Movie Details of Rangeela
Music: A.R. Rahman
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
It took three years post his pathbreaking Tamil debut – three years that saw dubbed versions of Tamil soundtracks (some ruined by atrocious writing) and "adaptations" by other composers (ruined on all counts) – for AR Rahman to enter Bollywood. Directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Mehboob (who had debuted with an RGV movie in 1992, and would go on to work with the director and the composer in many more movies), Rangeela easily counts amongst the most seminal musical debuts in the industry.
While the songs varied from sensuous to soulful to streetwise, they were all marked by the refreshingly experimental soundscape that had become a defining feature of the composer. The music translated perfectly on screen, highlighted by Urmila Matondkar's sizzling presence that established the actress as a sex symbol for years to come.
On an aside, Rangeela was the first AR Rahman cassette I ever owned, so remains a special album for me on that count as well.
Best Song of Rangeela: It is awfully difficult to pick a favourite from the album which has so many fantastic compositions. But for the purpose of this article I shall assign that title to Hai Rama, the classical-based erotic song that was as memorable for its frenzied fusion arrangement to go with the actors' onscreen sexuality as it was for Hariharan and Swarnalatha's spotless rendition.
The Rangeela Playlist:
Listen to the entire album of Rangeela here:
(With contributions by Praveen VR, co-founder of musicaloud.com)