Rahman set to compose for Hollywood comedy

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By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Sep 21 (IANS) Oscar winning musician A.R. Rahman is set to compose music for his first full-fledged Hollywood project "Couples Retreat" and he is determined not to create anything similar to the "Slumdog Millionaire" tunes. He also stressed that while there wouldn't be any Indian sounds, there would be a touch of Indianness.

Apparently, there were numerous brainstorming sessions during which the sound of "Slumdog Millionaire" kept cropping up repeatedly. And Rahman gently but firmly steered the music away from the expected.

"There's no point in doing something I've already done. I've reached a stage where I've to do new things. There're so many avenues to be explored. So 'Couples Retreat' will be their kind of music with my touch, done in my way," Rahman, who is looking at "Couples Retreat" as his real launch into the West, told IANS in an interview.

Directed by Peter Billingsley, the comedy revolves around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realise that participation in the resort's therapy sessions is not optional. It stars actors like Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman and Kristen Bell.

Rahman, who won two Oscars for his compositions in "Slumdog Millionaire", said he would now make music to suit a typical American romantic comedy.

"'Couples Retreat' will have music that suits an American rom-com. There're no real Indian sound in it," said Rahman.

"But, yes, there will be a touch of Indianness in the sound. Otherwise, what is the point of bringing me into the picture?"

At one level, Rahman also agrees with his admirers and fans who feel Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" is not among his best work.

"He has done far superior work in films like 'Lagaan', 'Dil Se', 'Roja', 'Zubeida' and the forthcoming 'Ravan' and 'Blue'. Friends keep telling him that. 'Slumdog...' was done in a hurry...in about 20 days flat. Rahman feels he could've done a lot better. He now wants the West to see some of his best," said a source close to the composer.

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