Highlights:

  • . Filmmaker Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra revealed that Peter Gabriel was his first choice for the music of Rang De Basanti
  • . The music of RDB was the soul of the film; the songs AR created became de facto national anthems, the filmmaker wrote in his autobiography, The Stranger In The Mirror

Filmmaker Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra revealed that Peter Gabriel was his first choice for the music of Rang De Basanti. Peter Gabriel is one of the founding members of the British Rock Band Genesis. Rakesh said that something inside him encouraged him to approach AR Rehman with the offer.

The music of RDB was the soul of the film; the songs AR created became de facto national anthems, the filmmaker wrote in his autobiography, The Stranger In The Mirror. “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,” he wrote on his collaboration with the iconic music composer.

“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 further added.

The autobiography of Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra also consists of a foreword written by AR Rahman and an afterword by Aamir Khan. “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” wrote AR Rahman.

He further wrote, “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.”

There are also first-person accounts by Waheeda Rahman, AR Rahman, Manoj Bajpayee, Abhishek Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, Ronnie Screwvala, Atul Kulkarni, R Madhvan, Divya Dutta, and Prahlad Kakkar in the book.

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