Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.(Photo/Amal KS)
Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.(Photo/Amal KS)

AR Rahman was not the first choice for Rang De Basanti's music, reveals Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

  • AR Rahman wasn't the first choice for the music of Rang De Basanti. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra had almost finalised musician Peter Gabriel.
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2021 12:01 PM IST

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has revealed that he had almost finalised musician Peter Gabriel for the music of Rang De Basanti. Peter is one of the founding members of the British rock band Genesis. Rakeysh said that something inside him said that AR Rahman should be doing it.

"The music of RDB was the soul of the film; the songs AR created became de facto national anthems," news agency PTI quoted his autobiography The Stranger in the Mirror. On his association with AR Rahman, he also wrote, "One of the greatest joys of my life has been to be inside the recording studio when AR is creating a song of mine, not because I feel the need to guide but because I enjoy seeing his creative genius at work."

"AR understands something very fundamental: there's only one truth when you're making a film - that you're making that one film. Music, editing, cinematography, art direction, wardrobe, lyrics, actors etc. all have to tell that same story. They all have to serve the film and the director's job is to remind each artist of the one vision that everyone is working towards," he also wrote in his book.

The book has a foreword by AR Rahman and an afterword by Aamir Khan. In his foreword, AR Rahman said, "For Rang De Basanti, Rakeysh wanted music that would make his rather dark subject into a movie that would stand the test of time. So, as a composer, I was always trying to interpret and go up against every situation in a way that was artistically beautiful."

He added, "For instance, I wanted to take the heart-breaking death in the film and make it more about liberation than loss. That was the foundation for the song Luka Chuppi. With that track, I created music that was metaphoric and symbolic rather than real and literal. In that sense, it was kind of going against the whole spirit of the movie, which was grounded in hard realities. But Rakeysh immediately and completely understood what I was trying to do."

His book, The Stranger in the Mirror, has been co-written by marketer-author Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta, is dotted with anecdotes from his life--from the 'chai-biscuit'-hostel days to the popping of the proverbial champagne.

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The book features first-person accounts of Waheeda Rahman, AR Rahman, Manoj Bajpayee, Abhishek Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, Ronnie Screwvala, Atul Kulkarni, R Madhavan, Divya Dutta and Prahlad Kakar.

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