Cinema

Mr. Entertainer

Three of the biggest films of the year – B. Unnikrishnan’s Mohanlal-starrer Mr.Fraud, Rosshan Andrrews’ How Old Are You (HOAY), Manju Warriers’s comeback film, and Anjali Menon’s Banglore Days, starring just about all the young guns in Mollywood – are up for release in the coming week.

Apart from the great expectations heaped on each, the three have a thing in common – music by Gopi Sundar. Whether it is the peppy ‘Maangalyam’ from Bangalore Days, the soulful ‘Vijanathayil’ (HOAY) or the classical ‘Sadaa Paalaya’ in Mr.Fraud, the songs, have already aced music charts. And that’s apart from his popular tracks cutting across genres, in movies such as God’s Own Country, Last Supper, and To Noora With Love, released last week; a winning streak that really started with cricket flick 1983, the first big hit of the year. No wonder that Gopi says he is having the most prolific time of his career.

Although, all the numbers have Gopi’s trademark maverick touch, perhaps it’s Mr. Fraud’s that’s the most different. It’s a soundtrack that’s predominantly classical – a first for the young composer, who once admitted that he would be stumped if he was asked to differentiate one raga from another!

“The soundtrack for Mr. Fraud is classical with a decent level of fusion,” he explains. Decent fusion? “Yes, well there are several types of fusion music that can be mixed to be as different as retro and trance. This one is more of a restrained fusion, where the classical rhythms stand out,” says Gopi. He also shared screen space with Mohanlal in the song ‘Khuda Oh Khuda’ in the film, in which he appears as himself.

“There is a scene in ‘Khuda Oh Khuda’ where I had to give Lal ettan a slap on the back. That is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do! I was a bag of nerves. Lalettan being the ever cooperative, supportive person he is, later told me: ‘Any one can act, but not many people can do what you are doing with music,’” adds Gopi.

But the closest to his heart, he says, is HOAY.

“I owe a lot to Rosshan, who literally plucked me from obscurity as a keyboard performer and handed me the background score of Notebook. He continues to have faith in me and working with him is always special. It’s a small little film where Manju has done an excellent job.”

Meanwhile, for Bangalore Days he’s again working with the team of Anjali and producer Anwar Rasheed after the superhit Ustad Hotel in 2012.

The expectations must be high…?

“I really don’t go much by expectations. I am only concerned that my songs should fit the script. Bangalore Days is a complete entertainer that is a completely different a genre from Ustad Hotel, and the songs are just that – entertaining.”

Double whammy

Gopi is teaming up with Shaan Rahman for the music of Rajesh Pillai’s new film Mili. He has composed four songs for the film while Shaan has composed one. “For the first time Gopi Sundar Music Company will be buying the rights of another composer’s song. Shaan and I have no issues – we are brothers of the same neighbourhood!” explains Gopi. “It’s the first step towards my music production company encouraging youngsters to come into the field,” he adds. Other upcoming projects are Koothara and Manglish.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 4:31:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/mr-entertainer/article6012326.ece

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