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Exclusive! Composer Nobin Paul: 2018 is not a tale of destruction, but of human resilience, best experienced in a movie hall

The 777 Charlie fame music man debuts in Malayalam cinema with the Jude Anthany Joseph directorial

Exclusive! Composer Nobin Paul: 2018 is not a tale of destruction, but of human resilience, best experienced in a movie hall
The positive feedback to his work on 777 Charlie has been immensely satisfying for Nobin

Last Updated: 11.58 AM, May 04, 2023


Music composer Nobin Paul officially debuts in Malayalam cinema on May 5, when director Jude Anthany Joseph’s 2018 hits theatres. A cinematic retelling of the devastating floods of 2018 that pummelled much of Kerala, Jude’s film provided a good challenge to Nobin, who was fresh off the success of Rakshit Shetty’s 777 Charlie, which was widely lauded for its rousing score.

Jude Anthany Joseph and Tovino Thomas during the shoot of 2018
Jude Anthany Joseph and Tovino Thomas during the shoot of 2018

“I heard from Jude for the first time after the teaser of 777 Charlie came out. He was highly appreciative of the background score and mooted the idea of a collaboration. When I then met him, he was on the set of 2018 in Vaikkom. I thought he wanted to discuss his next film with me, but then he told me that he wanted me to handle the music of 2018. I was quite thrilled because a natural disaster narrative has immense scope for a musician, mainly with the background score, as it elevates the drama and emotions playing out on screen,” says Nobin, who recently finished the final audio mix and handed over the film to the team for the satellite upload, ahead of its May 5 release.


Once he was onboard and began receiving footage from the filming, Nobin realized that he had an even bigger challenge at hand. “There’s rain from start-to-finish in the film, so there was one layer of rain, thunder and associated sounds, and then the background score, which I have mainly done with orchestral music. The score could not be too loud to drown out the rain or vice versa and yet, the music had to convey the drama unfolding on screen. That was, no doubt, challenging, but I believe that the end result is phenomenal and best experienced in Dolby sound in a movie hall,” he says adding that the only drawback for him was that he could not go to town with songs as he did with 777 Charlie. “2018 has only two songs, which together are only about 6 minutes long. One of them, though, has been sung by my daughter,” he says.

Exciting as it was for Nobin to work on the film, one cannot help but ask him about the film’s prospects at the box office. Unlike 777 Charlie, which was a heart-warming subject, 2018 was a year of despair for most Malayalis, a reminder of which they may not want to see onscreen. “Jude’s film is not only about the destruction and havoc unleashed by the floods, it is about human resilience and how we, collectively as a community, overcame it. Yes, the losses – both of lives and materials – can be difficult to watch and relive, but this film is also a reminder of how adversity united us. The flood affected people across socio, economic and religious strata and was, in a sense, an equalizer. We stood together, helped each other and saw ourselves through this hardship. That is what this film will highlight,” reasons Nobin, adding that the subject may interest audiences outside of Kerala to witness what the people went through at that point.

2018 was perhaps the fastest Nobin’s ever worked on a film. “I began sometime in January and in about three months’ time, it was all done. While I had way too much time for 777 Charlie (5 years), this is a new record,” he laughs. Could he have done any better if he had more time on hand? “Not really. Since I had not worked on a subject like this before, it took me a couple of days to get into the zone, but once that happened, I was churning out stuff at break-neck speed. This was quite an interesting experience,” says the music man.

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