Like many people, I have not seen or heard much about the film "Breaking and Entering," written and directed by Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley). Starring Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, and Robin Wright Penn, the film delves into an affair that unfurls between a British landscape architect and a widowed Bosnian woman, due to the war, as well as her troubled teenage son. Unfortunately, the film seemed to come and go through the theaters faster than anyone could have anticipated because the film was playing in limited release. It subsequently earned a paltry $444,427 (to be exact) stateside versus grossing more than five million dollars in various foreign markers.
It's interesting how the old adage about how 'opposites attract' is an idiom that transcends many relationship boundaries. The same could be said of a film's soundtrack, although not necessarily its score. Whereas a soundtrack is usually made up of a sometimes eclectic array of various artists, a score is usually created by one or more composers along with his/her symphony or orchestra or both.
But here's where things really get interesting: You take the orchestral underpinnings of a world-renowned, Academy Award-winning film composer (for 1996's "The English Patient") and you add the collaborative genius of two of dance electronica's top artists whose credits include playing in the foreground to thousands of screaming fans around the world, and what do you get? One dynamic 57-minute opus that plays in, of all things, the background of an art house film not many in the US have seen.
Sure, both Underworld and Gabriel Yared are diametrically opposed—and rightly so, as Underworld is as synonymous with Dance/Electronica as Gabriel Yared is known throughout the greater cinematic universe as the man behind many of Mr. Minghella's film scores (again, 'Patient', Cold Mountain & 'Mr. Ripley'). The self-taught, 58-year old Beirut-born composer also composes music for ballets and the French cinema.
On the other hand, it's almost uncharacteristic of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith to be apart of something so off the beaten path, but then again, Underworld have already dabbled in quiet moments of inner solitude and pensiveness on their last CD, "100 Days Off," with, for example, track's 4 and 7, "Ess Gee" and "Sola Sistim," respectively. In fact a majority of their curriculum vitae is rife with a gregarious melting pot of consistently good music- whether danceable or suitable for just kicking back with a little brandy or Jack & Ginger.
The score wonderfully sets up and introduces the various mind and mood-sets, duly reflected with each passing track. I was pleasantly blown away with how such an eloquent symbionic pact was reached that is as much sonic and spectral, widely diverse and pleasing, haunting and pensive, yet warm and inviting, was attained. Many of the tracks' aural ambience embodies many of the themes of the film, but due to the fact that I haven't seen the film (releasing the end of May 2007 on DVD), one doesn't necessarily have to have seen the film in order to pick up the CD or DL it via iTunes or wherever because I've often viewed movies where the movie stunk (or tanked) but its soundtrack more than made up for me plunking down ten or more dollars when I saw it at the movies.
The soundtrack is delicate and emotional, even majestic and moving. But, from time to time, it also has its trademark Underworld sonics and production values stamped all over it- especially in the form of Karl Hyde's deep almost baritone vocals. Combine this with Yared's own brand of composition which has seen him win many an award, and you have several pieces of music that ooze a definitive resonance and emotion as each track interprets the moods and settings of the various characters, I'm going to assume, as they were depicted on screen.
The collaboration is very cool and thus provides a beautiful and opulent examination into what goes into when three dynamic talents decide to hook up to produce something that goes way beyond the confines of celluloid. Even if you haven't seen the film or you have but the film didn't do too much for you, I ask that you take another listen to the score.
Next up for Underworld is a collaboration with British composer John Murphy ("Lock, Stock And Smoking Barrels") for Danny Boyle's next film, the sci-fi flick, "Sunshine."