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Soundtrack review: Beyond Rangoon (Hans Zimmer – 1995)

Composer of the month Hans Zimmer Hans Zimmer month

Soundtrack review: Beyond Rangoon (Hans Zimmer – 1995)



“Beyond Rangoon” is a movie about the 8888 uprising in Burma. I haven’t seen the movie, but I suspect it is emotional and dramatic.

Having already mastered the Japanese rhythms in scores like “Black rain”, Hans Zimmer didn’t have to stray very far to give this score the authentic Eastern vibe it needed. “Beyond Rangoon” is a very lonely and isolated score in Hans’ discography, especially considering that it was written in the mid nineties. It’s not an action score; it’s more a meditating score. It sits quietly in its own corner and it’s one of the reasons I haven’t forgotten it. I always get a warm feeling inside when I think of this score and its soft notes echo inside me.
The composition is very gentle and sensitive and it reflects the drama of the movie, the nature of that people. Sadly, if I think of the next major movie / score about the situation in Burma (John Rambo) the situation seems to have deteriorated during the subsequent 20 years.

Hans Zimmer used traditional ethnic instruments to connect his music to the subject. You can hear various pipes, some even Celtic in sound, or wood flutes that make me think of thick jungles and wide rivers.

“Beyond Rangoon” is a nice and sensible score, but by no means an unforgettable score. Yet it leaves something inside you, like the sweet memory of a dream you can’t quite place or remember, but which you know felt right.

Cue rating: 70 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 23 / 39

Album excellence: 59%


Waters of Irrawaddy

Brother morphine

Our ways will part

Beyond Rangoon

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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