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Mortdecai by Geoff Zanelli & Mark Ronson (Review)

posted Feb 4, 2015, 12:37 PM by Kaya Savas

David Koepp and Geoff Zanelli have made some beautiful music together, and over the course of their collaborations have entered in a lot of different genres. Mortdecai is another Johnn Depp starrer that was unfairly judged before anyone even saw it. Maybe the critics have something out for him, but who knows? All I know is that I enjoyed this overly ridiculous comedy caper that borrows equally from Blake Edwards and Looney Tunes. At the request of David Koepp, Geoff had a meeting with British rocker Mark Ronson and the two hit it off grandly. The end result is a caper score that borrows its roots from the Mancini masterpieces of the 60’s/70’s, and brings them into the modern age.

Mortdecai is as ridiculous as it gets, and the comedy on-screen is mostly slapstick with a few dialogue punchlines. With that being said, Zanelli and Ronson keep away from the comedy in terms of the score. There is a light bobbly sway to the music that suggests “bumbling idiot” from time to time, but never enough to make the score cartoonish. The whole build of the score is melodic and fun, but it builds a certain atmosphere with it very much like Mancini’s The Pink Panther did. This isn’t necessarily a jazzy score, Ronson’s British rock sensibilities can be heard built around Geoff’s melodies for sure. It makes the music unique and familiar at the same time. The harpsichord adds that little flair that makes the whole package something that’s super consumable for a listener and an audience. In fact the instrumentation as a whole is robust and alive. The score is a fun romp done with a stylish flair. It supports the antics on screen while still coming across as crisply refreshing.

Mortdecai is one of the more original scores you’ll hear. Comedies usually tend to all sound the same these days unless you have a fantastic composer with a unique voice behind it, which Mortdecai has. Zanelli and Ronson together have crafted quite a great little score here. It works perfectly for the film even if its style and tone stay pretty consistent throughout. The songs add a nice touch and the score as a whole is a nice breath of fresh air to the genre.