The music of Mohanlal’s Alone, a lockdown thriller helmed by Shaji Kailas, is composed by 4 Musics
Malayalam composers 4 Musics, which include Biby Mathew, Jim Jacob, Eldhose Alias, Justin James and Jimson James, have once again scored the music for a Mohanlal-starrer. After collaborating in the superstar’s films such as Oppam, Villain and Ittymaani: Made in China, the upcoming Shaji Kailas directorial titled Alone marks their fourth film and probably their most experimental yet.
In a candid chat with OTTplay, Jim from the band, tells us about the challenges of scoring for the movie which is a lockdown thriller that only has Mohanlal as part of its cast, their upcoming films and more.
Alone is a single-actor film, so, obviously the soundscape and music of the film plays a huge role in setting up the ambience as well as engaging the viewer. What was director Shaji Kailas’ instructions to all of you during its initial discussions?
Shaji sir first told us that the music must have more strings. When we watched the movie, we felt that our traditional instruments wouldn’t fit the theme of the film. So, we told him we wanted some more Western music and that’s what we have tried. We couldn’t implement it entirely as Shaji sir has a certain view on the kind of music that he wants. But overall, there’s that international feel to it. If you listen to the song that was released, Life Is A Mystery, you would get that. That’s the sort of musical language we have used throughout the movie.
As it was initially made for an OTT release, did have room for a lot of songs?
There are two tracks in the movie. There weren’t any plans to have any songs till the shoot was over. After we watched the visuals, we thought a particular song would work. That’s how we suggested the idea for Life Is A Mystery to (editor) Donmax, who liked the concept and shared it with Shaji sir. It was surprising for us because he agreed to include the song; it’s probably the first time that such a track is featured in one of his movies. As far as we are concerned, we rarely get films where we can experiment and so we welcomed this opportunity to arms wide open.
Also, towards the climax, there is an arc that defines Lal sir’s character and when we watched that, we felt we could include another track that could also serve as the film’s theme. That’s a rock song with a ‘massy’ touch to it because the climax veers towards ‘mass’ sequence. It again has a heavy Western influence. It’s sung by Rony Philip, who is a Malayali singer but you would never know from how he has rendered it.
During the pandemic, there was this lull, especially for musicians in the industry because OTT films didn’t have room for songs. But that’s changing now. Is that a relief?
It is. Even though there weren’t songs in films, we did a lot of tracks and released it on social media. But the songs in movies give you a wider reach. Singles in Malayalam don’t have that much of a reach compared to standalone tracks in Tamil or Hindi that are lapped up by the listeners.
We recently started a band and have already composed two songs. One was titled Gafoor ka Dosth, which summarized the story. It was a unique concept and got good reception. We have two more tracks coming out, which will be melodies as compared to the other two rock tracks.
What are your upcoming projects?
We are doing a movie titled Maruthakam, which has Vishu Unnikrishnan and Bibin George in the lead. Then we have the crime-thriller Anuradha Crime No.59/2019, which has Indrajith Sukumaran, Jawanum Mullapoovum, Kalidas Jayaram’s Malayalam-Tamil bilingual thriller Rajini and Binu Pappu, Jaffer Idukki-starrer Mango Muri. We have finished working in these five films and all of these will be released back-to-back, starting from Alone this week.