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Veeram - Macbeth by Jeff Rona (Review)

posted Mar 24, 2017, 12:32 PM by Kaya Savas

Jeff Rona enters uncharted territory by scoring Veeram, an Indian historical epic that is an adaption of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The film incorporates other areas of Indian history while weaving together a fantastic grand scale fictional epic. Jeff Rona was sought out by the film’s producers for his work on God Of War III. They purposefully hired Jeff to bring an American perspective to the film and make the music more universal. The resulting score is something that captures the grand epic scale while still fleshing out the characters and emotional arcs.

What really makes this score successful is the full embrace of theme and variation. The score is built on a few key themes plus lots of melodic structure. While we have the thundering drums and masculine brass that evokes the feel of something like Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator, the score feels tied directly to the characters and place. Jeff didn’t use too many native Indian instruments, but just a few to give the score some uniqueness and an inner voice. The music has two sides as well; one more masculine and the other more feminine. There is this duality in tone that weaves together and works extremely well that all builds towards a fantastic climax. Everything comes to a satisfying conclusion that ties many of the arcs together. The original song that Jeff wrote along with Kari Kimmel who performs it is also included. The song adds a sense of romanticism to the entire journey and gives it a nice finish as is customary in Indian cinema.

Veeram was a challenging prospect, but Jeff was able to craft a supremely engaging score that felt part of the story’s fabric. With the movie being shot (not dubbed) in 3 languages, the score had to go through some changes to accommodate dialogue scenes being slightly different. But in the end, the music prospered to deliver an old fashioned action epic that feels it was born from the late 90’s or early 2000’s. And that is a sincere compliment. Big theme, character-focused melodic arcs and a narrative structure that all carries you along for this thundering adventure with many intricate layers.