The Varma film factory forges ahead

4/7/2004 12:00:00 AM

Ram Gopal VermaFilmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is once again teaming up with music maestro Ilayaraja.

"Call it nostalgia, but I did want Ilayaraja back in my cinema," says Varma, who will work with the southern composer after 17 years.

The filmmaker, who is currently in Bangkok shooting two songs with actors Mohit Ahlawat and Nisha Kothari, is making a film called "Shiva" for the second time.

"I like to experiment with the sound of music in my films. When I decided to do 'Shiva' again, I thought of Ilayaraja who is extremely talented," Varma told IANS.

Varma has worked with music composers R.D. Burman in "Drohee", Vishal Bharadwaj in "Satya", Sandeep Chowta in "Mast" and Amar Mohile in "Naach".

Ilayaraja, whose Hindi contributions include the films "Sadma" and "Hey Ram", is yet to secure a foothold in Bollywood.

"You have to see how outstandingly modern Ilayaraja's music is in 'Shiva'. The songs we are currently shooting in Bangkok just leave us all breathless," says Varma.

However, he insists, "I never go by saleability. If I'm working with Ilayaraja in 'Shiva', I'm also working with Himesh Reshammiya in 'Sholay'. It all depends on the suitability.

"For 'Sholay', I wanted a composer who could give a new twist to the time-tested classic. Of course, my starting point for Himesh's selection was his nasal voice. I thought it would be perfect for him to sing 'Mehbooba o mehbooba'."