27.1.08

Beowulf - The Original Score by Robert Zemeckis

Much like the motion picture, this soundtrack is big. You need a set of big speakers to listen to it to actually do it some justice. Don’t bother with the headphones; you’ll only waste your time; this is one soundtrack that starts and ends with a bang.

Alan Silvestri has often collaborated with Robert Zemeckis; in fact it’d be hard to find a movie by this director without Silvestri’s compositions and orchestral arrangements. Having said that, this is the first time Silvestri ventures into the fray of fantasy. When one thinks of fantasy movies, the first thing that comes to mind is of course a lush 100-piece orchestral score. After all, it goes with the epic quality of fantasy; being able to tell the story of the hero and his adventures. Or if it’s Beowulf, then his flaws and failures. A particular flaw, whose motif is rampant throughout this soundtrack is Pride.

Credit should be given to Alan Silvestri, for not only tackling the ostentatious task of composing an orchestral score for a fantasy film for the first time, but for doing it so well; with a title track, which opens, nay blasts open, to heavy percussions and a chorus that roars with pure machismo. This motif carries through the other tracks in the album, primarily in What We Need Is a Hero, I Did Not Win The Race, Beowulf Slays The Beast, and King Beowulf. All of these songs are powerful, pride-ridden and loud, making this Beowulf’s motif, however, this is just one of the motifs in the album. One of the others is predominant in both versions of A Hero Comes Home of which the shorter version is sung (almost spoken actually) by Robin Wright Penn. Penn’s performance in the movie (even though it is heavily adulterated by computer generated graphics) steals the limelight from the stars and the technology. Her singing – even though very minimalist – is very appealing. Idina Menzel’s version is poppy, groovy and dare I say, almost a power ballad. But even so it still fits into the album.

Throughout the album, Silvestri brings his flair to each track, and because the movie has its share of action packed scenes (which the composer excels at scoring) this is really Silvestri’s cup of tea. The final word on this album: An edgy yet classic soundtrack to an epic tale of fantasy that will make the movie and its characters come alive as you listen to it.

3 comments:

sidrah said...

khaver, you write at images! sweet :)

sidrah said...

i really liked your micheal moore piece. prolly the only thing i read read from last week's issue.

Khaver Mehboob Siddiqi said...

Thanks for reading! :)