Film scores

Soundtrack review: Outcast (Guillaume Roussel – 2015)

outcast

“Outcast” is a medieval movie which tells the story of the heir to the Imperial throne who becomes the target of an assassination by his despised older brother. The young prince finds protection with war-weary crusader named Jacob (Hayden Christensen),and the mythical outlaw known only as The White Ghost (Nicholas Cage). The unlikely trio must fight together in an epic battle to return the prince to his rightful place on the throne. Nicolas Cage and Anakin Skywalker fighting together a few centuries ago? Yeah, I’d go for that. French composer Guillaume Roussel wrote the score and this is the first I’ve heard of him.

The score opens with a Gregorian chant to put us in a crusading mood. This means the score won’t try to be something more than it should. The music stays in the confines of the story with the next cue as well; “Outcast’s nightmare” has the instrumentation and vocal inserts to make me feel as if I am in those lands almost 1000 years ago. Now that the landscape is set is time to introduce the heroes of the time with some exciting and motivational music. “Hero” brings the first moments when I really feel this score. A thick and layered cue like this gives me a lot to think about but also exposes some of the flaws in the other cues.

The Viking instrumentation is well done and keeps me connected to the score. There are also some atmospheric moments which I always welcome like old friends. But my favorite moments from “Outcasts” and the melodic and emotional ones; cues like “Love” and “Training the prince” bring the sweetest echo inside me and allow me to dream somewhere far away… these are the perfect cues to miss someone on, the best cues for longing.

Then there are rewarding action pieces like “Mountain fight”. They make the score worthwhile. Even if there a few cues which aren’t that exciting there are enough moments in “Outcast” that bring something inside me. The variety of emotions that Guillaume Roussel carefully placed in his music are what keep me connected to this composition and make it one to remember and recommend. It’s all in the final cue “New kingdom”. Sample this one and if you like it you will enjoy the entire score. The end works like a mini suite of everything that works in “Outcast”. Definitely a composer to watch.

Cue rating: 86 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 17 / 46

Album excellence: 37%

Highlights:

Hero

Love

Training The Prince

Mountain Fight

New Kingdom

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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