OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Exclusive! Darlings director Jasmeet K Reen: BGM and songs can make or break a film completely

Debutant director Jasmeet K Reen opens up on the power of background score and songs for a film like Darlings and her expereince of working with Gulzar

Exclusive! Darlings director Jasmeet K Reen: BGM and songs can make or break a film completely
Alia Bhatt with director Jasmeet K Reen during the shooting of the film Darlings streaming on Netflix

Last Updated: 09.20 PM, Sep 08, 2022


Since the time the film Darlings, starring Alia Bhatt, Vijay Varma, Shefali Shah released on Netflix, the audience showered love not only for the film but also for its music, especially two songs, La Ilaaj and Pleaj!

In conversation with OTTplay, Jasmeet K Reen, the director of the film shared how music played an important part in the film.

At a time when most of the original music and background score are overlooked by the makers and replaced by recreated versions of old superhits or just a set piece song to promote the film, Jasmeet emphasised weaving the song around the narrative as an inseparable part of the whole film.

The story of the film revolves around a young couple Humza and Badru, played by Alia and Vijay Varma. They are in an abusive relationship where Badru is the victim of domestic violence and how her mother Shamshu comes in to rescure her daughter from her son-in-law sets the premise of Darlings.

Jasmeet told OTTplay, "I think music is a very important part of every narrative, be it background score and song. As a filmmaker, sound design, as well as BGM and song - all three elements can change a film and take it to the next level. I spent a lot of time with Prashant Pillai who has done the background score for our film and with our sound designer Anirban Sengupta. It can make or break a film and affect a narrative if we go wrong. For instance, if I want to show the horror of the violence, it should make the audience uncomfortable."

"So as a filmmaker I should have the understanding on when to have or not have the BGM depending on the impact I want the audience to experience. At times, even silence can be suffocating and that is what we want the audience to feel. So I would say it is not only the music but also BGM score and sound designing that creates the world of the film," she further added.

The song of the film is written by Gulzar, Vishal Bharadwaj and composed by Vishal and Mellow D.

According to Jasmeet, being filmmakers themselves, they have a great understanding the script and characters of the film. Therefore collaborating with such wise men of the business offered her a great deal of comfort.

Taking the reference to one of the songs, 'La Ilaaj' that is sung by Arijit Singh, Jasmeet shared how the entire brief that she gave to Gulzar and Vishal, got encapsulated within one word.

"I went to Gulzar saab and Vishal and briefed how Humza is so violent on Badru and even though they love each other Humza abuses her physically. Despite trying so hard, Badru cannot leave Humza. After listening to everything he said, 'haan kyunki ye la ilaaj hai na?' and smiled. I think when Gulzar saab writes a song, it is poetry within. He is a minimalist with his words but very very powerful, very defining," recalls Jasmeet.

Produced by Red Chillies Entertainment and Alia Bhatt under her banner Eternal Sunshine Productions, the film Darlings, which also features - Roshan Mathew, Rajesh Sharma, Vijay Maurya, Santosh Juvekar, Kiran Karmarkar - is streaming on Netflix.


Get the latest updates in your inbox