Film scores

Soundtrack review: Je te survivrai (I’ll bury you) (Stephen Warbeck – 2015)

ill-bury-you

I always expect with interest a new score from Stephen Warbeck. He’s one of those quieter, low profile composers who always deliver strong and intense scores. I look at him sometimes as if he’d be the Ed Harris of film music composers. It’s time now for his score for “Je te survivrai” (“I will bury you”), the story of a forty-something property broker who is at the top of his game when it comes to his job, but is a failure in all other aspects of life. He finds himself down a pit from where he can’t get back on the surface when he tries to expropriate an old lady.

First moments of the score – first surprises for me. “I will bury you” starts with “The angry neighbor” which starts as if taken from a story that takes place in the wild west or in the USA country lands… Just an electric guitar twang which makes me thing of a stranger entering a saloon or restaurant and making everyone stop what they were doing and look at this guy who doesn’t belong. The cue then goes uncomfortable and atmospheric and I haven’t heard Warbeck like this.

But hey, where did that sound go? I’m suddenly in a lounge listening to a big band play a jolly jazzy tune in “Bicycle ride”. It was just an intermezzo though because the blues sound returns hand in hand with thriller inserts in “In the well”. I am spending quite a few words talking about the sound and barely any about what the music makes me feel. That’s because it doesn’t make me feel much. The whole idea of the story is about depth. Yes there is dark humour and irony as well but Stephen Warbeck spent too much time on these aspects and not enough on danger and doubt. The music isn’t deep enough and this is a contradiction I am not very fond of.

“Plan of escape” would be my favorite cue from this score, even if it also lacks intensity or depth. But there are melodic moments that get to me and make me wish the score had more of them. All in all, “I will bury you” wasn’t for me. If you like jazzy cues and mostly light music you will enjoy this one. I couldn’t connect with it and it will be forgotten very quickly. I’ll wait for Warbeck’s next score.

Cue rating: 68 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 0 / 24

Album excellence: 0%

 

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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