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Luv by Nuno Malo (Review)

posted May 28, 2015, 4:02 PM by Kaya Savas

Luv is about a young boy in Baltimore who ends up being taken along by his ex-convict uncle who exposes the boy to his dark life of crime. The story has some mixed messages and the plot resorts to some conventional cliches, but the acting helps hold it together as well as Nuno Malo’s score.

The score is actually a wonderfully woven character path, and I found myself really immersed within its folds. It finds a way to carry a unique soundscape and deep emotional currents. Even though the film it accompanies is formulaic and basic in structure, the score itself carries its own weight and really only suffers from some pacing and flow issues. The score’s full-bodied feel acts like the ocean’s tide as it slowly crashes over the shore. You feel the music move in waves and it does carry an ambient feel, but it’s fully supported by melody and themes. You can follow the plot points based off the track titles, and the score’s narrative structure is on point. We do come to a great conclusion and I really enjoyed the emotional final act more than the journey getting there. If you can ignore how melodramatic the film is trying to be, the score will definitely have a hold on you. Luckily the score doesn't slip into melodrama and gives us a pretty decent character journey into darkness and out towards a shining light at the end.

This Baltimore character drama wants to be a wash of powerful emotions, and luckily Nuno Malo’s score hits mostly all the right moments. The unique ambient yet melodic soundscape entrances and engulfs you despite still carrying the overplayed and melodramatic beats of the narrative. There are some areas where we feel the music lose focus, but by the end it wraps up emotionally and nicely. Luv is worth exploring for its unique soundscape and approach.