"It’s disrespect to our filmmakers and amazing workers."
AR Rahman has opened up on why he hates the term ‘Bollywood’.
The renowned composer has produced the musical romance 99 Songs and it is set to release on April 16, 2021.
In an interview, Rahman explained that filmmaking is a process that usually takes around five years.
He said: “Filmmaking is a five-six-year-old process. It’s not like I am doing something on the spot and people are judging me.
“There are many layers of checks, test screenings.
“Because the sensibility of our movie is slightly different from what’s coming out, we wanted to make sure we got the right reaction from people because they deserve to see many different voices.”
Rahman went on to say that each production should be unique before revealing why he dislikes the term ‘Bollywood’.
He told The Indian Express: “It shouldn’t be the same kind of formula.
“So that’s the one thing I believed in, that each production should have a voice and nothing should be generic or that this is how Indian movies are.
“Already we are making our movie industry generic by calling it Bollywood.
“Anything that comes from any part of the country is called Bollywood, which is also a rip-off of Hollywood.
“It’s disrespect to our filmmakers and amazing workers.”
He elaborated on his reasons why:
“When you go out and meet people like the stuntmen, camera people, you understand how talented and underrated they are and how they take a risk to do movies.
“I want to show respect to all of them and that’s one of the reasons why I campaigned against saying the word Bollywood is so generic and condescending to us.
“But that’s another chapter… So, we wanted to have a voice and this voice should have its own character and future.”
AR Rahman’s belief is also the same when making music, which he has done since the 1990s.
“Firstly, there are amazing filmmakers and nobody can ever copy the other because their personalities are imprinted on their products.
“Those who copy only become mediocre.
“So, to find a new voice is not easy. I mean you have a voice and then industry standards are a thing.”
“People’s expectations are there, how the songs are marketed, how the storytelling and dialogues should be.”
AR Rahman has co-written and produced 99 Songs. On why it has taken so long for him to become a writer, he said:
“As I said, a new voice is very difficult. You have to break conventions, convince people, who tell you, ‘This is not how you should make a film. That’s not how you should cast’.
“So, you have to go against conventions, risking a lot of money, other people’s money.
“It’s a huge gamble. It’s a gamble that should pay off. Otherwise, you are finished.”
He admitted that he is feeling the pressure for his film to be a success.
This is something that did not exist during the 1990s as he was mentored by renowned filmmaker Mani Ratnam.