Posts Tagged ‘A.R. Rahman’

Best Scores of 2018, Part I

January 11, 2019 6 comments

This is the first installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world. Rather than grouping the scores on a geographical basis, this year I decided to simply present the scores in a random order, and so this first batch includes five scores from several disparate locations – a stunning romantic TV drama from China, a political drama score for a TV series from Egypt, a drama score from India by one of the world’s most successful composers, and two standout works from Spain – a historical TV drama series, and a stunning documentary work about mysteries of science, nature, and space. Read more…


March 14, 2017 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There have been quite a few films made about the independence and subsequent separation of India into three countries – India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – towards the end of the British Empire. Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy from 1986 looked at the events from the point of view of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the final British ruler of the country prior to independence in 1947. Jinnah from 1998 was a fairly straightforward biopic of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Pakistani independence movement. Partition from 2007 took a more personal view, looking at the lives of family members who were separated along religious lines. The new film Viceroy’s House, directed by Anglo-Indian filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, is yet another look at these important events, but this time from the point of view of the members of Mountbatten’s household, who witness the historic transfer of power, and the political and social upheaval of the period, from front row seats. The film – which has been described as having an Upstairs-Downstairs, or Downton Abbey feel – stars Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson as Lord and Lady Mountbatten, and Manish Dayal and Huma Qureshi as Jeet and Alia, members of Mountbatten’s staff who fall in love, and has support from a plethora of British character actors, including Michael Gambon, Simon Callow, and the late great Om Puri. Read more…

Best Scores of 2015 – Asia

January 27, 2016 3 comments

The sixth and final installment in my series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from Asia, although all of main ones this year are from the far eastern nation of Japan, with a couple of interlopers from Iran and the Lebanon. In this article, I’m taking a deeper look at several truly excellent works, which range in scope from anime movies and prestigious TV series to fantasy adventures, small-scale dramas, and religious epics. Read more…


August 23, 2014 4 comments

hundredfootjourneyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a film about a clash of cultures – physically, geographically and gastronomically. It stars Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory, the perfectionist owner of a high class Michelin-starred restaurant in a quaint French village, whose life is thrown into turmoil when the Kadam family, recently arrived from India, moves into the building across the street from her restaurant. Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), the eldest son of the family, is an enormously talented chef in his own right, and with the help of his father (Om Puri), wants to open an Indian restaurant in their new building – much to the disgust of Madame Mallory, who snootily thinks that the new arrivals will reflect negatively on her legacy. So begins a ‘merry war’ of philosophies, coq au vin versus chicken tikka masala, as Madame Mallory tries to sabotage the Kadam’s dream, while Hassan falls for Madame Mallory’s pretty sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte le Bon)… The film is based on the novel by Richard C. Morais, is directed by Lasse Hallström, and features a lovely original score by the Mozart of Madras himself, A.R. Rahman. Read more…


May 31, 2014 Leave a comment

milliondollararmOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

There aren’t many films about cricket, especially in the United States, where the sport is viewed as a foreign curiosity with impenetrable rules, archaic terminology and a sense of incredulity that it is the only contemporary competitive sport which builds breaks for meals into its schedule. This is despite the fact that much of the world is obsessed with the sport – especially in the Indian subcontinent – to the extent that legendary players are household celebrities. Disney’s film Million Dollar Arm isn’t likely to put the names Sachin Tendulkar or Muttiah Muralitharan on the lips of the average American, but it at least goes some way to trying to illustrate the importance of the game in Commonwealth countries. It stars Mad Men’s Jon Hamm as the real-life American baseball sports agent J.B. Bernstein, a man down on his luck, who comes up with a radical idea to revitalize his career: after accidentally catching a cricket match on TV while channel surfing late one night, he decides to organize a reality competition to find India’s first professional baseball pitcher. Along with cantankerous scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin) and his business partner Ash Vasudevan (Aasif Mandvi), Bernstein travels to Delhi to search for talent, and is surprised when two young men (Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma and Slumdog Millionaire’s Madhur Mittal) impress him with their skills. The film is directed by Craig Gillespie, based on Tom McCarthy’s screenplay, and has a score by A. R. Rahman. Read more…

127 HOURS – A.R. Rahman

November 7, 2010 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The true story of Aron Ralston is one of human fortitude, bravery, defiance in the face of death, and incredible bad luck. A young and healthy daredevil with a penchant for extreme sports, Ralston took a brief weekend hiking trip to the canyons around Moab, Utah in the summer of 2003, and had the singular misfortune of suffering an accident which left his right arm pinned against a canyon wall by a large boulder, with no way of extricating it. After five lonely days, and hovering close to death, Ralston eventually took the unimaginable decision to amputate his own arm – with no anesthetic – using nothing more than a blunt Swiss Army knife, and staggered out of the canyon, where he was rescued and ultimately made a full recovery. Read more…


October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Couples Retreat is a comedy about three couples – Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman, Jon Favreau and Kristin Davis, Faizon Love and Kali Hawk – who, in order to help save the marriage of their friends Jason Bateman and Kristin Bell, agree to travel to a tropical-island resort for a vacation. Once on the island they meet the island’s patron, Sctanley (Peter Serafinowicz), who forces all the couples to engage in all manner of unusual “therapy sessions”… with hilarious results. The film is directed by Peter Billingsley, still best known for his performance as Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he was 12 years old, and has an original score by last year’s double Oscar-winner, Indian composer A.R. Rahman. Read more…


November 14, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Bollywood music has never really crossed over into the film music mainstream, despite being an enormous industry on the Indian sub-continent; the closest Bollywood has to a composer superstar is A.R. Rahman, so it perhaps stands to reason that he should really be the first one to make any kind of impact on the Hollywood mainstream. Rahman has worked in the Indian film industry since the early 1990s, and has since gone on to score over 100 films, some of which – Taal from 1999, Lagaan from 2001, Rang De Basanti from 2006, and Jodhaa Akbar from earlier this year – have enjoyed a modicum of international success. He has even dabbled in the Hollywood world before, working with Mychael Danna on Water in 2006 and with Craig Armstrong on Elizabeth: The Golden Age in 2007. In his homeland, however, Rahman is revered: he has personally sold 100 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide, and sold over 200 million solo albums, officially making him one of the world’s all-time top selling recording artists. No wonder he is often called the “John Williams of Bollywood” and the “Mozart of Madras”. It’s just surprising that it has taken this long for the West to recognize him. Read more…

ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE – Craig Armstrong and A.R. Rahman

October 12, 2007 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The first Elizabeth movie, released in 1998, was a critical and a commercial success, receiving glowing reviews from the mainstream media, and being honored with Oscar nominations in numerous categories, including one for its composer David Hirschfelder. The first Elizabeth movie told the story of the early years following young Elizabeth’s coronation as the Queen of England, concluding with her betrayal by her lover Robert Dudley and her assumption of the iconic “Virgin Queen” persona. This “sequel” tells the story of what happened during the next years of her reign. Read more…