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Hollywood grooves to Rahman's tune

Chhaiyan chhaiya has been used in the opening sequence of Inside Man.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 17:56 IST

AR Rahman's chartbuster Chhaiyan Chhaiyan makes a surprise appearance in filmmaker Spike Lee's first Hollywood-backed film Inside Man.

The song is used in the background at the opening of the heist thriller starring Jodie Foster, Denzel Washington and Clive Owen. It is played again at the conclusion of the movie, which has drawn strong critical notice.

Lee, who has distinguished himself as a powerful independent filmmaker in the past 20 years, is for the first time directing a typical Hollywood production made by Universal Studios.

Digvijay Singh, a Los Angeles-based Indian filmmaker who watched the movie during a recent preview, while praising the film struck a bit of a jarring note about the Rahman number.

"The song does not really fit the film's mood although the film itself works very well," Singh Said. 

AR Rahman's chartbuster Chhaiyan Chhaiyan makes a surprise appearance in filmmaker Spike Lee's first Hollywood-backed film Inside Man.

Nevertheless, the Rahman composition written by veteran Gulzar has captured the imagination of mainstream American film watchers. At a production office here, an executive who saw the film, returned to his office and asked his Indian American colleague to get her a CD of the song right away.

"Acclaimed actors Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster come together to explore the lure of power, the ugliness of greed and the mystery of a perfect robbery in a combustible new crime drama," according to the movie's site.

A senior journalist with The Wall Street Journal based in Washington who saw the film said he was amazed at the rising influence of Indian movies. He specifically mentioned the Rahman song from Inside Man as an example.