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A Dangerous Method by Howard Shore (Review)

posted Dec 21, 2011, 12:22 PM by Kaya Savas

Why are Martin Scorsese and David Cronenberg so lucky? Because they get first dibs on Howard Shore who will always clear his schedule for the two. Shore and Cronenberg's collaboration dates way back to The Brood in 1979. That's over 30 years working together. So, you can imagine that Shore knows exactly how to tackle one of Cronenberg's films. A Dangerous Method is familiar territory for Shore. It allows him to be broody and subtle very much like back in his David Fincher days.

The score is ever brooding with deep strings and trickling piano. It's important to mention how large of a role Wagner plays in the soundscape. Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll" (a 30-minute piece) becomes the central backbone of the score. Shore introduces us to his waltzy theme near the beginning, and it's a fantastic motif. That theme comes back every now and then, and it also closes the score with "Reflection". The rest of the score stays muddled but still maintains its presence. The music fills space even if it may seem like it doesn't, and it really brings you into the melodramatic world that it builds. Now, when I say melodramatic it's not a negative comment. I just feel like the whole score is very theatrical in nature and structure. It doesn't overdo any emotions but I feel like it's meant to accompany over-expressive characters. By including Wagner's complete piece at the end it really feels like a fantastic period after a long yet succinct sentence.

This isn't Howard Shore showing off yet rather another fantastic entry in his ongoing creative relationship with Cronenberg. The score is incredibly good, but it's not doing anything extraordinary. It's definitely worth purchasing though especially for Cronenberg or Shore fans. Hugo may be Shore's popular effort this year, but I think this may be his better one.