The songs of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Composer A.R. Rahman pays homage to Bollywood

For Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman didn’t have to compose as much as he would for a Bollywood film, since the songs worked as the score.

Aware of Boyle’s preference for punk music, Rahman says, “When I work for a director, I like what they like.” “Slumdog,” he says, “is edgy.”

The end-credit number that Rahman composed, “Jai ho,” was conceived as an homage to Bollywood, according to “Slumdog” editor Chris Dickens. The script included a sequence with the song, but the fit wasn’t quite right.

“We tested it a few times, but people didn’t feel it belonged,” Dickens says. “(But) Danny insisted on that (song), and I did too, (so) we had to find a way to make it work.”

” ‘Jai ho’ fit in a celebration,” Rahman says of the song’s use as a kind of uplifting coda to all that went on before in this rags-to-riches fable of undying love.

For Rahman, the praise for his score and songs in “Slumdog Millionaire” is acknowledgment that his superstar rep in India is finally paying dividends beyond its borders.

“It feels really good,” he says. “It’s great to be accepted in another country.”

More Film

  • Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell in

    Film News Roundup: Sony Opening Crime Thriller 'Superfly' Two Days Earlier

    For Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman didn’t have to compose as much as he would for a Bollywood film, since the songs worked as the score. Aware of Boyle’s preference for punk music, Rahman says, “When I work for a director, I like what they like.” “Slumdog,” he says, “is edgy.” The end-credit number […]

  • The Dead and the Others Review

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Dead and the Others'

    For Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman didn’t have to compose as much as he would for a Bollywood film, since the songs worked as the score. Aware of Boyle’s preference for punk music, Rahman says, “When I work for a director, I like what they like.” “Slumdog,” he says, “is edgy.” The end-credit number […]

  • Transilvania Film Fest Raises Curtain on

    Transilvania Film Festival Raises Curtain on 17th Edition

    For Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman didn’t have to compose as much as he would for a Bollywood film, since the songs worked as the score. Aware of Boyle’s preference for punk music, Rahman says, “When I work for a director, I like what they like.” “Slumdog,” he says, “is edgy.” The end-credit number […]

  • 'The Division' Director on Breaking the

    'The Division' Director David Leitch on Breaking the Video Game Movie Curse

    For Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman didn’t have to compose as much as he would for a Bollywood film, since the songs worked as the score. Aware of Boyle’s preference for punk music, Rahman says, “When I work for a director, I like what they like.” “Slumdog,” he says, “is edgy.” The end-credit number […]

  • moviepass card

    MoviePass Parent's Stock Slides to Another Record Low

    For Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman didn’t have to compose as much as he would for a Bollywood film, since the songs worked as the score. Aware of Boyle’s preference for punk music, Rahman says, “When I work for a director, I like what they like.” “Slumdog,” he says, “is edgy.” The end-credit number […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content