Composer and lyricist are toast of Hollywood and India
GOLDEN GLOBE song ‘Naatu Naatu’ winner MM Keeravaani felt it was, “The great conspiracy of the Universe” that has led him to becoming the first ever Indian to collect a Golden Globe.
The song, ‘Naatu Naatu’ appears in the Telugu language film, ‘RRR’ (‘Rise Roar Revolt’) by acclaimed Indian director SS Rajamouli. Keeravaani is a long time collaborator and won in the Best Original Song – Motion Picture category, beating off Taylor Swift (‘Where the Crawdads Sing’), Lady Gaga, (‘Top Gun Maverick’) and a Rihanna song from the film, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’.
Keeravaani won alongside ‘Naatu Naatu’ lyricist Chandrabose.
Keeravaani told the media: “My mother had passed away on December 12 last year. And the last thing she knew was me getting nominated for a Golden Globe – the last good news I shared with her.
“And today is Jan 10 and the date when I started my career as an assistant to a composer in 1987 – so these things are the great conspiracy of the Universe, I thank the Universe for that, I believe in that.”
He added that the song took 30 days to put together and commended the team behind it. He said he was also “overwhelmed” by the response globally and sang a couple of lines from the song, before saying that his next project is also with Rajamouli and will star another big Telugu star, Mahesh Babu. He described the two leads, Ram Charan and NTR Rama Rao as “superstars”.
The song was shot outside the Presidential Palace in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Rajamouli has said every time the song is praised, it brings back bittersweet sensations – he loved filming there and is now pained by the conflict taking place between Russia and Ukraine.
India broadcaster India Today interviewed Chandrabose shortly after the win. (See link below for interview).
Speaking in Telugu, Chandrabose was slightly overcome but delighted with the Golden Globe gong. In English, he said very humbly that he had no idea whether the song would be further recognised at the Oscars – the film has made a shortlist nomination field. On Monday (January 9) the Academy announced the 301 films still in contention for an Oscar.
India was agog with the historic win at the Globes last night – Prime Minister Narendra Modi toasted the success of ‘Naatu Naatu’ first thing in the morning.
He tweeted his nearly 86 million followers: “A Very Special accomplishment!” and went onto say that the “prestigious honour has made every Indian proud”.
Tagging Keeravaani in the tweet, he also acknowledged the other talent associated with the film.
He wasn’t the only prominent person to commend ‘RRR’ and Keeravaani on its success. Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan tweeted his delight: “Here’s to many more awards and making India proud.”
Another famous composer, who arguably has laid the path for Indian musicians and composers to be respected in the western film business, AR Rahman, also signalled his praise, and said the win represented “a paradigm shift”.
Earlier, Keeravaani was at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles to collect the award along with other members of the filmmaking team, including acclaimed director SS Rajamouli, Ram Charan and NTR Rama Rao.
Keervaani speaking to the press just after the award described the film and its themes. Set in colonial India, it charts the friendship and falling out of two fictional freedom fighters Komaran Bheem, played by NT Rama Rao Jr, and Alluri Sitarama Raju, reprised by another megastar, Ram Charan.
Keeravaani, in another media area after the Globes, concluded: “For the first time it (‘RRR’) has bagged the attention and applause of an international audience I am very happy for that.
“My brother (emotionally) and the director of the movie, SS Rajamouli, is very popular in India and is known for these kind of epic action content movies, so I am happy to be associated with all of his films.”
He also spoke a bit about the film’s themes, which include love, patriotism and betrayal.
The film had also been nominated for Best Motion Picture – Non-English language section at the Globes. It lost out to ‘Argentina, 1985’ by Santiago Mitre, an Amazon Prime production.
The Golden Globes is organised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), made up of journalists from outside the US and came in for severe criticism for not paying any attention to diversity. NBC, which broadcasts the Golden Globes pulled out but returned after the HFPA made changes to its structure and voting and its host black Jerrod Carmichael made a joke about it.
Traditionally, the Golden Globes kicks off the award seasons and attention will now turn to a possible Bafta shortlist. The film has got onto the longlist announced on Friday (January 6) in the Film Not in English Language category. Another Indian film, the documentary, ‘All That Breathes’ appears in the Documentary list. (See link below)
Rajamouli has created a reputation on making spectacular big screen cinema, using both great music, and action sequences, and special effects.
‘RRR’ has been a spectacular success both at home and abroad and has only reinforced SS Rajamouli’s growing international reputation. He was at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and more recently has been in Hollywood doing press for the film as it aims to get on the Oscars shortlist nominations. The film is available internationally on Netflix and on Indian streaming service, Zee 5 in India.
Already famous in India for ‘Baahubali’, and its two instalments, he came to Britain in 2019 with the stars of the film for a live orchestra accompaniment of ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’ and spoke to us at the BFI in 2017 before a screening there.
www.asianculturevulture.com covered the historic occasion at the Royal Albert Hall – it was the first time an Indian movie in the modern era had played at the venue with a live score.
You can see the stars on stage Q&A and our interview with them here…
MM Keeravaani – Golden Globes Instagram
Golden Globes 1
Golden Globes 2
Golden Globes – Instagram
India Today interview Chandrabose (composer)