El Complot Mongol (The Mongolian Conspiracy)
Distributed by: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd.
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the black comedy, El Complot Mongol (The Mongolian Conspiracy), Damian Alcazar is Filiberto Garcia, a sixty-year-old Mexican policeman in Mexico City during the height of the Cold War. Over the years, he has killed a number of people, but while he once did these things to help his country become something better, now it's just a job. But now, what Filiberto Garcia does in the next 72 hours may change the outcome of the Cold War, because China apparently intends to assassinate the President of the United States on his next visit to Mexico. Is Garcia up to the challenge – can he stop the assassination of the President of the United States?
The musical score of El Complot Mongol was created by the combined efforts of Gus Reyes, San Zlotnik and Andres Sanchez Maher. Mexican musician and composer Gus Reyes has been involved in music since he was eight, learning how to play the guitar. He also performed in numerous choirs. After completing his musical studies, Reyes began writing music for low budget films and eventually gained recognition for his work on El Tultimo Evangelio, El Utimo Pais Magico, El Secreto, The Dark Side of Light and El Chapo. Musician and composer Dan Zlotnik is proficient in saxophone, clarinet and flute and has studied musical composition, orchestration and arrangement. He has created musical score for a number of television and film projects and is best known for his work on La boda de mi major amigo, The Thin Yellow Line and Luis Miguel: La Seri. Andres Sanchez Maher is a composer and arranger who has worked with Gus Reyes on a number of projects, including Mexican Gangster, El Charro de Toluguilla and El Chapo.
There are so many different styles of music to be found in the El Complot Mongol Soundtrack. I noticed detective noir/jazz, Latin flare and Eastern elements. According to Gus Reyes, “It was a tremendous challenge to write the score for "El Complot Mongol" (The Mongolian Conspiracy). We had to come up with a unique sound for this Film Noir / Black Comedy by blending several old fashion styles, like a Mambo Ensemble, a Jazz Combo, a mid-size Orchestra, Latin Percussions, Chinese and Russian traditional styles and Instruments, all from very different musical worlds which the film depicts constantly.”
As I listened, I equated the detective noir/jazz with Filiberto Garcia. I noted the Chinese influences in tracks like Canton Coffee Shop and The Golden Dragon and Opium House and the Russian influences in The Russian Waltz. I laughed at the bad guy piano flourish found in old silent films that made its way into Friends and Foes and I loved the Conspiracy Mambo, Action Mambo and other Latin-inspired music found on the album. When I asked Gus Reyes about the various themes in the score and how the team worked together, you could tell he thoroughly enjoyed working on this project: “It was a truly amazing collaboration. There are small themes for some characters and we tried to use them in a very subtle way. It was really incredible to write together…I’ve had many collaborations during my career, but this one was pretty special - working with a strict, but extremely determined director willing to take some risks and do a profound search for the right music for each moment of the film. We had tons of references from the very beginning, from famous Latin music like Perez Prado’s Mambos, Juan Garcia Esquivel, to inspirational iconic scores like Lalo Schifrin’s Mission Impossible, Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther, John Barry’s James Bond and even the precise note to find the mood of some of Jerry Lewis’ films.”The musical score of El Complot Mongol is incredibly fun to listen to with comedic cues, action sequences and diverse spectrum of sound including Latin, Chinese, Russian and Polish influences. I have no doubt it pairs well with the movie, but I would recommend listening to the soundtrack to people who may never see the film. Definitely worth the listen!