The author of this post is absolutely right. Rangeela was A. R Rahman’s debut album back in 90s. The story itself was less generic than “Slumdog Millionaire” and it contested many tropes of the time. Rahman added to genre breaking by adding non-generic music in a popular Bollywood movie which is a big deal because you see in pop Bollywood movies of that time there was a season of over the top sensationalism. The canvases that Rahman painted with his music allowed a movie which was about popular Hollywood culture and subtle critique of that culture without character assassination to be moving and also sensually/sentimentally/viscerally stunning and beautful. This movie was matured beyond its time. Urmila’s character started out as a backup dancer and they also criticise the lead heroine primadonna spoiled attitude. No one called her names for being a backup dancer or “item” girl. THE BEST PART WAS HER HOUSE WAS ALSO INHABITED BY SO-CALLED STREET RUFFIANS WHO NEVER SLUT SHAMED HER OR CALLED HER RUDE NAMES RATHER RESPECTED HER. A funny movie scene is when the lead actress apparently falls in love with her chauffeur and he tells her to not act in romantically charged scenes out of jealousy that was also subtly criticised and showed how though we feel status only marks people it is actually the status of their behaviours that shows prevalent. Overall, “Rangeela” is a defining movie of my childhood so is its music and my Abbu introduced it to me and we always loved it together too (Thanks OfOp for making remember fond memories). Also that song Tanha Tanha had this solo shadow dance sequence as in Urmila danced in complete shadow of dawn or dusk classical Indian dancing. That had given me an artistic sensibility from a young age (so Thank Allah Almighty I had a Abbu, Dad, who knew what had aesthetics and substantial from a young age and my Ammu, Mom, is pretty much like that too). So yeah great thing to remember.
11. Rangeela by A.R. Rahman.
I am sure some of you have, at least, heard some of Slumdog Millionaire‘s music, if not seen the movie and listened to the album. Even if it won a couple of Oscars, I would consider it as Rahman merely doodling, in comparison to some of his masterpieces like Rangeela. Rangeela is an important document of my childhood, contains my favourite song from my part of the world, “Tanha Tanha”, and is just a fun, vibrant album, that combines both traditional elements, and synthpop in a way that is purely, buoyantly exquisite. Most of you will not understand a word that is sung, but I bet it won’t stop you…
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