"Jaya He" Theme by A.R.Rahman for Indian Navy

Interview in Sun TV - Tamil

Interview dated August 6th, 2006

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Superb Clarity song

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

By Kirk Honeycutt

Bottom Line: Once more Shekhar Kapur and Co. find fun and romance in 16th century English history.

TORONTO -- Queen Bess is back in fine form in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," the second of a potential three-part historical romance about England's Virgin Queen. Cate Blanchett has lost none of the brio that earned her an Oscar nom for 1998's "Elizabeth." Nor has returning director Shekhar Kapur toned down any of the energetic camera moves, pageantry or vivid colors he deployed to reformulate historical drama in the original movie. This is history writ large, presented in terms of larger-than-life personalities rather than changing political, social and religious climates. It's robust historical fiction, designed as movie spectacle, which calls out to toss aside dusty history books and join the fun.
Remnants remain from Hollywood's own golden age of historical drama. A musical score by Craig Armstrong and AR Rahman is virtually a character itself, huffing and puffing through nearly every scene, provoking tension and calling characters to action. Resplendent costumes, grand sets build in England's Shepperton Studios and architecturally magnificent locations all give a feeling of majesty. So the second "Elizabeth" movie should appeal to a broad age range, as did its predecessor. This unabashedly romantic epic from Working Title and Universal looks set to deliver boxoffice gold.

The good queen is now in her third decade of rule. No longer a young girl struggling to learn the ruthless ways of court life, Elizabeth is thoroughly at home with flattering wooers, fawning sycophants and courtly spectacle. (Indeed, with Kapur at the helm, her court looks like a circus with exotic humans, wild animals and nimble dancers vying for her pleasure.)

Storm clouds gather across the English Channel in Spain where King Philip II (Jordi Molla) assembles his Catholic forces to free England from its Protestant queen. This marks the filmmakers' attempt to contemporize 16th century European conflicts in a model resembling our modern struggle with religious fundamentalism. Elizabeth is seen here as the leader of the forces of enlightenment and liberality -- which is not entirely inaccurate -- against the religious intolerance and barbarism of the Spanish Inquisition.

In Michael Hirst (who wrote the first movie) and William Nicholson's screenplay, Elizabeth is a woman of action and sharp words rather than the historical Elizabeth, a notorious ditherer -- who nevertheless was a shrewd politician and social engineer -- and a ruler whose motto was "I see and keep silent."

Her circle of advisors has been reduced to one, the great spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham (a returning Geoffrey Rush). Her romantic interest falls on a person who was indeed a favorite courtier yet one historical gossip usually omits from her list of alleged lovers, the dashing explorer and author Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen).

The writers have moved up Raleigh's clandestine affair and marriage to lady-in-waiting Bess Throkmorton (Abbie Cornish) by several years so it can coincide with the legendary English defeat of the Spanish Armada. Raleigh plays a huge (and historically unlikely) role in this version of that battle but one that fits in well with the escalating drama of the Queen's personal and public crises.

That naval battle, recreated through all manner of movie trickery from digital effects to underwater action, is wonderfully staged and not too elaborate. (End credits even mention the use of footage from David Lean's "Ryan's Daughter," possibly those mighty waves crashing on a dark, rocky shore.) Blanchett in her glistening body armor astride a fine stallion overlooking the sea, delivering a great rally speech to the troops, gives the movie its most resplendent moment of sheer majesty.

Yet whether in her bath or glaring at underlings, Blanchett has made this Queen her own, a woman of fierce independence and thought, who only in her most private moments yearns for the male touch that she must deny herself. For virginity is part of her statecraft.

Rush is wily and self-contained as the spymaster while Owen as Sir Walter channels a toned down yet still quite debonair Errol Flynn. Cornish comes off a little too sweet and reserved for the rebellious Bess. The film never finds a way to fully utilize Samantha Morton as the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots, and fudges Walsingham's own possible role in Mary's "treason."

All in all, it's a grand package of hearty acting, design and action with the only caveat being that unlike the first film this "Elizabeth" can no longer surprise us with its modern twists.

Universal Pictures
Working Title Films

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Writers: Michael Hirst, William Nicholson
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jonathan Cavendish
Executive producers: Debra Haywood, Liza Chasin, Michael Hirst
Director of photography: Remi Adefarasin
Production designer: Guy Hendrix Dyas
Costume designer: Alexandra Byrne
Music: Craig Armstrong, AR Rahman
Editor: Jill

Elizabeth: Clate Blanchett
Sir Francis Walsingham: Geoffrey Rush
Sir Walter Raleigh: Clive Owen
Bess Throkmorton: Abbie Cornish
Mary: Samantha Morton
Robert Reston: Rhyr Ifans
King Philip II: Jordi Molla

MPAA rating PG-13, running time 115 minutes

Excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter

We need to be like Michael Jackson

AR Rahman tells Myleene Klass of CNN about evolution of music in Indian films

Do you think the use of music in Bollywood films has become slightly more sophisticated?
Yeah, there is a film called ‘Rang De Basanti’ which also was the official entry from India for Oscars, and this film, when I was doing it, I never knew that the music would reach so many people across the globe.

The songs were lip synced, just used like a background, but it seemed to blended well with the screenplay and the story. So I think it clearly proved that the people are changing and they are looking forward to more sophistic and non cliché stuff.

Was there a growing division, do you think, between films, between Indian films that are favoured by rural audiences and urban audiences?
I think the line is becoming thinner and thinner, really, because, unlike a couple of decades ago where people didn’t know anything about the happening outside. Now people know what it is that Hollywood and Chinese films are made of. This influences people and so filmmakers are compelled to do stuff which is world class.

I can see that the past six years a massive change has happened and there are extraordinary filmmakers who are evolving.

What do you think are the qualities of a truly great composer?
One needs to transcend somebody by even if it is just one instrument theme. And now the challenges of the composers are much more as its not just about composing a great theme. One needs to know recording, production and how to intertwine music with the movie.

And with Indian films it is an even greater challenge, because we need to be like a Michael Jackson or John Williams, Hans Summer and an Indian folk composer and put all of them together. So they expect finesse and they expect versatility.

Prakash goes Rahman's way

Quite like his uncle A R Rahman, the young music composer G V Prakash, the new entrant to Tamil film music is also doing his composing songs during night times.

Echoing Rahman, he says, “Night gives me a calm and serene atmosphere to work. Without any disturbance, I can get quality output during night times. I need perfect silence to produce quality songs”.

It may be recalled that Harris Jayaraj, another happening music director of Kollywood also prefer nights to compose songs.

Sultan the warrior-AR Rahman - Rajnikanth-Trailer

Watch the trailer of Rajnikanth, AR Rahman united animated film - Sultan the Warrior

Rajiv Kumar Hirani on Lagaan

Rajiv Kumar Hirani all praises for AR Rahaman

Asianet Theme by A.R.Rahman

Believe me, this one is the most wonderful jingle I have ever watched/heard.

Banyan Foundation Theme by A.R. Rahman

Good to watch our boss in action... Enjoy

WorldSpace ad video featuring A.R.Rahman

(C) Copyright of the video is reserved with Worldspace

Lets make it better

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Vande Mataram - Revival

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Vande Matharam

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Taj Mahal - One Love (Hindi)

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Pray for me brother

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Walk the talk with AR Rahman in NDTV

Visit the walk the talk with A.R.Rahman on NDTV related to Janaganamana video.

Walk the talk with AR Rahman

Sreesanth pens pep number for SA tour

Thiruvananthapuram • There’s perhaps no better way to troop into the Tewnty20 battlefield than by trumpeting, or rather improvising a marching tune. Kerala’s S Sreesanth has done just that, penning a six-liner for the hangama in South Africa.

Sreesanth’s Jago India has been sung by his brother-in-law Madhu Balakrishnan, recently a recipient of two awards from Tamil Nadu Government. The song is part of a music video album, produced Deepu Santh, his elder brother, and directed by Srikanth Murali, an associate of ace director Priyadarshan.

It’s the opening number of the 11-song Hindi music album and the bowler’s lines echo the A R Rahman patriotic numbers. Sreesanth’s lines offer a perfect prelude to the gladiatorial moments on the cricketing arena in South Africa, just days away.

He should be planning sweet recompense for the recent downturns in his career, coming home a cipher from the England tourney and the loss of 50 per cent earnings for his casual brash acts against rivals on the field.

Releasing the video of the song, Sreesanth said: “The song showcases Indian spirit and sentiment. It revolves round aspirations and hopes of the nation in the twenty20 World Cup”.

Har raat, har subha

Dekha hai khwaab yeh

Saara hindustaan

Saara hindustaan

Jagoo India...

Deepak Warrier, a BTech student of Federal Institute of Science and Technology, Kochi, has lent the tune. The speedster, famous for his on-field jigs, acts the song along with Madhu Balakrishnan and team of models. The album was shot at different locations in the country.

Reports say Sreesanth is aiming to make an impact with his slower ball in South Africa, where he caught the eye on tour nine months ago.

“I’ve basically been working on my slower ball. Twenty20 is about four overs per bowler and if I get my slower balls in the right areas, you end up getting a lot of wickets,” he told a journal recently.

The video is likely to be shown on TV channels during the SA tour. He is looking forward to playing in his hometown Kochi in the ensuing one-day series against Australia.

Asked at a school gathering in New Delhi recently about his impromptu dance after hitting a straight six against tall, imposing South African pace bowler Andre Nel during last year’s Test series, Sreesanth replied: “It wasn’t a dance, it was more like riding a horse”. That’s the kind of mood in which the 24-yearold is at the moment.