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From Chennai music band to Hollywood: 25 years of Ar Rahman

MusicRahman has experimented across genres of music and has left his stamp on each of them.CV Aravind ar rahman pti-compressed.jpgPTIAs a young boy, he used to hang around when his father, Rk Shekar used to compose music for films. At nine, Dileep Shekar lost his father and had to don the mantle of the family’s breadwinner soon after. Renowned music directors like Dhanraj and M K Arjunan took him under their wing and young Dileep could by then play the synthesizer like a young pro. After the family embraced Islam, Dileep was re-christened as Alla Rakha Rahman and came to be known in the field of music as Ar Rahman. With music in his genes, he soon gained mastery over several instruments and with a group of friends, he formed a music band called. ‘Roots’. From there, he graduated to composing music for jingles. He also earned expertise in his craft by freelancing for music directors like Ms Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraaja and Raj Koti and also found opportunity to accompany stalwarts like Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L Shankar. In 1992, veteran director Balachander produced Roja under his home banner with Mani Ratnam as director. The duo decided to introduce a new music director for their film and the opportunity came Rahman’s way. Until then, Ilaiyaraaja had been Mani’s favourite composer and his scores had embellished films like Mouna Ragam, Agni Nakshathiram and Nayagan among others. But the gamble paid off and Roja heralded the arrival of a new composer who would eventually conquer the world of film music in the years to come. With a baton like a magic wand, Rahman would regale audiences around the globe, working not just in Kollywood and Bollywood but in Hollywood films as well. Roja became a trendsetter for its music score and Rahman made bold by introducing singers like Minmini (Chinna Chinna Aasai) while relying on proven performers like Sp Balasubramanian, Chitra, Sujatha, Unni Menon and Hariharan. Vairamuthu’s lyrics set to Rahman’s music in Roja became a rage and the two of them would later work together in several movies, enthralling listeners of all ages. If Kadhal Rojave had a ring of pathos to it, Rukkumani Rukkumani was a foot tapping number and Hariharan’s rendering of Thamizha Thamizha was rich in its soulful quality. Rahman might have worked in any number of films after Roja but there are many admirers who still feel that he is yet to surpass Roja, the lyrics of which also became chartbusters in Hindi and Telugu. And incidentally Time magazine has included Roja in a list of top ten soundtracks of all time. A commonly heard quip is that Rahman has always reserved his best for films directed by Mani Ratnam who was instrumental in giving him his first break. And logic supports this argument as Rahman has won two of his four National Awards for Mani’s films (Roja and Kannathil Muthamittaal) and their combination turned Bombay into one of the largest selling albums in Tamil cinema. Rahman has also been an integral part of Mani’s Hindi films like Dil Se, Yuva, Guru and Raavan. The soundtracks of other Mani films like Kadal, O Kadhal Kanmani and Kaatru Veliyedai too bore Rahman’s stamp. Apart from Mani, Rahman has also shared a great rapport with director Shankar who has repeated Rahman in all his films right from his debut film Gentleman. Their latest collaboration 2.0, starring Rajnikant which is slated to hit the screens next year, is eagerly awaited by the diehard fans of the actor, the director and the music director as well. While most of the films for which he composed the music were set against an urban backdrop, Rahman was not found wanting when working for films with pastoral themes either. His films with Bharathiraaja, Kizhakku Cheemayile and Karuthamma amply proved that rural themes were right up his street. Sangamam was another classic example of Rahman excelling in compositions with a distinct folk flavour. Jana Gana Mana and Vandhe Madharam, his non film albums too were huge hits. Rahman was no stranger to Bollywood as the lyrics in the dubbed versions of his films like Roja and Kadhalan had turned out into smash hits. However, his first break in Hindi cinema came through Ramgopal Varma’s Rangeela, the Aamir Khan starrer which was a runaway hit. A number of films like Taal, Swades, Rang De Basanti, Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar enabled him to establish himself firmly in Bollywood. Veteran director Subhashi Ghai who directed Taal once confessed that he was almost driven to despair by the unique working style of the maestro whose composing generally began after all the cows had reached home and went on till the wee hours of the morning. But Taal was an inspiring score that was instrumental in the success of the film at the box-office. Rahman won a National Award for Lagaan a film based on a rural subject and the tunes became chart toppers in no time .His scores in films like Rockstar, Ranjhaana and Highway too were highly appreciated. While Rahman also composed music for stage productions like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams and Deepa Mehta’s Water, the crowning glory came with Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire a blockbuster which had riveting music. Two Academy Awards, BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe and two Grammy’s were among the honours that have come to Rahman for his overseas assignments. While fast, peppy numbers like Chikku Bukku Rayile (Suresh Peters, G V Prakash), Muqabla Muqabla (Mano, Swarnalatha) have been his forte, his melodies like Munbe Vaa (Naresh Iyer, Shreya Ghosal), Mannipaaya (Shreya Ghosal, A R Rahman ) and Yaarumilla Thiraiarangil ( Swetha Menon) have tugged at the heart strings of listeners across the world. There is hardly any genre of music that the Mozart of Madras has left untouched and his versatility has been the hallmark of his musical career. Experimentation has been a key word in his dictionary and in instrumentation, using non-traditional voices and so on, Rahman has blazed a new trail. Rahman’s expertise has stretched to classical, western, pop, reggae and sufi, music and he has left his stamp on all of them. Apart from his international awards, Rahman’s tally includes four National Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards, 16 Filmfare Awards ( South) and a Padma Bhushan as well. His state of the art Panchathan Studio in Chennai and a highly popular music school are among his abiding passions. Enanble Notification: NoTNM Marquee: No
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Aamir Khan starrer Rang De Basanti to be screened at Mauritius Film Festival

Aamir Khan starrer Rang De Basanti to be screened at Mauritius Film Festival
Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s hit film Rang De Basanti that created a lot of noise for its modern depiction of freedom and independence, will be screened at the Mauritius Film Festival on Saturday and Sunday. Mauritius is celebrating 50 years of independence next year and the inaugural film festival is a part of the celebrations.Read More

The post Aamir Khan starrer Rang De Basanti to be screened at Mauritius Film Festival appeared first on Bollywood Hungama.
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12 Top Films to Celebrate Indian Independence Day

12 Top Films to Celebrate Indian Independence Day
Seventy years ago India got its independence from the Brits, but that freedom didn’t come without pain, as the country was severed in two and Pakistan was formed. Though the British censors banned any entertainment that encouraged independence, Indian cinema was right there recording the country’s highs and lows. But after a spate of such films, audience taste changed — the freedom struggle was deemed dreary and filmmakers turned to the subject only sporadically. Here are a dozen films that show the patriotic fervor and sorrow of Partition — which ones do you remember?

Nastik (1954)

In this Partition tale, a brother wreaks revenge on the priest who sold his sister into prostitution during the migration of people from the two sides. Starring Ajit and Nalini Jaywant and directed by comedian I.S.Johar, the heart-rending story mirrored the real-life upheaval in which children were separated from their families as huge waves of Hindus, Muslims
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Prasoon Joshi replacing controversial Pahlaj Nihalani as head of India's censor board

  • ScreenDaily
Prasoon Joshi replacing controversial Pahlaj Nihalani as head of India's censor board
Nihalani banned Lipstick Under My Burkha earlier this year.

Prasoon Joshi has been appointed as the head of India’s Central Board of Film Certification, replacing Pahlaj Nihalani.

Since his appointment in 2015, Nihalani has been involved in many controversial decisions, including the banning of Indian drama Lipstick Under My Burkha, and his objection to the word “intercourse” in Imtiaz Ali’s Jab Harry Met Sejal, starring Shah Rukh Khan.

The censor board ruled that Lipstick Under My Burkha was too “lady oriented” and contained abusive words and audio pornography. However, the filmmakers appealed and the board’s ruling was overturned, enabling the film to be released with some voluntary cuts.

Nihalani also said the word “intercourse” could be reinstated in Jab Harry Met Sejal if 100,000 people voted to keep it in. When the resulting petition sailed past that number of signatures in a short period of time, he started adding conditions about the age and marital status
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India Replaces Controversial Censor Board Chief

India’s controversial head of the Central Board of Film Certification, Pahlaj Nihalani, has been replaced, it was announced Friday. Since his appointment in 2015, Nihalani, a former Bollywood producer, had unleashed many a controversy over his demands for cuts in films.

According to an official notification by India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Nahalani has been replaced before the end of his three-year term by Prasoon Joshi, a well-known lyricist, screenwriter and veteran advertising executive who is currently chairman of McCann India. His film credits include hit Bollywood titles such as Disney-utv’s Rang De Basanti and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which was...
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India Fires Controversial Chief Censor Pahlaj Nihalani

India Fires Controversial Chief Censor Pahlaj Nihalani
The Indian government has sacked its chief censor Pahlaj Nihalani. His bizarre decisions had outraged the film industry against the Central Board of Film Certification, also known as the Censor Board of India.

Nahalani is to be replaced by Prasoon Joshi, a leading light in both the film and advertising industries. Urbane and approachable, Joshi has numerous script and songwriting credits on films including “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” “Rang de Basanti,” and “Taare Zameen Par.” He is simultaneously CEO of McCann World group India, and Asia Pacific chairman of global marketing firm McCann Erickson.

In his two and a half-year tenure at the Censor Board Nihalani’s decisions ranged between the conservative, the politically-motivated and the simply baffling. He ordered cuts to the love scenes in James Bond film “Spectre,” the banning of “Lipstick under My Burkha” on the grounds that the film about female sexuality was “lady-oriented” and might offend Muslims. The
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Popular star’s baby shower picture is trending

Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan shared an adorable picture with her husband on Twitter and wrote,"It isn't a party without balloons ð...!". The picture is from her baby shower event. Soha looks gorgeous, she wore a pink Bengali traditional saree, and there is so much happiness glowing on the couple's face who is waiting for their first baby. 

Soha Ali Khan is actor Saif Ali Khan's sister and the daughter of cricketer Tiger Pataudi. Rang De Basanti and Antarmahal are considered to be some of her best works till date. The couple Soha and Kunal Khemu married in...
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Ar Rahman to celebrate 25 Years in music with the “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” concert in London

Here’s some exciting news! Academy Award (Oscar) two-time winner and five-time nominee, Grammy two-time winner, BAFTA, and Golden Globe winner, the legendary Ar Rahman, returns to the Sse Arena Wembley on Saturday 8th July 2017 after seven years with the “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” concert.“Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” will chronicle Ar Rahman’s musical journey from past to present to future celebrating 25 years of creating his incredible music.

Discussing the forthcoming UK show, Ar Rahman says, “From Roja to Rockstar, Kaatru Veliyidai and more, it has been an incredible musical journey over these last 25 years. I’ve been immensely blessed to have the love and support of my fans, music lovers, friends and well-wishers. It continues to inspire and motivate me. Come, join me on the 8th of July at Wembley, London! Accompanying me is an amazingly talented and energetic team of singers and musicians.”

Popularly known as the man who has redefined contemporary Indian music,
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Sushant Singh Rajput and Madhavan share some bromance on Twitter!

Madhavan is going to be the newest star joining the star cast of the much-awaited film, ‘Chanda Mama Door Ke’. The movie is touted to be India’s first space-adventure film. Sushant Singh Rajput and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are already on-board for the film and now, in some welcoming news, the ‘Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein’ heartthrob is all set to play an Air Force Pilot in the movie. How cool is that! Interestingly, Madhavan also played a Pilot in the hit film, ‘Rang De Basanti’. Sushant Singh Rajput who was last seen in ‘M.S. Dhoni: The Untold story’ will be seen playing an astronaut in the film. He couldn’t be more happier and shared some bro-mance on Twitter! Check out their tweets: Well, we fell in love with the Pilot Maddy of ‘Rang De Basanti’ and with a subject as quirky as the upcoming one, we can’t wait
See full article at FilmiPop »

Madhavan to play a pilot in a first ever space film!

Actor Madhavan will be playing a pilot for the third time in his career, in a sci-fi Hindi film Chanda Mama Door Ke. This apparently will be the first ever Bollywood space film. Maddy has the experience of playing a pilot in Rang De Basanti and also in a serial named Serial Sea Hawks.

Madhavan will be sharing the screen with ‘Ms Dhoni’ fame Sushant Singh Rajput for this film directed by Sanjay Puran. Both the actors are supposedly working on the simulators to get the hang of what they will have to shoot for. Chanda Mama Door Ke is...
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Moderately famous, Soha Ali Khan to pen down her autobiography

As per reports, Soha Ali Khan is set to join the club of Bollywood celebrities and write her own autobiography which is titled as ‘The perils of being moderately famous’. The book is to be published by Penguin Random House. Soha’s book which is set to come out this year, will contain some humorous stories and anecdotes from Soha’s life as a royal princess in Bollywood. Soha, who got married to fellow actor Kunal Khemu last year, belongs to the Pataudi lineage and is known as Nawabzaadi Soha Ali Khan of Pataudi and Bhopal. Soha, who is known for her roles in ‘Rang de Basanti’ and ‘31st October’ also hosted reality shows and is an avid reader. The book will reveal details about her rather famous family and their tales. Speaking about the book she said, “If you are hoping I will reveal the secret behind Kareena’s
See full article at FilmiPop »

Aamir Khan in ‘Dangal’: How a Major Bollywood Star Uses Cinema to Raise Awareness

  • Indiewire
Aamir Khan in ‘Dangal’: How a Major Bollywood Star Uses Cinema to Raise Awareness
Call Aamir Khan a perfectionist, and he’ll lightheartedly brush off the label, preferring to describe himself as simply “passionate” instead. Terminology aside, a mere glance at his 28-year career is ample proof that for Khan, going the extra mile is practically the equivalent of slacking off—the 51-year-old actor, producer, and director usually travels another 10 for good measure.

He did it in 1998’s “Ghulam,” when he turned down a body double or special effects in favor of sprinting towards an oncoming train for a stunt, avoiding it by a mere second and gambling his life for the sake of realism.

In 1999, when a script about 19th century villagers protesting British land tax with a game of cricket was dismissed by every financier in Bollywood, Khan took on his first producing role alongside his acting credit to make the film. Three years of grueling production later, “Lagaan” became the third
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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya to screen at Picturehouse Central

Following its European Premiere at the Love Gala screening at BFI London Film Festival and its international festival run, BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s cinematic ode to love, Mirzya, will be screening at Picturehouse Central from 23rd December 2016.

Produced by Cinestaan Film Company and Romp Pictures, Mirzya is helmed by the multi award-winning Mehra, whose accomplished body of work includes critically hailed biopic, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and celebrated Indian drama, Rang De Basanti – BAFTA-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and India’s official selection for entry to the Academy Awards.

Embodying new age Indian cinema, Mirzya introduces a new generation of acting talent in principals, Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher, alongside Anuj Choudhry, all of whom make their screen debuts in this tragic love story, conveyed in the director’s inimitable style. Supporting them onscreen is Anjali Patil and a seasoned ensemble of internationally renowned veterans comprising Art Malik,
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Siddharth slams Ranveer Singh for objectifying women in his new ad

Siddharth slams Ranveer Singh for objectifying women in his new ad
Rang De Basanti actor Siddharth, who works in Tamil industry as well, is known for taking a stand on various issues. Now, Siddharth has raised his voice against Ranveer Singh’s new ad for a clothing brand. Siddharth called out Ranveer Singh’s new ad for the brand Jack and Jones in which he is lifting aRead More

The post Siddharth slams Ranveer Singh for objectifying women in his new ad appeared first on Bollywood Hungama.
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Aamir Khan is back with a bang in Dangal trailer: A look at the perfectionist's diversity

The much-awaited trailer of Aamir Khan's Dangal is finally out and once again the Bollywood's perfectionist has managed to surprise us with his new avatar and stellar performance. The superstar, who always believes in experimenting with his looks with every role he does, has completely transformed himself into a wrestler and can be seen grappling and pinning down his opponents in the wrestler ring. The Nitesh Tiwari's directorial, which tells the inspiring journey of a wrestler father Mahavir Phogat who trains his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari in wrestling in a small orthodox village of Haryana, will see Aamir playing three different ages in the film. From playing a 50-year-old beefed up wrestler to a young muscular toned Mahavir Phogat, Aamir Khan has undergone dramatic tranformation for his role. In his past films also, the actor has always surprised his fans with his new looks that showcase his diversity.
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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Mirzya’ received its Gala Premiere at The 60th BFI London Film Festival

Celebrated Indian filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s latest cinematic masterpiece, Mirzya, received its Gala Premiere at the 60th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® on Thursday 6th October.

International actor Anil Kapoor, the father of the lead star Harshvardhan Kapoor, and his sister, Bollywood actress and India’s style icon Sonam Kapoor, walked the Red Carpet along with leading lady Saiyami Kher, co-star Art Malik, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, producer Rohit Khattar, amongst others.

Mehra’s accomplished body of work includes critically hailed sports biopic, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and celebrated Indian drama, Rang De Basanti – BAFTA-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and India’s official selection for entry to the Academy Awards. Says Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, “It cannot get more exciting than this. ‘Mirzya’ now has the perfect partner in BFI – needless to say it’s an honor to have a Premiere at the London Film Festival.
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“Mirzya Is A Visual & Emotional Feast” – Subhash K Jha

Mirzya

Starring Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Rating: **** ½

Interestingly and curiously—and these are feelings that propped up repeatedly as I watched the maverick movie making magician Mehra’s fifth directorial pilgrimage into the mysteries of cinema—Mirzya doesn’t mention its debut making lead pair as ‘Introducing’…

That’s because continuity and renewal are critical to Mehra’s vision of cinema. He moves, no he glides, from one era to another without punctuation marks in pursuit of that uncorrupted core of humanism which makes life worth living even in the worst of times (and honestly, it can’t get any worse than now, can it?).

Mirzya is a very simple yet extremely layered love legend. The lovers here face what lovers everywhere have faced since love was discovered in the human heart. As in Rang De Basanti, Mehra creates two level of storytelling, one that
See full article at Bollyspice »

‘Mirzya’ Review: Lush Bollywood Romance Spans Disparate Time Periods With Unease

  • Indiewire
‘Mirzya’ Review: Lush Bollywood Romance Spans Disparate Time Periods With Unease
There’s a good reason why epic love stories are almost always set in ancient times. Something about how we can only conjure these bygone eras in our imaginations allows us to fully buy into the grandeur, magnitude and theatrics that usually characterize these sagas. It’s rare to successfully make that level of passion and scale hold up in a modern day framework. While director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and writer Gulzar are particularly good bets for storytellers who can try — the former blurred the lines between past and present in his BAFTA-nominated “Rang De Basanti,” while the latter has been penning screenplays and song lyrics since 1960 — even the duo can’t quite make it work with “Mirzya.” The film’s contemporary setting does little to enhance the age-old tale at Mirzya’s core or make it approachable for current audiences.

Read More: Bollywood Star Ajay Devgn on 25 Years of
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In Conversation with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and his tale of Mirzya

From the heartbreaking but brilliant Rang De Basanti, to the wonderful Delhi 6, to the inspiring Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has brought Indian cinema some of its greatest films.

With his film Mirzya, he has now turned his focus on the Punjabi folk tale Mirza-Sahiban, but presenting it in a unique way. Interweaving the legendary folklore with a contemporary version, this musical brings out the story of a love that will never die. Joining him in transforming this story is the esteemed writer and poet Gulzar. Adding to the worlds of Mirzya is music by the great Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy.

Mirzya introduces Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher, along with Anuj Chaudhary. Also bringing the story to life are the screen masters, Om Puri, Art Malik, and K. K. Raina.

Some of my absolute favorite interviews to conduct are with directors because they just love talking about their movies.
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Mirzya: Dare To Love’s Stunning New Trailer

From the first look, to the intriguing teaser and trailer, to the incredible music, Mirzya has defintely been a film that we have been eagerly waiting to see. And now we have a brand new trailer that is absolutely stunning and makes us excited to see the story play out on October 7th!

Mirzya is a film inspired by the legendary ‘Mirza Sahiban’, a tragic tale of star-crossed lovers. Accompanied by heightened drama and action packed sequences, the film plays out in two parallel worlds – the legendry folklore and modern day in Rajasthan, India. As the lovers grapple with forces that seek to keep them apart in both avatars, they discover that a moment of true love together is worth sacrificing lifetimes apart.

The film introduces Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher, along with Anuj Chaudhary, all of whom make a dramatic entry into the world of cinema in this untold love story of estranged soulmates.
See full article at Bollyspice »
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