Ways To Live Forever is the story of a 12-year old boy with Leukemia. The film follows his quest to write a book and in a sense immortalize himself with the time he has left in this world. He ventures out to discover things about life he has yet to experience. What Cesar Benito has done with the music is quite extraordinary and you get the sense that the score is something special right from the first track. When the score is at its best it's quite fantastic, but it does get bogged down occasionally with some saccharine and schmaltzy music.
The first thing you get right away is that the music is character driven and you feel that from the energy and emotions that the music is communicating. The opening motif is energetic and full of life; it really sets up the driving force of the story. As we move through the first act of the score the music does tend to get a bit cheesy and overwritten. However, if you stick it through you will be rewarded with some incredibly beautiful piano pieces that echo emotions of first love, dread, emptiness and fear. The score does step into that territory like you'd expect from a film about a boy with Leukemia. But please don't think the score is a downer because the best way to communicate sadness is to focus on the beauty, which this score does. Tracks like "Best Things In The World" really embody what the music is doing.
The score ends on a reflective tone and the music communicates everything. It was a very well structured and executed experience that again proves my point that there many hidden gems out there. I would go and say that this is one of those hidden gems. The bit of overdone and cheesy music in the beginning keeps this score from being something truly amazing, but overall this is a fantastic piece of work. If you're a fan of piano based scores then I highly recommend Benito's work here.
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