Aleks Syntek On Composing Music for the Cantinflas Movie

Mario Moreno’s story of how he came to be Mexico’s most beloved comedy legend Cantinflas is told on the big screen with Spanish actor Oscar Jaenada playing the iconic figure. Via telephone from Mexico, Syntek talked to CineMovie telling us that as soon as he heard about the film, he assumed he would be working on it. Since he considers himself “muy suertudo” (very lucky), he was confident someone would ask for his participation.

Cantinflas-soundtrackHe reveals that he met Mario Moreno as a child through his grandfather who trained Moreno as a bull fighter for his one of many turns as Cantinflas in “El Bolero de Raquel (1957). The former child star of Chiquilladas, a Mexican sketch and musical show on Mexican television, remembers the day very well. He describes Mario Moreno as a “very simple, very noble and a “very kind man” with a serious and calm demeanor, and nothing like his goofy alter ego Cantinflas. “He holds a very special place in my heart” says the 44-year-old musician.

When the CANTINFLAS music coordinator, who also happens to be a life-long friend and musical collegue of Syntek, approached him to write the score for CANTINFLAS, he was thrilled but unfortunately he had to turn the offer down because it coincided with this launch and promotion of his new album “Romantico Deliz,” commemorating his 25 years in music.

After watching an early screening of the film, he was so fascinated with the movie and still wanted to be part of it. Originally the producers wanted Latino music artists such as Syntek, Enrique Bunbury, La Santa Cecilia, Paté de Fuá, Los Claxons and other Latino artists to cover classic songs from the 40s and 50s. Instead, Syntek recommended an original song that he promised would sound like a classic tune from that time period. “Let me fool you and the public by making you believe its a song written in the 40s and 50s but in reality it’s a song done in 2014,” he told the CANTINFLAS music coordinator. He won the battle and composed a song that captured the musical influences of the time.


The outcome was a song titled “Ríete de Amor hasta que Te Mueras” which Syntek says is combination of influences from his memories of his grandparent’s music and an eclectic Latin mix that was popular during Mario Moreno’s rise to fame. He wanted to include more than just mariachi music to make it an eclectic sound with influences from the tango, paso double, boleros, tambas and Brazileño music.

Aleks Syntek feels the movie is one of the best in 2014. Everything about CANTINFLAS from the script, acting, directing and film aesthetics makes the story of high quality, and he predicts it will be not only nominated for an Ariel and Goya Award, but perhaps a Golden Globe or Academy nomination for Best Foreign Film. “I think the film will open doors. It’s a crossover film that captures an important event when Cantinflas starred with David Nivens (in 1956 film “Around the World in Eighty Days”) and won the Golden Globe (Best Actor -Comedy/Musical) over Marlon Brando (“The Teahouse of the August Moon”) and Yul Brenner (“King and I”).”

The Mexican musician and producer knows a thing or two about films. Not only has he composed music for television and film, but the self-proclaimed cinephile has also voiced characters in Spanish for Hollywood animated movies such as “Despicable Me,” “Robots,” and the upcoming Edward James Olmos film “El Americano” which will be released later this year.

Besides celebrating the Cantinflas movie and the release of his new album, the Mexican singer is most proud of his work helping children with the annual Teleton USA (USA Telethon) on the Spanish-language network Univision which raises money for kids with disabilities, cancer, and autism. Last year, the 30-hour broadcast raised $15 million in donations. He hopes many of his fans will tune in again this December to help with a cause that’s “very important for the children.”

Aleks Syntek’s original song for Cantinflas can be heard over the end credits of the movie. “So don’t go running out to your car because you’ll miss it,” he jokes.

CANTINFLAS opens August 29th.

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