DUPLICITY
Music composed by James Newton Howard
Label: Varčse Sarabande
Catalog: 302 066 955 2

Year: 2009
Tracks:

1. War
2. Following Claire
3. Security Meeting
4. Split to Rome
5. Tully's Letter
6. The Ghost
7. Rome Hotel
8. Back to the Unit
9. Split to London
10. The Frame Up
11. Split to Miami
12. Miami Hotel
13. Share My Fire
14. Bench Mark
15. Safe House
16. Split to Cleveland
17. The Formula
18. San Diego Airport
19. A Cream or a Lotion?
20. Airport Love
21. The Real Setup
22. Played
23. Duplicitá a Due
24. Being Bad (Shana Halligan and Kiran Shahani of Bitter:Sweet)


Total Time: 50:36
Rating:


Reviewed by
Tom Hoover

 
James Newton Howard teams up with Director Tony Gilroy on Duplicity, a humorous tale of espionage and elaborate con games set in corporate America.  Compared to their last project together, Michael Clayton, this one is a delightful stroll in the park!  With that, there is great color and charm in Howard's score, which spans 22 tracks and features a blend of orchestral and electronic instruments working harmoniously well together. One would be hard pressed not to appreciate the friendly energy of this effort.
 
I must say, it's so refreshing to hear James Newton Howard take on a project that isn't as grave or ominous as some of his recent, more serious films.  With the music of Duplicity, I almost get the sense that James had refreshed himself while writing the music for this gem, and while as a listener, I received it as a tonic!  This score came along at just the right moment in time.
 
Simply put, Duplicity is a score that translates to a fun time.  One can't resist the hip, easy motifs that this soundtrack has to offer.  Think about the scores from the Ocean's 11 movies but only with a JNH twist, and in a nutshell, you'll have a sense of what Duplicity is all about.  From the very first track on, the listener is introduced to the playful tone of the score and it remains constant throughout.  When the quirky notes dim a bit, there is a nicely constructed underscore that keeps things moving ahead.  You see, no matter how silly or fun this soundtrack is, there is also an element of professionalism behind it that makes it a genuine and relevant film score.
 
As this effort relates to the composer, it has indeed been a while since James has offered a score that isn't bound by dark, dramatic undercurrents (e.g. The Dark Knight, The Happening, Defiance).  With Duplicity, and recently Confessions of a Shopaholic, the lighter side of the composer has once again re-emerged. I would say this is his best effort since The Lady in the Water and one that, I think, will invigorate the composer as he approaches the rest of 2009. 
 
In a movie that features characters that plot and con one another, there is nothing duplicitous about the score; it's a straight-on display of whimsical gusto that fans of the composer will welcome with open arms.

 

 

 

 

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