A question and answer session between director Ashutosh Gowariker and composer AR Rahman was the highlight of a press meet to promote their upcoming release Mohenjo Daro. A candid Rahman told Gowariker that when he first heard the premise for the movie, he thought it would be a “historical documentary. A boring historical documentary.” But he changed his mind after looking at some of the pictures that Gowariker had shot for the film. This helped him “go into his zone and unearth music with his imagination.”
Gowariker praised the composer for his ability to create soundscapes that are perfectly suited to the culture of the movie he is working in – Hollywood, Tamil, Hindi, the distinctly Latin American sound for Pele – and asked him “Does your mind switch cultures when your visa is stamped?” In response, Rahman admitted that as he gets older, it is becoming harder for him to do the culture-blending. “I used to do it better before, I can’t do it anymore; I am getting older. I want to go deeper into things.”
Speaking about his recent composition for the Hollywood film Pele: Birth of a Legend, AR Rahman said that irrespective of cultures, he taps into the deep emotions of “love, sadness, anger, romance and dreams” that is at the core of all human beings, and forms a “sweetening cover,” over them.
Mohenjo Daro‘s music was launched on 5 July by T-Series, marking the fourth time Rahman and Gowariker have worked together after the critically acclaimed Lagaan, Swades and Jodha Akbar. The high expectations from the duo seem to be working against them this time, with critics panning the album for ordinary lyrics and a score “loud enough to wake up the departed.”
A reviewer on YouTube admitted that he could not connect to the song Tu Hai on its own, but the visuals “make it come into its own. But,” he added, “we are so soaked in Lagaan/Swades/Jodhaa Akbar that anything right now will be mediocre for us, coming from the ARR-Gowariker combo.”
He went on to add what has been true for most of Rahman’s career irrespective of critical opinion. “This song will be a major hit.”