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Everest by Dario Marianelli (Review)

posted Oct 24, 2015, 9:30 AM by Michael Hollands

The latest survival movie, again based on a true story, deals with the events that took place in 1996, when a group of climbers embarked on a journey, which went terribly wrong. The film has received much praise and it does indeed look very promising. Now let's take a look at the original score written by Oscar winner Dario Marianelli. He has written some fine music and he is a very gifted composer with numerous films to his credit and in 2008 he won the Oscar for Atonement.

Writing music for a film of this kind certainly must have been a big opportunity for the composer. I have listened to this score twice so far. After the first time I had really mixed feelings about it. So I decided to give it one more chance which helped indeed and I liked the score much better the second time. The score does have some nice thematic material, interesting soundscapes, percussive elements and nice wordless vocals that show the vulnerable and emotional side of the story and characters. You should not expect to hear big anthems in this score. Many times the music is low-key and also emotional. There are also some elements which are, I guess, almost obligatory in many of today's scores and I felt the percussion was a bit distracting at times. Be that as it may. There are several moments that make up for little flaws like that. The five minute cue “Summit” is one of the best of the entire album. It is nicely written and it becomes increasingly emotional. However, the feeling and style of some cues sounds very familiar and it has been used in other scores in recent history, yet I simply liked the way Dario Marianelli executed his ideas. There is something about this score, despite some rather generic moments. Yet, the album offers some really emotionally engaging music and Mr. Marianelli ends the score with the superb “Epilogue”. This piece is absolutely beautiful. It contains a gorgeous piano theme, haunting string writing and Dario once more incorporated the wordless vocals. The marvelous "Epilogue" and the great “Summit” are clearly my favorite pieces of the 16 track album and to me they represent the best musical moments of the entire album.

Sometimes it is interesting to see how people change their mind about a certain album. A single day can make a difference. On some occasions you are not in the right mood and the music doesn't seem right at the moment. It happened to me on many albums. Sometimes it takes multiple listens to appreciate what the artist wanted to express. This score by Dario Marianelli is not perfect by any means and it is not likely to be voted the best score of the year, but it is also very far away from being the worst.