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Mellow melodies, strident stories...


RATAN JAIN: Calling a spade a spade. — Photo: S. Subramanium.

HE WOULD apologise as many times as his mobile phone would ring in between the conversation. He would go gaga over old melodies but would not mind arresting mediocre numbers for reasons purely commercial. He would say flatly that wrong is wrong and one must either accept or reject it. He is Ratan Jain, the man behind Venus Records and a film producer who produced films like Baazighar, Khiladi, Humraaz and many others in a short span of time.

It is said that he is a person with a perfect business sense. Most of his films have clicked at the box office. "I have been producing films for the last four years only. I always choose bold subjects that have a strong relationship angle. They click with the times always," he reveals the reason for his success.

Ratan started his Venus Records in 1982 as he felt the need for non-filmi music to reach the people. He started Venus Records on a very small scale. For the first two years, he concentrated only in non-filmi songs. In 1985 he moved into films also. What made him come into recordings and then shift gears to producing? "Music has always been my first passion. Moreover, in early 80s barring HMV and Polygram, there were no major competitors in the market in this field. Together, both gave me reasons to venture into it. Moreover, my strong backing of Venus became a major support for my entry into producing films. I had no financial crunch to leave my dream unfulfilled," he gives it honestly.

Many a time, producers are the first to be captured by the underworld to extort money. "I realise that. They think that we make a lot of money without realising that sponsorship eats a lion's share. Yet we have to learn to live with it, not give up. One must always take the police's help to teach them a lesson. The more we get scared of them, the deeper they would eat into us," he says with a visible sign of contempt, yet adds in the same breath that he never faced any threats from any dons as such.

A Raj Kapoor, Vijay Anand and Bimal Roy fan, Ratan's next production is "Pratibimb" starring Sanjay Dutt and Shilpa Shetty. "It is a sequel to "Vaastav" in which a don dies while his wife gives birth to a child. In "Pratibimb" this child grows up and finds himself in a world that is alien to love, sympathy and affection for a don's child despite his calibre and meek countenance. The film also shows all that happens in Maharashtra - how ministers are made and marred," he informs.

Another bold subject from the melody man! A good contrast.

RANA A. SIDDIQUI

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