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A R Rahman
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The film that drew A R Rahman

Even before he had completed watching the rough cut of the movie Slumdog Millionaire, A R Rahman knew he wanted to compose music for it.

"It was going to be a very different challenge to me," said Rahman, who is currently in Los Angles, promoting Danny Boyle's film. Slumdog Millionaire is playing in about 80 theatres and is steadily expanding across America and Canada. "It was gritty, serious and moving. It was also about redemption."

He never thought whether the film would be a success. "I was totally drawn to the film and I felt it was unusual at every turn," he said. Though Boyle wanted him to compose the songs only, including the theme number, Rahman offered to do the entire score. "I like to be immersed in a film," he said, adding that that wasn't an easy decision to make.

"I had to make a big sacrifice," he said. Taking up Slumdog Millionaire would mean having to say no to Ashutosh Gowariker with whom Rahman had worked for three films -- Lagaan, Sandesh and Jodha-Akbar.

"I could not compose for his What's Your Rashee?," he added. "But surely, we will have more opportunities to work together. But Slumdog Millionaire was something that was going to happen very soon and I was hooked by the way Danny had directed it. I wanted to be a part of the film. In my career, I have taken up many films which were out of the box. And I thought this film was one such project."

Text : Arthur J Pais | Photograph: Rajesh Karkera

Also Read: Slumdog Millionaire sold out!

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