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Is Kannur Squad composer Sushin Shyam the lucky charm of Malayalam cinema post pandemic?

Music director Sushin Shyam has composed the scores for Bheeshma Parvam, Minnal Murali, Romancham, Kurup and now Kannur Squad

Is Kannur Squad composer Sushin Shyam the lucky charm of Malayalam cinema post pandemic?
Mammootty and Sushin Shyam

Last Updated: 07.39 PM, Sep 28, 2023


If you list out the team of some of the superhits in Malayalam cinema post-pandemic, Sushin Shyam’s name would be hard to miss. Post pandemic, the ace composer had lent his tunes to Minnal Murali, Bheeshma Parvam, Romancham, Kurup and now Kannur Squad.

While Minnal Murali was a direct-to-OTT release, Sushin’s score and songs in the film are still quite popular. But it was the background score of Amal Neerad’s Bheeshma Parvam, which had him mix both classic and electronic music , that made him one of the most sought-after music directors in Malayalam today.

Sushin Shyam
Sushin Shyam

Sushin Shyam, a valuable addition to blockbusters

Set in the late 1980s, Bheeshma Parvam required a particular soundscape and that’s something Sushin has aced with the Mammootty-starrer and followed it up with Dulquer Salmaan’s Kurup, which was also set in the 1970s and 80s.

“I haven’t just tried to recreate the songs of that time period, I have also mixed it with the contemporary genre in Bheeshma Parvam,” Sushin had earlier told OTTplay. And this worked magic in theatres, with the audience celebrating the ‘mass’ moments of both protagonists, every time they were on screen accompanied by Sushin’s beats.


His minty fresh music

The nonchalant 31-year-old’s contribution to the success of Bheeshma Parvam and Kurup – which grossed over Rs 80 crore worldwide amid the pandemic blues – is beyond doubt. What makes Sushin’s music stand out is the incredible freshness he infuses into them, which makes the tunes themselves an interesting journey for the listener. Be it the music’s progression, the handling of the voices or the melding of genres, he has his signature mode of striking the right notes. No wonder, the young audience – who contribute to the majority of the footfall in Kerala theatres post-pandemic – are hooked to his tunes and use them for reels and shorts on social media.

And that’s also probably why director Jithu Madhavan approached him for the horror-comedy Romancham, which again was set in 2007 and revolved around a bunch of young men in Bengaluru. “After the edit, when Sushin gave his music, Romancham became at least two notches better than what it was,” Jithu told OTTplay earlier this year.

Sushin’s ability to mirror emotions through music

Be it through his music in Minnal Murali or Romancham, Sushin was able to convey humour while also keeping up the verve of the narrative. For instance, his score for the song Adharanjali fully imbibed and accentuated the soul of Vinayak Sasikumar’s lyrics, just like he did with lyricist Manu Manjith’s Kugraamame and Thee Minnal in Minnal Murali. A film’s success today not just depends on the recall but also its reshare value online; and Sushin knows how to ace this.

Sushin’s music has even found fans among those who aren’t clued in on social media, thanks to songs like Pakaliravukal from Kurup and Ottamuri Vaakumaayi from Romancham.

Can Sushin ‘score’ another hit with Kannur Squad?

In his latest film Kannur Squad, Sushin’s score along with the film’s title track encapsulates and elevates the mood of the film that revolve around a group of duty-bound police officers, who are on the pursuit of elusive criminals while juggling their personal lives.

Even when the film shuttles between its realistic and ‘mass’ modes, Sushin’s music morphs in response, effectively improving the theatrical experience. Going by the promising initial reviews of Kannur Squad , the film is expected to extend Mammootty’s brilliant run post pandemic just like Sushin’s.

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