Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Couples Retreat Music Review

Couples Retreat – Wordlessly mind-boggling
couples retreatIf A.R. Rahman had proved off his extraordinary adeptness on Indian touch with ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, he strikes marvelously with complete Hollywood-fangled melodies. The tunes are stunningly melodic and indeed aptly sound in accordance with film’s title ‘Couples Retreat’. The original soundtrack of ‘Couples Retreat’ has 15 melodies with uniquely spelled attributes.


Just heed to the fortepianos and mild-strike of chord with crystal-chimes accompanying them. Rahman adds to the Indianized touch by adding the Hindi word ‘Sajna Sajna Re…’ The English lyrics are mesmerizingly touching and perhaps, the western people wouldn’t have listened to such an appealing melody.


Vocal: A.R. Rahman
Fine! After uttering ‘Ellam Pugazhum Iraivan Oruvanukke’ – it’s one more turn to express his gratitude for his TAMIL. The song starts off with slow-rhythms of 6/8 March on soft-guitars later with slow-stringed running notes. The Tamil lyrics tuned in complete Hollywood style happen to be the best flavors. Totting up to the best panoramas is the unique-patterned rhythm on scissors. Sound engineering has been marvelously performed… Doubtlessly, KURU KURU is the best pick of soundtrack.

Jason and Cynthia Suite

Realms of stringed instruments as it keep playing on various octaves. The melodic notes are played on solo guitar and Cello joins the instrumentation in latter part. Merely after couple of minutes, the song is shifted to higher scales and it goes on with same notes. Trombones and oboes are played in final part. Moreover, it’s the best song that sweeps all on your senses.


It’s a Spanish-styled hip-hop with Blaaze’s specific vocalisms on rap lines. The beats over the synchronized drum pads keeps repeating while fill-ins over Brasses and trumpets over synthesizers does takes you straight into those ambiences.


If you ever spellbound listening to ‘SAJNA SAJNA’, Rahman delivers the same tune over instrumentals. All through the track, the scales are raised and lowered. Beats over Congo-drums with vibes mingled in makes it sound yet more embellished. More than all, Rahman has utilized more instruments on various parts, say, like cymbals, solo violin, flute and pan flutes.


Sounds quite unique from previous numbers… It offers the touch of meditational relaxation music with the style of percussions inherited from Tai Chi. the melodiously refreshing tune suddenly transforms into an emotional genre with flutes, cellos, violins and other stringed instruments coalesced on the parts. We get to hear orchestral-hits here and there.


Starts off with overpowering instrumentations over percussions, keyboards and stringed ones… Rahman has to thank his music supervisor John O’Brien for having engineered the entire group with such grandeur. Finally, after the fast-rushing instrumentals, you’ve Rahman’s vocalism echoing on higher tone.


Wow! This is the prettiest work that any music lover would’ve heard. On the beginning note, we have Mridangam, veena taking off with predominance later with sync-bass. A perfect ‘Jugalbandhi’ treat for everyone.


The track has some traces of previous number MEETING MARCEL and the notes are almost the same. Precisely, it would be more appealing with the visuals on screens.

LUAU by John O’Brien

Making it blissfully done over the sound supervising, John O’Brien scores on his show with country music with 12-string acoustic guitars. The running beats on Congo-drums make an impressive sound.


The song sounds much similar to Tamil song ‘Jumbhalaka’ that has the prelude starting off with Arabic intonation. The song has guitars and beats played on similar touch. As well, it has similarities with Rahman’s previous score for ‘Mein Alabeli’ in ‘Zubeida’.


The maestro roars again! Of course, put your best verdicts for the brilliant orchestration of symphony based track. Rahman’s vocalism on higher pitch emblazons it stunningly. If our guesses are right, the track should precisely be inserted somewhere during emotional sequences.

The Waterfall

Sounds to be a romantic track with guitars and slow-stringed instruments on show with dominance of flute in initial parts….


The track doesn’t differ from the previous version in any vistas. Rahman trenchantly brings the mix of various soft instruments of piano, guitar and violin. The slow stringed chords do accompany right throughout the song.


The musical track of ‘Couples Retreat’ winds-up with ‘Animal Spirits’ that has astoundingly marvelous score. It’s a track brimmed with full of high-spirited delight. So are the beats and instruments with perfect blend. The middle part has slow-running orchestrated stringed instruments while, again the last 20 seconds get back to the same cheerful touch.

Final Take:

Trust us! if ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ was Rahman’s ticket to Hollywood, ‘Couples Retreat’ has more probabilities of making it big for more fetes again. Especially the songs, ‘Sajna Sajna’ and ‘Kuru Kuru’ are sure to create sensational ripples all over the global market.
Cast & Crew:
Produced: John Isbell, Micah Mason, Udi Nedivi, Guy Riedel, Sandra J. Smith, Scott Stuber, Victoria Vaughn, Vince Vaughn

A.R. Rahman

 Eric Alan Edwards

Kristen Bell, Malin Akerman, Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Ken Jeong, Kristin Davis, Jean Reno, John Michael Higgins, Faizon Love

 Peter Billingsley

Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn


Verdict: Stunning, spellbinding and beautiful

Listening 'Passage'

Shekhar Kapur’s Passage (an A.R.Rahman musical in a way, the only moment there is no music behind is when a character says “the music has stopped”) opens with most unlikely sound for a film set in Venice - A Saarangi. Also in Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”, Rahman used the same instrument for the track “Divinity theme”. So, we don’t know whether it really is Rahman’s choice or Shekhar Kapur’s. The melody that is played on Saarangi could have been easily replaced by a cello, while Saarangi is pitched higher, a cello if pitched lower playing the same melody would have yielded the same effect. With a Cello, it would have easily sounded European grounded in the soil where the story takes place.

We may also need to completely understand the intensity of emotions that are on display here – loss, separation, reconciliation - to understand why the loudness is. How big the loss is? How long they have been separated? What this reunion means to them? Only if all these questions are clearly answered and understood, one can understand the loudness of the emotion put on display with the Saarangi. Only a non-Indian who has never heard the sound of ‘Saarangi’ before can say what it did to him while listening to it with the visuals. So, while I am sure that it is great music as a stand-alone track, I am not sure if it is a great score. But I must admit that this piece is such an important narrative tool for Shekhar Kapur without which it wouldn’t have been possible for him to convey what he wanted to in a short time. With just the sound of Saarangi you get that there was something devastating that “happened in the future” of those 3 little girls merrily playing there on the streets.

The very sound of Saarangi has a feel of longingness in it which is much louder and instantly striking than that of a Cello. But adding a universal touch


couples retreatI didn’t quite like the vocals in Sajna (which I believe is done by Vince Vaughn, he is supposed to have recorded a song for the movie), mainly due to the corny lyrics, but Rahman’s mesmerizing arrangement is more than enough to have you hooked to the track. The big surprise comes in the next track. How often do you get to hear Tamil song playing in a Hollywood soundtrack? Well here is one for you, Rahman crooning a chirpy Kuru Kuru set to a mildly folksy orchestration. A really addictive track this one, as I am discovering at this precise moment (thanks to a close friend for deciphering the lyrics). Jason and Cynthia Suite on the other hand begins on a more solemn note, Rahman employing all his orchestral splendour to a gradual buildup over three minutes before springing a surprise mode change to a more folksy segment led by the flute for the next two minutes. Nana which comes next, has a lot of tribal sounding words interspersed with rap in a carnivalesque track. I couldn’t discern Blaaze’s voice among the rappers. And I think the kid’s voice belongs to Rahman’s son Alim who had reportedly recorded a song in this movie.
In spite of a slight resemblance to 
Jaage Hai’s orchestral sequence in its grand opening, Tour of the Villas is an absolute treat, an instrumental and more elaborately orchestrated version of Sajna. Strangely enough for a minute-long segment in between the song goes into a karaoke mode without a leading tune, just the backing instruments playing on. Of course that takes no credit off this short and sweet track. Meeting Marcel, the next track, is a spiritual song, albeit arranged in a sinister manner. While the first half with a folk tinge is dominated by the flute, the latter half taking on a darker tone belongs to the violins. Itinerary is typical background track material rather than something intended for a CD. It is made up of a sequence of different tunes which wouldn’t make much sense unless listened to while watching the movie. Undress sounds very Indian and very nicely so, thanks to the extensive use of ghatam, no negative connotation intended mind you. Lasting just over 1.5 minutes, this track would have been a perfect fit in a movie like Lagaan or Swades. It will be interesting to see how the picturisation of this happens (my interest has nothing to do with the title I assure you!).
Sharks is another mindblowing track albeit a totally classical-oriented one (Puriya Dhanasri/Panthuvarali the raga is I guess). With the violins playing at a frantic pace to an equally frenzied percussion, this song took me back to Rahman’s classic Hai Rama for a moment. Luau refers to a Hawaiian feast. And John O’Brien’s sole score for the movie is quite evocative of the party mood with its very native arrangement. Salvadore is superb fusion, Kailash Kher’s well executed Hindustani tarana (similar to thillana in Carnatic) mixed brilliantly with a Latin/Middle Eastern instrumentation. Intervention is another track marked by its orchestral opulence, and the combo with Rahman’s soulful humming is quite deadly! The result, another totally riveting track.
Similar to 
ItineraryThe Waterfall also features a collation of varied tunes which would be better viewed than listened to. Rahman produces an elegant reprise to Jason and Cynthia Suite with Jason and Cynthia Piano Theme, cutting down on the orchestral elements and making it more easy on the ear. Things are rounded off with another bouncy track, Animal Spirits, which starts off as a spruced up version of Jason and Cynthia theme but then moves on along a different line for about two minutes where things take a turn, with a revisit to the opening sequence of Tour of the Villas.
After a long hiatus post winning the Oscars suddenly there is a deluge of Rahman songs. While 
Blue was more commercialised and Passage at a more esoteric one, Couples Retreat combines a bit of both. Honestly I didn’t expect a Rahman soundtrack to displace Passage from the position of his best soundtrack this year, so soon! And now the million dollar question is, will the movie turn out to be worth such a brilliant effort. Hope it does. You can listen to the soundtrack here.
Music Aloud’s rating – 
Recommended tracks – 
Kuru Kuru, Salvadore, Intervention, Tour of the villas, Undress


Rajini’s confession!

The Ulaganayagan Kamal 50 show, organized by Vijay TV to honor the achievements of Kamal in the world of cinema raised quite a few eyebrows. The Nehru Indoor Stadium was bursting at its seams with the who’s who of the film fraternity attending the same.
Few interesting occurrences spiced up the event, like the superstar’s confession about where he learnt acting. In his address, Rajini mentioned that during his earlier days, when he worked with Kamal in KB’s movies, the latter tipped him on how amazing an actor Kamal was and that how Rajini should learn the art from him. “From then on, I started observing Kamal in the sets and began to infuse his flavors in my acting. I learnt Kamal’s nuances when I worked with him and tried to bring it in my performance,” Rajini confessed.
He also revealed that he wasn’t comfortable signing up for Robot since the movie was scripted with Kamal in mind. “However, Shankar convinced me that he has made necessary changes and modifications to suit it to my character. Only after deliberations, I decided to take the project,” he added.


Listening 'Couples Retreat'

‘Couples Retreat’ is in a way the true entry of A.R.Rahman into Hollywood. He did some stage musicals, there were some Hollywood movies which used his Indian songs, he was a co-composer in ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ and also it was a movie by an Indian Director, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ was never meant to be such a huge success and even A.R.Rahman didn’t believe it was his ‘Ticket to Hollywood’ while working on that movie and moreover it was a movie set in India. But with ‘Couples Retreat’ is none of the above. The world knows who A.R.Rahman is and they expect him to go ‘Jai Ho’ again. Has he?

‘Sajna’ is a breezy romantic ballad done on a template ripped straight out of ‘Dreams on Fire’ (a gem which is yet to get its due) with simple lyrics and a catchy Hindi hook phrase ‘Sajna Re’. Except for that hook, the melody of song sounds simple and too much worked upon as they have tried hard to fit in lyrics for Rahman’s tune. It gets better with vocal harmony countering the main melody and is truly elevated at the end with a soulful string section smoothing the rough edges of the melody. But overall, this song is a very underwhelming start to the soundtrack.

But wait, a full instrumental version of the song comes up in 
‘Tour to the Villas’. The melody of the phrase ‘Sajna Re’ is almost the main theme of the movie. The sweeping grandeur of this theme as played on full throttled string section begins the track ‘Tour to the Villas’. I can imagine ‘Tour to the Villa’ being played when the couples enter the ‘Eden Resort’ in an Island and take a tour around the resort checking out what is in store for them. The music just follows them as they move through various sections. The track shifts from the main melody to another beautiful melody played on ‘Erhu’ (a Chinese Spa in the resort or a mediation or Yoga centre??), and to more ambient, soundscape music filled with ethnic percussions and exotic instruments that effectively puts the listeners right in the middle of the mood and space that it wants to create.

There is another main theme in the movie which first appears in the track 
‘Jason and Cynitia Suite’. It is a simple, soothing melody oozing romanticism. The melody is introduced in the very beginning on a guitar solo, and then it turns into a guitar concerto with strings joining in and replying to the guitar phrase by phrase. The melody slowly ascends up and turns into a full throttled orchestral piece proving that A.R.Rahman

OST Couples Retreat

Music: A R Rahman
Rating 4.5/5
A first peek into the music of Couple's Retreat was revealed by A R Rahman yesterday through this official facebook post. "The music of my first Hollywood comedy is unveiled! What do you think of it?" he wrote. Since then, his post has been abuzz.
Though the album 'Couples Retreat' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack comprises of 15 tracks and is yet to be released officially (physical/ digital downloads), here's a lowdown on some of the appealing tracks from the album.
The music has a world music appeal to it, and most likely, if you understand it or not, you'll still love it. For instance, Sajna (No, it’s not a Hindi track!) is a soothing English number with beautiful string sections and a resonating chorus line. This is the main soundtrack of the film and one can hear the core melody of this track throughout out the album.
Another gem is Kuru Kuru Kan (Afro Nisha) which is based on good old reggae music and has Rahman singing in Tamil- it's 'chillax' music, easy and going. The track Nana also treads on the same path, but is a lot more common. The best, however, is Salvadore. In this song, Rahman finds a common thread in Hindustani alaaps and Spanish tap dance music through Kailash Kher’s voice – the result is unbelievable.
Among the tracks that instantly hook the listener is Animal Spirits – you might well get transferred to the Caribbean’s! while Luau by John O’Brien may throw you in Hawaii thanks to the fun African rhythms, ukulele and slide guitars.
Other tracks (relatively shorter) like Jason and Cynthia Suite, Tour of the Villa’s, Meeting Marcel, Itinerary, Sharks, Intervention, The Water Fall, Jason and Cynthia Suite Piano theme are equally interesting melodies and are set to an operatic mood – wait till you watch this on screen.
The album credits Rahman as a producer and composer of the 'OST Couples Retreat'. So, these are not songs to which actors ‘shake a leg’. Needless to say, 'soundtracks' offer much larger canvas for composers to play with and Rahman has quite likely made the most of this opportunity.
Music of Couples Retreat truly sets Rahman into the International league. The grand international feel and the impeccably playful sound of this film will definitely find a way to a matured listerners heart. For those into shake-a-leg bollywood songs, will have to go for a walk.
'Couples Retreat' will certainly enchant Indians accustomed or open to western music. However, feedback from International listeners will give a larger perspective about the soundtracks popularity. Who knows, Rahman may just cast his second global spell!


Hrithik or Aamir in Telugu remake?

The producers of Hindi Ghajini – Allu Aravind and Madhu Mantena – are considering a remake of the Ram Charan Teja starrer Maghadeera in Hindi. The duo are reportedly working on it and trying to obtain the dates of Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan, sources say.

Speaking to the IANS, Mantena said, “Yes Allu Aravind and I are remaking Magadheera in Hindi. As for the cast, it’s too early to talk about it. But Magadheera is definitely being planned to be bigger than Ghajini”

It is worth a mention here that in the original, Ram Charan Teja played a dual role, while in the remake two different heroes are being roped in. Wonder what the producers have in mind.


Couples Retreat Music Soundtrack

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Exclusive: ARR’s ‘Couples Retreat’ tracks unveiled

Come thou art diehard fans of A.R. Rahman. The ‘Madras Mozart’ has all made it with a stupendous musical score for his Hollywood project ‘Couples Retreat’. The musician had expressed his gratitude of uttering few lines in Hindi and Tamil on the dais of Academy Awards, has again rendered his act.
Yeah! Couple of songs in the musical album has a song ‘Sajna’ and a full-length Tamil song ‘Kuru Kuru’. The musical album has 15 tracks with stunning instrumentations of various genres.
1.    Sajna Re
2.    Kuru Kuru – A.R. Rahman
3.    Nana – Rap by Blaaze
4.    Tour of the Vilas
5.    Meeting Marcel
6.    Jason and Cynthia
7.    Itinerary
8.    Undress
9.    Sharks
10.  Luau – John O’Brien
11.  Salvadore
12.  Intervention
13.  The Waterfall
14.  Jason and Cynthia – Piano Theme
15.  Animal Spirits


Rahman takes Tamil to Hollywood

For the first time in the history of Hollywood, a full-length Tamil song would feature in 'Couples Retreat', thanks to 'Mozart of Madras' A R Rahman.
The number 'Kurukuru Kan....' has been sung by Afro Nisha, whose voice has a striking resemblence to that of Rahman.
The Oscar award winning music composer said a few days back that his music for 'Couples Retreat' would be completely Western but with a touch of Indianess.
"There's no point in doing something I've already done. I've reached a stage where I've to do new things. There're so many avenues to be explored. So Couples Retreat will be their kind of music with my touch, done in my way," Rahman said.
Directed by Peter Billingsley, the comedy revolves around four couples who settle into a tropical island resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realise that participation in the resort's therapy sessions is not optional. It stars actors like Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman and Kristen Bell.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Endhiran’s blazing climax

The shooting of Shankar’s ‘Endhiran’ is fast approaching its climax! Currently the team is busy in putting its heart and sweat into the making of the movie’s climax.
Being the significant part of the movie, the scene features a fire bursting out of a scientist’s laboratory. This is said to be only a 4-min scene, however an elaborate set has been erected in the city’s Prasad Studios.
The production team has specially flown down few Hollywood visual effects companies to supervise this fire scene. This expertise will decide as to how and where special effects would be applicable while editing later.
Now, did you know that this is something new and done for the first time in our Indian cinema? Well, this method was earlier followed by a famous American filmmaker George Lucas in several Hollywood flicks of his times. Shankar had recently highlighted the importance of special effects and graphics in movies.
A dedicated man he is, our Superstar has insisted on staying on the sets, to see the shooting; although he has no role to play in it.
Hmm, now if such interesting things are happening on the sets, one would be really thrilled to experience the happenings live! Right?


Rahman in Bala's film?

A latest buzz in Tamil cinema is that filmmaker Bala may opt for A R Rahman for his forthcoming film, which would have Arya and Vishal in it.
Rumours were doing rounds that Bala's next venture would feature Jithan Ramesh and Jeeva in lea roles. However the director was tight-lipped. Sources close to Bala now say, "After intense discussion, Bala chose to repeat Arya (who acted in 'Naan Kadavul') along with Vishal for the movie'.
Impressed with the story narrated by Bala, both Arya and Vishal agreed immediately to do the film, it is said. Shooting for the movie might begin this year-end.
Unlike his other films, Bala has planned to completed this film in a short period.


AR Rahman on grooming his children

In an interview to a popular television channel, Oscar winning musician AR Rahman had said that it is a fantastic experience working with his children. While his son has rendered his voice for the Hollywood film Couples’ Retreat, his daughters have sung for the Hindi film Mangal Pandey.

The proud father said that he is happy to see the evolution of his children and groom them. Rahman said that his son’s interest in music came on its own and hence he decided to tap the potential to its fullest


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Silambarasan evades

Although there are still final touches pending for his Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaya, the multitasking Silambarasan has gotten around writing script for his next movie Vaaliban. As it seems, he is now indulged in developing the basic plot and the script.
As a result, he is also conspicuous with his absence in the film events including promos, audio releases and premieres. Vaaliban will also be directed by him.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rahman brings in Indianess without Indian sounds

Oscar winner AR Rahman is busy scoring the music for the Hollywood comedy Couple’s Retreat starring Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman and Kristen Bell. Speaking about this film, Rahman said that he would not use Indian sounds but would bring in the feel of Indianess in the album.

Rahman said in a recent interview, “I’ve reached a stage where I've to do new things. There are so many avenues to be explored. So Couples Retreat will be their kind of music with my touch, done in my way.”

The musician is also keen that there should be no traces of Slumdog Millionaire. According to sources close to Rahman, the musician feels that his best is yet to come.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Rahman’s new find

The Chennai Mozart and now the double Oscar winner A R Rahman made a humble start in the music industry in Indian cinema. Now he has attained so much popularity in the global industry which others dream of.
He is always known for being genius and creating something all the time.
Now sources indicate that he something new for the flick “Yanthram”. The buzz is that Rahman is using a new instrument called Continuum fingerboard. This is supposedly a virtual touch screen keyboard and has been used by very few musicians.
Many are waiting to hear the new instrument from the Mozart and are excited about this new find of his.

Blue -- shaken, stirred and stylish

Lara Dutta and Sanjay Dutt in a scene from BlueThis is undoutedbly one of the most-awaited albums this year, and AR Rahman [ Images ] goes all out to make the wait worth it.
Blue, the 70-crore multi-star extravaganza has a soundtrack that not only features Kylie Minogue [ Images ] in a casting coup of sorts, but also gives you Shreya Ghoshal [ Images ] as never before -- shaken, stirred and stylish.
Unfortunately, you may be a little disappointed with the first and the most high profile songs currently on air. Chiggy Wiggy featuring Kylie Minogue and Sonu Nigam [ Images ] is an elaborate composition with surprisingly pedestrian lyrics and a predictable melody. It is however painstakingly crafted and as you move from the sparse arrangements of Kylie's sections to that of Sonu's Bhangra pop, the canvas is suddenly a riot of mustard yellows and halwai oranges. It is a catchy dance track and there is not much more to that.
Quickly hop over to Aaj Dil, which is a fire and ice duet featuring Sukhwinder Singh [ Images ] and Shreya Ghoshal. Nothing is predictable about this song which draws inspiration from jazz, Carnatic, funk and what have you! Shreya Ghoshal gets into on a smouldering, sensuous avtar as she croons to Mayur Puri's evocative lyrics, ably supported by Singh. What also stand out are the guitar and bass lines. The pace, groove, melody and the vocals come together by design in Aaj Dil to make you go 'ooh yeah!'

Fiqrana again is an unpredictably built song, which progresses with great energy soaring sky high with the chorus. It is a tad lyric-heavy and a little too long but Vijay Prakash and Shreya Ghoshal do justice to this inspirational number.
If Bhula Tujhe harks back to Jaane Tu [ Images ]...Ya Jaane Na blame it on the credits. It has lyrics by Abbas Tyrewala and is sung by Rashid Ali who lent his voice to Kabhi Kabhi Aditi. It is a sad song, backed by an extensive western orchestra (Rahman's favourite Chennai String Orchestra) which gives it a 'big' sound. Guess now we know why Rahman picked up Rashid from a gig in London [ Images ]. He does not have a conventional, easy-on-the-ears voice, but a certain expression and timbre which will remind you of Rahman himself. And perhaps why the maestro gives him one of the more emotionally charged, melody-driven tracks in the entire album.  
Akshay Kumar in a scene from BlueThe Blue Theme by Blaze, Raaqeb Aalam, Sonu Kakkar and Jaspreet is dark blue with its mean-street origins in rap with a dash of electronica. The track ends with a plunge into deep seas, thanks to some clever sound design.     

Up next is one of my favourites from the album,
Rehnuma. Though the opening bars will definitely remind you of the title track of Jaane Tu ... (this too has lyrics by Abbas Tyrewala) with its slow jazz buildup, buckle up for Shreya Ghoshal. The girl is white hot and silken smooth in this killer track straight out of a 007 flick. Close your eyes to Rehnuma and you'll see slithering cocktail gowns and slim cigarettes, jet skis, limousines and smoking guns. And when Ghoshal goes for the kill in the chorus Qaatil adaa, she hits the spot, and how! Killer track.
The album ends on a disappointing note however with
Yaar Mila Tha, featuring Udit Narayan and Madhushree. This folk pop track is conspicuous by its jaded lyrics and treatment, and probably not something you'd look forward to on the screen either. 
Blue is not your run-of-the-mill assemblage of hummable songs with catchy riffs and melodies. The music is as global in its influences and execution as can be expected from Rahman and the scale of the film. You cannot use conventional wisdom to analyse it.
Blue also helps us rediscover the incredibly talented Shreya Ghoshal, who was lost somewhere in the cacophony of the mindless, assembly-line romantic duets. Thanks to Rahman, Ghoshal rises to the occasion. All guns blazing.
Rediff Rating: 


Shankar’s version of Maruthi Gypsy

Noted as the showman of the south, Shankar is one of the most sought after directors in the south. He is known to make his movies on a grand scale. Even though his budgets for movies are sky high, the producers have lot of faith in him.
He is currently busy with the shooting of “Yanthram” which stars Superstar Rajinikanth and the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai in the lead.
Sources indicate that Shankar has used a Maruti Gypsy for the shooting. However this vehicle has twenty wheels instead of the regular four wheels.
The car apparently costs Rs 3 lakhs for the making and currently, the shooting has been happening in Chennai at a brisk pace.

‘Endhiran’ confirmed for summer 2010

For sure, Shankar’s “Endhiran’ is worthy to be tagged as “ever longest project in the history of Kollywood’. The film started rolling, say, before 15 months and still the filming schedules haven’t been completed.
Earlier, during the occasion of “Eeram’ audio launch Rajnikanth had stated that his “Endhiran’ would hit the screens somewhere in December. But closer sources have now brought out the fact saying, “Although shooting would be wrapped-up within next month, it will take 4-5 months to complete the post production works.”
The sources further added that since director Shankar has used the latest techniques in computer graphics like “Animatronics’, it would take a long time to windup. “Animatronics’ is the most commonly used technique in Hollywood films where gigantic figures as Dinosaurs, King Kong and Anaconda were presented with realistic appeal. This is the first time that such a technique is being utilized in the history of Indian cinema.
Despites getting dashed down with their hopes, ardent followers of Rajnikanth have said, “Though it takes a very long time, it’s worth waiting for as our “Thalaivar’ offers something extraordinary in his each film.”


Shankar speaks on Endhiran!

Shankar has given an interview to a Tamil daily where he has said: “ Endhiran is beyond imagination, with much grandeur and richness.
You can see the effort which is to be taken for 10 films in this one film. Rajni is such an amazing hero. Just words can’t describe his efforts.”
On Rajini’s look in the film, Shankar says “Sivaji was just a sample of how young the star can look. In Endhiran he will look even younger. For his make up things, we went to America and searched in many places but nothing came right. Then we tried in India and it worked out perfectly for the character he plays. Normally make-up, Kamal will only take efforts for make up is the public opinion. But in this film Rajni has taken amazing efforts as he waited patiently for two three hours to put up the make-up.”
On Aiswarya Rai- Rajinikanth screen combination, Shankar says: “There was terrific chemistry between them, as she plays a medical student. Shankar added that the film has “never before seen special effects and graphics.” They have used a technique called “Animatronics” the use of electronics and robotics in mechanised puppets (Robos) to make them appear to be alive.


Kalabhavan Mani in Endhiran

South India's comedian-turned-hero and noted villain Kalabhavan Mani, known for his National award winning performance as a blind man in Vasantiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum (1999), will be seen in a meaty role in director S. Shankar's forthcoming Tamil science fiction film Endhiran, rumoured to be the last film by super star Rajinikanth before he enters politics.
The shooting of the climax scenes of Endhiran has begun recently. Sources say that 95% of the shooting has already been completed and the remaining portion, including a six minute climax fight scene, is being shot in Prasad Studios.
The first part of the climax was shot last week at the Siruseri IT Expressway. Some scenes were shot at the SIPCOT industrial estate in Sirucheri, where a Volvo bus has been used as a satellite remote sensing lab. Once the shooting is complete, Shankar will need another six to seven months to complete post production works, it is reported.


Soundarya as a specialist in ‘Endhiran’

Preparing for the final leg of the shoot director Shankar said that two songs are left to be canned abroad. “The first science-fiction film in Tamil will deal with the good and bad effects of robots in the backdrop of Indian culture”, said the director. Our superstar also confirmed it saying that more than 80%of the film’s shoot is over, during the ‘Eeram’ audio launch.
Sources close to the production house says that Sun TV is planning to release the film by April 2010. The reason behind the delay is the usage of EFX, CG and 3D animation techniques unlike another Tamil movie. They have used nearly two lakhs and fifty thousand frames for these special effects!
As all these works can’t be finished in Chennai alone, few important scenes have been handed over to a company in Canada. It’s heard that this particular firm has handled several Hollywood movies.
The focal information is that our hero Superstar’s daughter Soundarya is an important member in the team of Endhiran’s Digital experts’ team. The girl is always very much involved in boosting up her dad’s image… Great!

Shankar commends Rajni’s patience

Produced by Sun Pictures, shooting for Shankar’s Enthiran starring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is proceeding in full swing. Quite understandably, the director is unwilling to part with details of the script besides the fact that it’s a futuristic subject which requires a great detail of computer graphics work.
“I have always been fond of using graphics in my movies in songs sequences or at places where the script has demanded it. But with Enthiran, we’ve taken CG to the next level. However, I can vouch for the fact that audiences would hardly realize that graphics have been used,” informs Shankar.
Coming to Rajinikanth’s look in the movie, he says, “Well, yes, he looks much younger in this movie than in Sivaji. People said he looked very young in Sivaji, but when they see him in action in Enthiran, they’ll be quite stunned at how much more naturally youthful he looks,” says Shankar. Adding, “Spending longs hours on the make up chair is generally something one associates with Kamal Haasan, who has done it for scores of his movies. Well, for the first time Rajini has spent close to three hours almost every day getting his new look on! I really do appreciate his patience!” 

Music Review: 'Blue'

Music maestro A.R. Rahman is back with another soundtrack after composing the tunes to "Delhi-6." For his next gig, he has chosen something different to work with, namely the action-thriller "Blue." The news that A.R. Rahman worked on "Blue," and teamed up with Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, has caused a lot of buzz lately. Hopefully fans will appreciate this soundtrack since it offers a different sound and takes some time to get used to.
What We Think:
This soundtrack may not be one of A.R. Rahman's best work, but the tracks are somewhat enjoyable. The songs "Aaj Dil Gustakh Hai" and "Fiqrana" are definitely likeable - both tunes have a surprisingly different sound that makes their harmony romantic. "Rehnuma" is another romantic duet, performed by Sonu Niigaam and Shreya Ghoshal. But it may not stay with the listener for long. A.R. Rahman brings back Rashid Ali from "Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na" for the track "Bhoola Tujhe" and it brings back the original sound of the music composer. "Yaar Mila Tha" is a full-on masala party track performed by Udit Narayan and Madhushree. It sounds different from anything that Rahman has done before. As for "Chiggy Wiggy," any composer could have created it, but listen to it two-three times and you'll be addicted! The only thing that grabs your attention is the chemistry between Sonu Niigaam's bhangra portion and Kylie Minogue's Australian accent. We end the album with the track "Blue Theme" which gives lots of high Punjabi energy, complete with a lively orchestra and great vocals.
Best Tracks:
"Aaj Dil," "Fiqrana," "Bhoola Tujhe," "Yaar Mila Tha"
Worst Track:
"Chiggy Wiggy"
Final Verdict:
"Blue" is not a path-breaking soundtrack, but it is thoroughly enjoyable and beautifully orchestrated. A.R. Rahman's experiment with different sounds definitely gives it a good vibe.