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It's a great, euphoric feeling, being at the top. Some lucky talented
ones attain it without much effort. But sitting on that chair can be
like sitting on a giant wheel. One minute you're up there, the next,
you're down. Ask whiz kid A.R.Rahman. Just yesterday he was being
heralded as the Number One music director in the country, the marvel who
pulled one foot-tapping tune after another out of practically nowhere.
Today, everyone is ready to knock him off the pedestal they'd placed him
on. To be very objective, Rahman's last few creations haven't exactly
topped the charts. The music of Tu Hi Mera Dil, Love Birds, even
Hindustani are being rejected by music lovers. What could have happened
to the man whose creativity produced such memorable sound-tracks in
Roja, Bombay and Rangeela? Why had the twenty-three-year-old
genius" music stopped appealing to music lovers? Is this is a
classic case of early burnout? Or is it just a temporary setback?
SHOWTIME decided to find out by speaking to a cross-section of the
industry and music world, and asking their views.
of the famous Nadeem-Shravan team said, "Yes, today Rahman's music
has got so repetitive that each song of his sounds the same. Most of his
songs sound like they are an extension of the original few numbers which
he had created in movies like Bombay or Roja. Technically, Rahman is a
genius but as a composer of late he has not been able to sustain
himself. Also, since most of his songs are dubbed, people have great
difficulty in following the lyrics. Ratan Jain of Venus who had marketed
A.R.Rahman's Hum Se Hai Muqabla from the original Tamil film Kaadalan
commented, "Of late it has become very easy to identify A.R.
Rahman's songs. All his songs bear similarities with his previous
numbers. The best thing about Rahman is that he uses an orchestra in his
songs, and he blends it so well. But the music market being competitive
he should realise that every song can't be orchestrated in a similar
way. To this adds Mr.Bohra of Polygram India who has marketed the hit
film Bombay and also one flop album called Love Birds, "Yes,
definitely A.R.Rahman's songs all sound the same and of late it's just
become too much. If I am allowed to, I'll say that the songs from
Rangeela were different. Here, it looked like he had taken some special
interest and done it quite differently. Also what happens is, since most
of them are later dubbed, a lot of their charm is lost like the songs of
Priyanka or Thiruda Thiruda or Love Birds. Another charge against Rahman
is that his style of working has irked many a director. Apparently, he
takes a very long time to create music and, according to filmmakers, he
is very selective about whom he works for. Is this attitude correct?
Nadeem doesn't find anything wrong with the working policy of his rival.
"See, there's nothing wrong if he works in this manner. This is a
correct attitude and that's how all the members of my fraternity should
be working. If he chooses to do a few films...I think such a style of
working can enable him to give his best. If Rahman uses an orchestra for
his songs he also uses different and rather unusual singers for his
songs, which works pretty well, like Remo Fernandes for Bombay or a pop
singer like Shweta Shetty for Rangeela, which has worked in his favour.
Nadeem nods in affirmation, "Yes, he is very good with such
gimmicks and they have paid off. Also he has to his advantage a well
equipped studio with modern amenities. But what's so great if he is
doing well here?" asks Nadeem and then continues, "If he is
doing well here it's probably because he is a bit different from the
North music directors. But in the South, Rahman is no great shakes. His
style resembles Ilayaraja's and many others." "The recently
released music of Hindustani isn't much to talk about. Save for one
number the album is quite thanda", says Bohra. "Our company
marketed two of his films, Bombay and Love Birds and the sales of Love
Birds was a disaster. Later on we realised that the original Tamil
version of the film itself was no great shakes, so obviously the dubbed
one wouldn't do well. Again the major problem we foresee is that those
dubbed movies do well which have stars from north, like Bombay has
Manisha Koirala or even Hindustani can since it has Manisha and Urmila
and Kamal Haasan who is not an out-and-out South star. But Nadeem
contradicts Bohra, "There is not much to hear in Hindustani. These
songs last till their publicity lasts, after that they eventually fade
out unlike our songs like Aashiqui etc, which one still hums even after
5 years." All three universally maintained that Rahman's songs lack
melody. Bohra stressed, "The age group between 18-25 go for
Rahman's type of music but the majority of them prefer to have soft
melody songs. So his market is restricted only to the teenagers. And how
long can that go on for? Ultimately where does one see Rahman after 5
years? Nadeem was quick to add, "See, there is no doubt that given
a right kind of an environment and with his potential he can do much
more, but for that he mustn't restrict himself. Also the instant fame he
has got, I can only say, it's because he is such a Namaazi fellow that
God has bestowed his good wishes on him.
he is nothing exceptional. Ratan Jain was more diplomatic, "I don't
know what will happen 5 years from now but Rahman will not fade out this
soon. While Bohra says, "It's all a matter of time, luck and
perseverance. Also one has the ability to see his faults in time and
take reasonable steps to rectify them. If all this is there than there
can be nothing which can stop Rahman from ruling the roost!"
A R Rahman fans, don't worry all these stupid people here are talking
like this because they are unable to produce good music so why not try a
hand on talking?!Our Genius will be the No.1 always and he will always
remain the best music director in the history of motion pictures!