Composer of the month The expendables month

Soundtrack review: Conspiracy theory (Carter Burwell – 1997)

Carter Burwell’s composition is an enjoyable little score that will satisfy different tastes

I remember liking “Conspiracy theory” a lot. It was a movie starring Mel Gibson as a paranoid taxi driver with a wild imagination and Julia Roberts as a district attorney. It was directed by Richard Donner the guy responsible for a little film called Superman and for the Lethal Weapon series. A particular scene stuck in my mind, the scene where Mel Gibson is stalking (I mean guarding) Julia Roberts in his car, outside her building and he watches her work out and hum a tune. He manages to identify the tune by the way she was lip synching and finds the radio station she was listening to. I also remembered Mel Gibson’s collection of every single edition of “The catcher in the rye”. I chose “Conspiracy theory” as part of “The expendables month” for these reasons.

Carter Burwell wrote the score and he’s familiar with this genre. He scored all the Coen brothers movie and all of them are bittersweet dramas for me. He opens this score with a big band overture for the eccentric main character. What I like about this score is that it brings back the feel of the movie. This is not one of my favorite movies or one I saw very often, but it had something that stuck. The score does a great job of reminding me of the funny moments that showcased Gibson’s paranoia or of the very tense moments when he was truly afraid. The contrast between the jumpy “NASA attacks” and the groovy “Conspiracy theory” shows the entire scope of the score.

Carter Burwell’s composition is an enjoyable little score that will satisfy different tastes: it had big band, it has drama, and it has fun and even that 50’s early science fiction movie sound (which I identified in “Wheelchair chase”.

Cue rating: 71 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 8 / 41

Album excellence: 19%

 

Highlights:

Conspiracy theory

Now you tell me

Riding

About the author

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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