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Score Review: The Hunger Games Original Motion Picture Film Score

Posted on the 27 March 2012 by Kittyfairy @KittyFairy
Score Review: The Hunger Games Original Motion Picture Film ScoreAbsolutely nothing complements an amazing film, than an amazing film score. I am a huge lover of film scores, and if I love a film, it's a pretty certain logic to expect me to pick up the score whenever they are available, and I have to say that I tend to appreciate a film score a great deal more than I appreciate the soundtrack because it is the score that sets the mood and the atmosphere. It creeps us out, or makes us smile. A film score has the ability to all by itself, reduce a person to tears. So, this review won't be a big surprise to anyone!
Composed by James Newton Howard, who gave music to Water For Elephants, The Fugitive, Lady in the Water to name just a few and he definitely has an excellent reputation that precedes him. Indeed, Chris was very excited when he discovered that Newton Howard would be doing the score, touting Newton Howard as one of his all-time favorite film composers (only just behind the talented likes of Ennio Morricone and John Williams).
For a well-hyped film, based on a series of books that I was already a big fan of, I has very high expectations for the score, and I have to confess that I was a little anxious upon hearing the score that was used in the films trailers.
The overall feel of the album is very old-fashioned and simple, playing on that classic idea of a big orchestra film score that often reminds me of Harry Potter, Inception and at times Sherlock Holmes. And yet it has that tinny and quite sweet folksy kind of feel to it during pieces that especially relate to Katniss and District 12, which represents a poor way of life, where everything is handmade including the instruments that would have been used. Pieces relating to the Capitol appear to be somewhat grander and dramatic, especially in their choice of instruments.
If you only download one track: It has to be Rue's Farewell. Naturally, I'm one of those people who when I first buy an album, I hop through the entire thing only initially listening to the tracks that grab me straight away, and unfortunately using this method, I completely missed out on Rue's Farewell. It wasn't until Chris and I had a conversation about the score, that he stated that this track was his favorite and that was when I heard it properly.
The track has a very slow build up, but when the piece reaches it's emotional climax (that perfectly matches the scenes that it is associated with), the track is just beautiful, emotive and passionate.
In the second to last track Muttations, I was intrigued with the inclusion of electric guitars, into the score being a very modern instrument. I loved the touch, because it felt like in the score, the film was showing us that the world Katniss knows is quite primitive and basic (respectively), but the world of the Gamemakers and their Muttations is very advanced and technological. For me, that one instrument signified the mutts.
Overall: The score is appropriately grand, and yet appropriately simple. Many tracks don't make a huge statement, but they don't need to because the statements are made when necessary, making them far more poignant.

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