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.
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.
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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