Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sound Trapped

I watched Dead Man Walking a few days ago and found it a hard movie to like and for the most unlikely reason - the soundtrack. The moment it came on along with the opening credits, it piqued my interest and I loved it. The Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sound and the use of musical instruments from the Indian subcontinent made for wonderful music but it just did not jive with the plot, mood and setting of the movie.

Through out the movie, it proved to be a distraction from the story sometimes enough to make characters appear unreal and their pathos unbelievable. Not sure if the idea was to inspire a Sufi vibe through the music in keeping with the theme of kindness, forgiveness, love and redemption.

I am guessing the same effect could have been achieved by something like a Gregorian chant - it would help the story remain in character and maintain its cultural and religious context. I found it quite amazing how a perfectly good story and great music could be combined to such disappointing and often even ridiculous effect. If seemed if the two were separated, both would have fared much better.

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