Mani Ratnam, who gave A R Rahman his first break in 1992 film "Roja", says success has not changed the Oscar-winning composer's quest to explore unique sounds and he treats every film like a special journey.
"The journey has been of 25 years. But, it feels like I met Rahman just yesterday. He sported the same smile then too, but everyone is aware of the heights he has scaled now," the director said while reminiscing about his long collaboration with Rahman.
"For Rahman, every film is a special journey. His quest to explore new, unique sound for his films continues even today. He works really hard to get the perfect soundscape for a film. From 'Roja' to 'Kaatru Veliyidai', it's been an amazing journey. Thank you," he told reporters at the audio launch of the forthcoming romantic drama.
Rahman said he would not have received a platform to explore refined ideas if not for Mani Ratnam and late veteran filmmaker K Balachander, who produced "Roja".
"If not for Mani Sir, I wouldn't have received this platform. To implement high-end ideas and refined sounds, everything has to fall in place in your collaborations. It was a divine happening when K Balachandar sir called me and introduced me to Mani sir for 'Roja'. I'm grateful for that," Rahman told reporters here.
Ratnam said he was overwhelmed to see the Indian Armed Forces at work while shooting for the film in Ladakh and Leh.
"'Kaatru Veliyidai' is a love story narrated in the backdrop of the Indian Air Force. During the shooting in Ladakh and Leh, we came across numerous Indian military officers and security forces. I felt really overwhelmed seeing them at work.
"I used to ponder, 'Have we ever expressed what we feel towards them and the respect we have for our armed forces?' On behalf of our entire team, I would like to extend my sincere, heartfelt gratitude to our armed forces," the director said.
For an in-depth understanding of the working style of the Indian Air Force, the 61-year-old filmmaker sought help from Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman (Retd).
Varthaman said films on the Indian Air Force were missing on Indian celluloid.
"I have many experiences in my life. But I never thought that I would be here on the stage in for movie's audio release. Talking about the Air Force and feeling for the Air Force is something which is missing on our Indian celluloid... To recognise us in the film is really an honour for the Indian Air Force," Varthaman said.
Actress Aditi Rao Hydari, who plays the role of a doctor in the film, said Ratnam's production house Madras Talkies feels like home to her.
"Working with Mani sir is like a booster shot of vitamins. It's nourishing. I felt like I'd been adopted and Madras Talkies felt like home to me. 'Kaatru Veliyidai' has Rahman's genius score, Ravi Varman's magical camera, Vairamuthu's evocative lyrics, Brinda Master's energetic choreography and Eka Lakhani's beautiful styling," said Aditi.
'Kaatru Veliyidai', which stars Tamil actor Karthi in the role of a fighter pilot, is set to release on April 7.