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Soundtrack Review: A DANGEROUS METHOD

Howard Shore’s soundtrack perfectly captures the mood of the film; but is that a good thing?

Director David Cronenberg’s latest film, ‘A DANGEROUS METHOD’, which stars Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender, is a story of sexual and intellectual exploration during the early 1900‘s, and centres around the relationships between the famous psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Fassbender), and
Jung’s patient Sabina (Knightley). Howard Shore, who composed the score for this and many other Cronenberg films, has perfectly captured the tense, serious mood of the film, with almost every track coming under the adjective of ‘atmospheric’. However, that is where the problem lies; every track is ‘atmospheric’, but every track sort of sounds the
same.
The entire soundtrack is almost exclusively dark and moody, with the exception of ‘End of the Affair’ and ‘Something Unforgivable’, which have an almost hopeful sound to them, despite their titles. The opening track, ‘Burgholzli’, is a stand-out piece, but mainly because it sounds so over-the-top and melodramatic compared to the rest of the album. The final track, ‘Siegfried Idyll’, played by the pianist Lang Lang, is as beautiful a piece of music as you’ll hear all year, but at almost 35 minutes in length, it’s quite a struggle to get through.
As an accompaniment to a film, Shore’s soundtrack does everything right; it encapsulates the mood of the film, and complements, rather than overshadows, the action on screen. However, as a stand-alone album, it lacks direction and variety; the tracks merge together into a conglomerate of moody, almost dull background music. This is an album that works its magic on screen, not off, but it does it’s job so well that any accusations of pomp or melodrama can easily be forgiven.

Track Listing

1. Burgholzli
2. – Miss Spielrein
3. – Galvanometer
4. – Carriage
5. – He’s Very Persuasive
6. – Sabina
7. – Otto Gross
8. – A Boat with Red Sails
9. – Siegfried
10. – Freedom
11. – End of the Affair
12. -Letters
13. – Confession
14. – Risk My Authority

15. – Vienna
16. – Only One God
17. – Something Unforgivable
18. – Reflection
19. – Siegfried Idyll

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