he was busy talking to the press people over his nomination to the Oscar Awards and hence could not make it to the preview.
A.R. Rahman

The entire area surrounding the Satyam Theatre complex was swarmed with film personalities as many had made it a point to watch the preview of Slumdog Millionaire. The film was nominated for 10 Oscars and had already bagged three Golden Globe Awards.

Those who made it to the event include A.R. Rahman’s mother, wife, daughter and sister, Narain and his wife, Kushbhu, Sundar C, Silambarasan, P.C. Sriram, Suhasini Maniratnam and Y.G. Mahendran among others.


Slumdog Millionaire– Movie Review

Slumdog Millionaire
Movie review
Starring: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan

Direction: Danny Boyle

Music: A. R. Rahman

Production: Christian Colson

After cashing in millions at the US box office, this Mumbai-based fairy tale is now here to woo millions of Indians.

A young boy from the slums, Jamal Malik(Dev Patel) is on the verge of winning 2 crores from a 'Who wants to be a millionaire' contest (Kaun Banega Crorepati) But the host (Anil Kapoor) is too sure that a person from the slums cant possibly know all the answers, so he brings in an inspector(Irfan khan) who interrogates the boy; both are sure that he cheated. But only during the interrogation does the cop come to know of the life of Jamal, and how all the events that has happened in his life are the
answers to each and every question. Jamal Malik is not interested in money but he is doing this for his one and only love, Latika. A love which has stood against all odds over one and half decades. Will Jamal prove his innocence and get what he wants? Well that’s something which you have to find out yourself in a theatre near you.

As expected it is a classic from the word go. The screenplay is immaculate, the editing is brilliant and there are no dull moments, even though the steam does go down a little in the second half. But the climax makes up for it. But this modern day fairy tale-masterpiece is not without any mistakes. The way the protagonists talk perfect English after living in the streets of India is something which was never justified. And Kaun Banega Crorepati was never a live event. The movie has many such small mistakes but what one cannot deny it has its heart in the right place, makes this a must watch.

Technically, the movie is special with some extraordinary work behind the camera. Editing by Chris Dickens is praiseworthy. But special mention should be made of cinematography Anthony Dod Mantle who has shown Mumbai like none other. The chase sequence of the two protagonists as kids chased by a couple of police constables is something which will take your breath away. Dialogues are just right and some like "If not for Ram and Allah I would have still got my mother" linger in your mind long after the screen becomes blank.

Now coming to the Music by our Mozart Rahman who has also received the best original soundtrack Golden Globe and nods for this years Academy, is exquisite. When you see the movie you can sense Rahman's hard work in making each and every tune get along with the overall feel of the movie. Danny Boyle who is quite famous for his movies Trainspotting and 28 Days Later which became cult hits, has at-last given a blockbuster, a ticket to stardom has always eluded this master craftsman but this movie catapulted him to greatness.

Dev Patel as Jamal Malik goes through the role quite easily. Freida Pinto also impresses even if she comes in a small role. Ayush Mahesh who acted as Jamal's younger version was a revelation. Irfan khan does his role in a dignified fashion, Saurabh Shukla is efficient as always, Anil Kapoor is passable.

Overall, the movie is brilliant and lives up to the hype. If only the credit roll song sequence was pictured properly or removed, it could have elevated the movie much more. This tale about love has all it takes to become the biggest grossing foreign language movie in India.

Verdict – Go for it!


Rahman reacts to the Oscar Nominations

In a much awaited and expected announcement, Slumdog Millionaire has got a whopping10 nominations at this year’s Academy Awards. Only ‘The curious case of Benjamin Button’ has more nominations with 13 under its belt. The nominations for Slumdog Millionaire include Best Movie, Best Director (Danny Boyle), Best Adapted Screenplay (Simon
A R Rahman
Beaufoy), Best Cinematography (Anthony Dod Mantle), Best Editing (Chris Dickens), Best Sound Editing (Tom Sayers), Best Sound Mixing (Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty).

A.R.Rahman has been nominated in two categories; Best Original Score and Best Original Song. The original song category has only 3 nominees and two of them are from Slumdog Millionaire (O saya and Jaye Ho), the third being from the animated film Wall E.

A.R.Rahman reacting to the news on being nominated for Oscar said,

"I feel really good. I am on top of the world. I thank God Almighty, all my fans and the musicians who have worked with me. It's an energy booster for all the people associated with the movie."

Danny Boyle talking about the nominations said, "It's incredible, we see Hollywood and Bollywood moving closer. A.R.Rahman couldn't come to the meet. He is busy doing Delhi 6. Can you believe it?"

An excited Anil Kapoor said, "It's a movie about Indians. It's a movie about us. I am very happy for A.R.Rahman. He is a genius. This movie is also going to do a lot of good to all the small technicians and actors who have worked very, very hard. It's their triumph"

Slumdog Millionaire had created sensation a few days back after winning the Golden Globe Awards for Best Director, Danny Boyle, Best original score composer, A.R.Rahman and Best screenplay, Simon Beaufoy.

With this, the hopes of a first Oscar for India have hit an all time high, the victory seems very much possible. So, keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best. The D-day is the 22nd of February. Let the Oscar come to India.


A.R.Rahman bags three Oscar nominations

Slumdog Millionaire bags ten nominations for Oscars at a ceremony held at Los Angeles, USA.

Director of the movie Danny Boyle has been nominated in the Best Director category. Screenplay writer Simon Beaufoy has been nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. The movie itself - Slumdog Millionaire
A R Rahman
has been nominated in the Best Motion Picture category.

Music director, A.R.Rahman has been nominated for two catergories - Best Original Score & Best Original Song. Two of the songs – ‘Jai ho!’ & ‘O saya’ have been nominated under Best Original Song category.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A.R. Rahman showered with rich tributes

A.R. Rahman

A.R. Rahman returned to Chennai after receiving the Golden Globe Award at the awards ceremony that was held in the Beverly Hills in the United States of America. It may be recalled that Rahman won the Best Composer award for the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

Being the first Indian to be honored with the award, Rahman received rave accolades from all quarters. Rahman was given a rousing reception at the airport soon after he returned with the award.
Film personalities such as Rajnikanth, Shankar, Abirami Ramanathan, Rama Narayanan and others were the first to extend their wishes to him. And it is now time to felicitate A.R. Rahman. The South Indian Film Musicians’ Association honored Rahman with a silk shawl in a ceremony held recently. Those who participated in the function are: the Associations’ chairman Sarangapani, the general secretary Abu Gabriel and office bearers V.R. Sekar, P.G. Venkatesh and Kalyanasundaram. It is learnt that another felicitation ceremony under the auspices of Chief Minister will be held soon.


CM to honor Rahman

As a tribute to his achievement at the Golden Globe earlier this month, Rahman will be felicitated in an event in Chennai. The event will be chaired by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi and kingpins of the industry are expected to attend the felicitation ceremony organized in this regard. An official announcement in this regard is expected anytime soon.
A. R. Rahman

First time for an Indian, Rahman brought home the Golden Globe under the best Original Score category for the film Slumdog Millionaire, directed by the British director Danny Boyle. While billions of his fans all over the world rejoiced at the announcement, Rahman, in his signature style, mentioned at the award night that he dedicated the honor to all Indians.


Delhi 6 - Music review

Rahman’s magical soundtrack

After tasting international success through Slumdog millionaire, the Mozart of India is coming up with his latest offering Delhi 6. Last year has been quite special for Rahman and his fans as whatever he touched turned gold whether it was Jodha Akbar, Ada, J.T.Y.J.N, Yuuvaraj, Sakkarakatti or Ghajini. And to top that all an international movie which got him the Golden globe - a lot was indeed riding on Delhi6 and the fact that Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and Rahman’s
Sonam Kapoor Delhi-6
last collaboration was the revolutionary movie Rang De Basanti, it just couldn’t get bigger than this. Let’s see if Delhi 6 can stand up to its huge expectations or not.

Aarti... (Tumre bhavan mein)

A devotional piece, which is so simple - which is what makes it so beautiful to hear. Not much of instrumental usage but the chorus put to good use make this a soothing listen. .


Another devotional song from Rahman about Allah. And this one will rank right at the top and a sure buy for all believers. The rich vocals by Jaaved Ali and Kailash Kher, some brilliant lyrics by Prasoon Joshi and immaculate use of instruments by Rahman makes this a special song which will melt even the hardest heart, and make it sway to the music. An answer to last year’s Khwaja mere Khwaja, so get ready to spread your hands slowly turn round and twirl with God. If only Rahman has himself sung this, it would have been a perfect rendition.

Abhishek Bachchan Delhi-6
Bhor bhaye...

A classical Hindustani style song sung by Shreya Ghosal, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Gujri Todi is a nice listen, and would surely go well and would impress more when we see the movie. A song, which will surely remind us of Rahman’s guru Illayaraja, especially the style of rendition by Shreya or the way the tabla is used. It bears an unique Illayaraja stamp on it. Illayaraja will surely feel proud of his prodigy, a job well done.

Delhi 6...

Now that’s what we are talking about, hip hop song on the lines of Rang de Basanthi’s Paathshaala. Blaaze, Benny Dayal, Vivinenne Pocha, Tanvi, Claire have enjoyed rendering this. The female voice repeating ‘yeh Delhi hai mere yaar’ is haunting. This theme song is so beautifully tuned that if you can close your eyes you can visually enjoy the streets of Delhi in a car, repeating it over and over again. This is going to become a 2009 anthem for youngsters.

Dil Gira Dafatan...

A sterling vocal work by Ash King makes this the most pleasing to hear romantic number in a long time. It’s a slow and soothing romantic song which will most probably be used as a background music and not mouthed by any actors. Rahman just uses simple string instruments and especially puts guitars to good use to give soul to this number. A song, which would surely become a favorite among fans of soft melodies. It has a striking similarity to Rang De Basanti’s ‘Tu muskaraye’.

Genda phool...

Rekha Bharadwaj, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Majumdar with supreme ease transform you to rustic village but Rahman with his brilliant usage of western instruments transforms you to another world of ecstasy all together. With Rajat Dholakhia sharing the music credits with the maestro, this little piece is sure to rule the charts and will be constantly used at many marriage functions!


It’s a small shayeri voiced by Amitabh Bachchan which is given an earthly, vibrating soothing music. The shayeri does demand a ‘wah-wah’. (As it runs for less than a minute we aren’t rating it).
Hey Kaala Bandar...

A rap and hip-hop song which sounds like a satire at the world itself, Karthik, Naresh, Srinivas, Bony Chakravarthy have rendered the song brilliantly with Rehmanism taking over. With peppy and danceable music this is going to ring in many phones as a ringtone for a while.


This has been running in our minds for quite a while thanks to the promos. Rehman’s slow poison seems to work brilliantly yet again as the 40 sec start up to the song in the promos’ have already captured the hearts of many million Rehman fans. And with the full song it is going to put the whole nation in a frenzy. It might be the next Kabhie Kabhie Aditi or the next Chaya Chaya to say the least. Brilliant placement of instruments and Mohit Chouhan’s lively rendition makes this a must hear. Masakali will do for Mohit what Chaya Chaya did for Sikhwinder.

Rehna Tu...

Rahman doesn’t keep the best to himself but whatever he renders would become the best automatically and this song sung by A R Rahman along with Benny Dayal & Tanvi is a simple song driven to greatness by our Mozart’s magical voice. A romantic number which will be widely used by people who love to spend their time at the beach watching the sunset. It’s magical.


Rahman has done it yet again, a perfect soundtrack, which has something for everyone. This is not a musical - this is magical! Go and buy the original CD available on T-series, as this album is going to fly off the music counters in no time. All hail the director Rakesh Omprakash Mehra for selecting these masterpieces and compiling everything together. Even if Slumdog doesn’t get the final nod from the Oscars this year, we have a worthy album, which can bring us the next!!