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Comments about the soundtrack for The Passion of the Christ (John Debney)

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Some anti-passion
• Posted by: Eric James   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Sunday, March 21, 2004, at 12:43 a.m.
• IP Address:

In response to the review, while the score heightened all the movie's imagery, I felt a lot of Debney's score seemed overdone. The intensity of the score itself without the movie seems rather heavy and too layered. I watched the movie and paid much attention to the score even before I purchased the CD. I felt perhaps the only thing that stuck out were the drum sequences (bongos, tomtoms, etc) which while accurately ethnic seemed to call out every other movie including the ones mentioned in the review, Gladiator, even cues from The World is Not Enough. And using voices and chorus seemed to extend the dialogue into other scenes which eventually got tiresome.
It also seemed each piece of music, each cue, didn't feel as if they melded together. Which from the review is because of a need to stay away from a central theme or focus which would seem to distance the movie's effect away from the viewer (as in, oh right this movie has this neat melodious theme I can hum on the way out). Emotional scenes were completely quiet and suddenly filled with a tumultuous pouring of harmony and progression. The fight in the forest and Mary running towards Jesus was where this was apparent. It just seemed when "life" seemed normal in the film, very intrusive and pounding music would just come out of nowhere suddenly to fill in the next scene with no introduction or prelude. This as a result seems to detract from the score's ability in my mind to match with the film. So I do agree with a lot of the negative reviews made in mainstream media. Debney's music IS marginalized to typical fare in his style of popping out within budget on time. Passion of the Christ is a movie which albeit artistic and nicely crafted, also is edited in a jumble and has no sense of progression which resulted in the music filling in quick moments with no identity with the rest of the score.

A final sidenote: As for two person's complaint's regarding "this is a devoted Christian... etc" I find this complaint to be invalid, really. I think the reviewer was just simply highlighting the fact that indeed this is the process in which this score was created. As the reviewer tends to do in many many other reviews, he likes to elaborate on how the composer brought us the product considering creating music is a variable interactive process.

And please leave other absolutely irrelevant conversations such as evolution out of these responses.

Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  •   Some anti-passion  (2639 views)    We're Here
       Eric James - Sunday, March 21, 2004, at 12:43 a.m.

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