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AR Rahman believes India sends wrong movies for the Oscars: 'Have to be in Westerner’s shoes'

Mar 16, 2023 08:53 PM IST

AR Rahman stated that India has been sending the wrong films to the Oscars. He believed we have to send films that will appeal to Westerners.

In 2009, AR Rahman became part of an exclusive club of Indians who had won an Oscar. While costume designer Bhanu Athaiya became the first Indian to win, Rahman, lyricist Gulzar and sound designer Resul Pookutty all joined the club as they nabbed the trophy for their work on Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. However, the composer was of the opinion that India hasn't been sending the right kinds of films to the Academy Awards to get noticed. According to him, we should see our films from a Westerner's perspective. (Also read: AR Rahman says ‘I want Naatu Naatu to win’ ahead of Oscars 2023: 'I want them to win the Grammy also')

AR Rahman won two Oscars in 2009 for the film Slumdog Millionaire.

After his Oscar wins in 2009, Rahman was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) which hosts the ceremony. The singer-composer is a regular voter and has been watching the films that qualify and get nominated.

In an interview conducted in January, Rahman had told musician L Subramaniam, “Sometimes, I see that our movies go till the Oscar… they don’t get it. Wrong movies are being sent for the Oscars. And I am just like DON’T. We have to be in another person’s shoes. I have to be in Westerner’s shoes to see what’s happening here. I have to be in my shoes to see what they are doing.” Rahman's conversation with the renowned violinist is now out on the Oscar winner's YouTube channel.

Things might be changing as this week, two Indian films, one in Telugu and another in Tamil, won in the categories they were nominated in. Naatu Naatu from RRR won Best Original Song for composer MM Keeravaani and lyricist Chandrabose, just like Rahman and Gulzar won in 2009 for the song Jai Ho. The Netflix film, The Elephant Whisperers, won Best Documentary Short. Director Kartiki Gonsalves and producer Guneet Monga went up on stage to receive the award.

In 2011, Rahman was nominated once again for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. This year, the composer has scored music on Rajkumar Santoshi's Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh. He also has Mani Ratnam's Tamil sequel saga Ponniyin Selvan 2, as well as the Hindi films Maidaan and Pippa coming out this year.

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