Mani Ratnam inspired AR Rahman to venture into filmmaking

Mumbai:┬áMusic maestro A R Rahman, who is making his debut as a producer and co-writer with film “99 Songs”, on Saturday said it was his frequent collaborator, filmmaker Mani Ratnam, who inspired him to explore his artistic side as a storyteller.

The musical drama movie is a story about art and self-discovery of a struggling singer who wants to be a successful music composer.

Directed by debutant Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy, “99 Songs” stars newcomers Ehan Bhat, Edilsy Varghese and Tenzin Dalha, an Indian actor of Tibetan origin, in lead roles.

Rahman, who has also co-written the movie, recalled the time when Ratnam told him how telling a film’s story and making a song have a common process.

“Mani Ratnam once said to me that when you know how to make a movie, it’s like how you make a song. You’ve the introduction, the theme of the song, the tune and then you do the background music. Then comes the antara and you’ve a journey that eventually comes to an end beautifully,” the music director said in a statement.

“He said that the process is like a story and it just struck me how nice it is to speak in your own language about another art such as story writing. That inspired me,” he added.

The Oscar-winner has scored music for several films of Ratnam, including “Roja”, “Bombay”, “Dil Se”, “O Kadhal Kanmani”, “Guru” and “Thiruda Thiruda”.

“99 Songs” also features actors Lisa Ray, Manisha Koirala, Aditya Seal, composer-drummer Ranjit Barot and Indian Ocean’s Rahul Ram in supporting roles.

Rahman has also created the music for the movie, which he has produced via his banner YM Movies alongside Ideal Entertainment.

Presented by Jio Studios, the film will arrive in theatres on April 16.