Thursday, May 18, 2006

From Bollywood to Hollywood

A couple of days back I was watching a DVD of the recent Nicholas Cage flick, Lord of War. It turned out to be an average thriller about weapons sales across the world, with a rather cynical (but perhaps reasonably accurate) portrayal of how weapons are stolen to anyone who can pay, and where the weapons come from. The highlight of the movie (to me) was Eamonn Walker’s portrayal of Andre Baptise, an African warlord, and dictator of Liberia (based on the real life former tyrant of that poor African country, Charles Taylor).

But there’s one scene that caught me completely by surprise. Cage is flying in some serious weaponry to Liberia, and his plane is tailed by Interpol agent Jack Valentine (Ethan Hunt...yikes, Hawke (thanks Patrix)), who forces him to land, and then cuffs him and leaves him stranded in the wilderness.

The soundtrack starts playing as Cage sits silently on a box. It sounds uncannily familiar, but only for a moment.

I realize I’m listening to a tune I know very, very well, from an old favorite movie of mine.

It’s the theme music from Mani Rathnam’s Bombay.

Then, at the end of the movie where the credits appear, I see A.R. Rahman’s name, and a clear statement of permission from Universal Music.

Excellent.

19 comments:

Vishnu said...

But they said that it was "The Mumbai Theme" instead of Bombay!

Patrix said...

> and his plane is tailed by Interpol agent Jack Valentine (Ethan Hunt)

You mean, Ethan Hawke...MI-3 hangover? :)

samudrika said...

There are other instances of Hollywood movies with Bollywood soundtracks. The most famous of course is "Moulin Rouge".

Then there is "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" which includes songs like "wada na tod" and strangest of all "Ella Enchanted" , where a Sonu Nigam song is played at Giants Wedding party complete with Bollywood dance steps!

It is always a special thrill to see bits of your culture in a Hollywood movie.

bongopondit said...

The best example of this (Bolly soundtracks in Hollywood) in recent times is Rahman's rocking 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' during the opening/closing credits of Spike Lee's Inside Man.

When I watched Lord of War - I too looked for Rahman's name in the credits....

Sunil said...

yes....they did Vishnu! They're now being inaccurate trying for accuracy. What are they to do....city names change, movie names dont :)

Patrix....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah........must be the MI3 hangover. Thanks! Have corrected that howler.

Samudrika....yes, ofcourse.....and the little thrill is to hear it and suddenly sit up and take notice.

Bongopondit.....isn't this neat? I think it's all very cool...

Sowmya said...

Dunno if u have seen this
http://www.ibnlive.com/news/interview-sound-of-rahman/9722-3-single.html
Inspite of all the fame he sounds very grounded!

Charu said...

yeah, one this is the bollywood music is er well, crossing borders and such like (that reminds me of Aishwarya Rai, eeks) and another to see it acknowledged in the credits. No questions of 'being inspired' here...

GREATBONG said...

I am of course looking forward to Himesh Reshammiya being appropriated by Hollywood.

Sunil said...

I actually hadn't seen that Sowmya.....but i did now, and yes, very down to earth indeed.

Charu.......nothing, and that means nothing, should remind you of Aishwarya Rai going to Hollywood. She needs to quit films (especially if she wants to act in English.....she can't act) and go back to modelling.

Arnab.....I am too. Greatly.

Much fun will come.

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