AR Rahman On Working In Bollywood’s 1st Lesbian Film ‘Fire’ Even Though His Values Didn’t Align

The history of cinema in India which started with silent films had a golden era and till today it remains to be rich with a huge impact on world cinema. Every year the country releases scores of movies in multiple languages, that have a huge viewership, not just domestically, but internationally too.

Back in 1996, when homosexuality was still a crime in India, a daring Indian-born Canadian film director and screenwriter, Deepa Mehta, made the path-breaking film ‘Fire’.

The movie that starred Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das was Bollywood’s first-ever film to show a lesbian relationship.

The ‘ahead of its time’ film got people pondering upon homosexual relations. However, it was also faced with protests, vandalism, and public outrage even though it was given a green signal by the Central Board of Film Certification with an Adult rating.

Indian music composer AR Rahman also worked on the historic film and composed music for it.


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In an interview, the ace musician spoke about working on the film even though his values didn’t align with the crux of the film.

“As a personal choice, what I stand for is different. Even when I did ‘Fire’, it was a lesbian movie. Those are not my values or what I stand for but I feel like I can stand for humanity,” The Indian Express quoted him saying.

However, he added that he keeps his personal views aside when it comes to work.

“When somebody I pushed to a core, I felt like I needed to do the movie because she is trying to say something important. Similarly, with this (Ponniyin Selvan: II) there’s killing and all that stuff but that’s history, you can’t change it.”


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Rahman further shared that he has had varied experiences, and might have different views but he knows that as a professional, he has to deal with them and keep on working.

“I have seen everything. My concrete house was next to a slum. Next to my house was dance master Thankappan, who Kamal Haasan was an assistant to. The conscious decisions I take while I am speaking or what I stand for. It’s not like I am Buddha. I have seen everything, I have watched all kinds of films, so I know as a professional I have to deal with that stuff.”

This is a very important lesson to be learned from AR Rahman. What do you think?

You can watch the trailer of ‘Fire’ here:

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