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The Impossible by Fernando Velázquez (Review)

posted Jan 22, 2013, 10:15 PM by Kaya Savas

While Fernando Velázquez has been composing for quite some time I wouldn't blame you if you didn't know his name. American audiences should take note of this extremely talented composer as he demonstrates he is indeed one of the great voices of the industry with The Impossible. You may have heard his scores to The Orphanage or Devil, but his subtle emotional tendencies really shine here. Films based on real disasters are always difficult to execute, and that goes doubly for the composer. The composer is tasked with creating a way for the audience to connect to characters based on real people, but they must musically walk a fine line between melodrama and overbearing heroics. This film is about family, the will to survive and triumphing over impossible odds. The score itself is an absolutely beautiful reflection of all that.

Velázquez does an amazing job at setting up an anchoring central motif that gracefully flows through the score. Piano and strings make the score an emotional listen. The strings keep things rising and falling with the piano acting as slight punctuation. The music is beautiful and never strays into the realm of being too melodramatic. The story is such a human one, and you can feel the characters glow from the score. The journey is felt through every note, and the listener is guided through the experience. There are moments of great uncertainty that Velázquez handles with a nuanced touch. The score becomes anxious and unsure, and that translates to the listener. At times the music translates a sense of urgency and franticness that leads towards the resolution. The final act and resolution have some amazingly powerful scoring on display. The tears and emotion come flowing naturally and never do you feel the music is heavy-handed. Velázquez handles it with such delicate precision with beautiful execution.

The Impossible is a beautiful reflection of human triumph through tragedy. Fernando Velázquez handles everything with such elegance and a deep feel for the story and its protagonists. The music is never overly melodramatic and the emotions resonate fully. I haven't heard a great score rooted deeply in the human condition like this in awhile. It's emotions are simple on the surface but deep with character, and you will feel the weight of this score's power from beginning to end.