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Soundtrack review: Frankenstein (Patrick Doyle, 1994)

Composer of the month Patrick Doyle month

Soundtrack review: Frankenstein (Patrick Doyle, 1994)


Robert de Niro…Kenneth Branagh…Francis Ford Coppola…Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”. I don’t need to say more about the movie, other than it’s considered the most faithful adaptation of the story. It is also one of de Niro’s stranger and most magnificent parts.
This Patrick Doyle composition is special. I’ve searched for a word to describe it and this one stuck. “Frankenstein” is special. You’ll remember this one. You’ll remember how melodic is is…you’ll remember the mood it sets: sweeping, vast and larger than life. You’ll remember that “A perilous direction” is like Frankenstein’s monster itself: stitched, moody, made of different pieces that somehow fit together. You’ll remember that “A risk worth taking” and “Victor begins” made you feel the ominous nature of this endeavor, made you look around you both worried and curious…You’ll remember that there were moments while listening to this score when you felt isolated and lonely and part of a crazy experiment. “Even if you die” should be in a manual for horror movie scores involving strange creatures.
I think you’ll remember the most the 2 minutes of “The creation”, the theme for Robert de Niro’s nameless, monstrous and misunderstood character. It is pure perfection, a legendary cue, an adrenaline rush that makes you want to get out of its way, a theme I can’t get enough of.
You’ll remember the feeling of exploration and discovery in “Evil stitched to evil”.  You’ll remember the romantic “The reunion”, the dark and menacing “Friendless” and the rich and intense “Death of Justine-Sea of ice”. You will remember “Yes I speak” because it is such a gorgeous cue. You’ll remember the heartbreak you felt when you heard “Please wait” and “The wedding night”. How can such beautiful and sweeping cues find their place on a gothic horror movie score? But then again, how can a pure sentiment like this find its place beneath the chest of a freak “Creation” made of broken pieces? You will remember these questions…And you will surely remember “The honeymoon”.
Yes, you will remember this score. “Frankenstein” is a dark and exciting score, a composition over which Patrick Doyle has cast the shadow of a dark cloud that never leaves for 70 minutes. He keeps everything under that cloud but leaves a small crack where light can get in and romance blossom. I don’t have to see this movie or even know its title to sense that it’s a tragic and frightening story. “Frankenstein” is a special score in Patrick Doyle’s career and not only. It leaves us with the final act, “He was my father” which is a 6 minute wonder. This is a score to remember. This Creation will surely outlive its creator…
My ratings:
Cue rating: 93 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 70 / 70
Album excellence: 100%
Cues to listen to:
To think of a story
What’s Out There
There’s an Answer
I Won’t If You Won’t
A Perilous Direction
A Risk Worth Taking
Victor Begins
Even If You Die
The Creation
Evil Stitched to Evil
The Escape
The Reunion
The Journal
Death of Justine-Sea of Ice
Yes I Speak
God Forgive Me
Please Wait
he Honeymoon
Thewedding Night
She’s Beautiful
He Was My Father
Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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