When news broke, that AR Rahman was making a concert film, one was under the impression 'One Heart' would be a culmination of video footages from various concert tours that he has been a part of. In fact, the synopsis of 'One Heart' in some of the online booking sites convey, it is a tribute to AR Rahman’s 25 years of musical journey. If you think it is going to be a documentary that talks just about ARR, then you are mistaken.
One Heart is not just about Rahman, but his band of cherry picked music artistes who toured across 14 cities in North America in 2015. So it talks only about a particular concert tour that AR Rahman was part of. If you keep that in mind, you might not get into comparisons of other films of the same genre like ‘This Is It.'
One Heart is an 86-minute concert film that features 15 songs composed by AR Rahman. It goes without saying that all the chosen songs sounded great to listen. You can experience 86-minutes of non-stop great music. And between songs, we get to know few pieces of information on how they conceive an idea, how they multitask, how the team list down the songs that they are going to perform and on what grounds, they select a singer for a tour.
AR Rahman’s band comprises talented singers Jonita Gandhi, Haricharan Seshadri, Shiraz Uppal and Annette Philip, as well as guitarist Keba Jeremiah, violinist Anne Marie Calhoun, flutist Ashwin Srinivasan, keyboardist Karthikeyan Devarajan, bass guitarist Mohini Dey and renowned music director, singer and drummer Ranjit Barot. Rahman gives a brief introduction of all of them and what their specialties are.
The best part of the film is the philosophy that AR Rahman talks about time and again. He also speaks about what motivates him to do a concert, the pressure that he undergoes every time he steps on to the stage even after achieving possibly what any musician could dream off. One of the major high points would be the warriors of the heaven and earth track which not many would have heard before. That song sounded so fresh, and it was performed brilliantly well.
The scope for a concert film by itself has its limitations, further more, the idea of 'One Heart' is to make a movie out of only a particular tour that AR Rahman’s band was part of which restricts the premise even more. But it still has its own story to speak and has been made with complete honesty.
Considering it is a new attempt, it will be unfair to rate the movie in the usual structure.