Film scores

Soundtrack review: The walk (Alan Silvestri – 2015)

Album Artwork

I can’t wait to see “The walk”. The trailer was really exciting and the story as well. It is a biographical drama based on the story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on August 7, 1974. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, and Steve Valentine. And even fi the story hadn’t been an exciting one, a Robert Zemekis film is something I will always rush to see. And where there’s Robert Zemekis, we find his musical partner for 35 years, Alan Silvestri.

Could this be Alan Silvestri in that innocent and romantic mood that brought us “Forest Gump”? Lately I’ve gotten used to action Silvestri but the opening of the score, “Pourquoi?” gently comes over me like the warmest of summer breezes. I feel that unmistakable shiver inside me that I get when I listen to a classical score, one that has charmed me for years. It’s the first time I hear this one, yes…but those opening couple of minutes…until the theme turns into smooth spy like jazz, were one of the most touching film melodies I’ve heard in a while. Sure that jazz insert sort of ruined the moment (it’s not that it wasn’t enjoyable, but I was in a very different mood) but the cue is one to be remembered.

Silvestri seems to embrace that duality throughout this score. The cues start romantic and heartwarming and then turn jazzy or get a harmonica, everything to show us that the main character is French and the action happens in the 70s. The French Riviera sound is so nice, so sweet, and so genuine that I instantly want to leave on vacation there. The two styles mix very well after the initial shock of the opening cue which actually made me ask “Pourquoi” I am starting to understand the music. Still I am always on alert when the emotional moments come and can’t fully enjoy them because I know that jazz interlude will come and change the mood. Actually they might be a trap, or something to make sure everyone listens to the cues until they end. Are we going to be tested after this score? “How was “The walk”?” “Ah, one of the most romantic scores I’ve ever heard, magnificent…the pace was so innocent and tender” would reply someone who would skip to the next cue after enjoying the first couple of minutes of a lot of cues from this score. Ha. Joke’s on you.

So once my romantic fantasy goes away i get in the groove and enjoy the spy work Alan Silvestri plays with. I mean, it’s hard not to enjoy music like this. We’ve gotten quite a few marvelous spy scores in the past few months and the taste is still there. And Alan SIlvestri is one of the best composers around so he can do whatever he wants and it will still be great.

In between the romantic magic and the jazzy goodness there are the quieter cues which play the character’s doubts and tribulations. They are nice but I’m sure they work better in the context on the movie than as standalone listens..

The SIlvestri magic is still here, bright as always. The romance…the action… the joy…..“The walk” is fresh, varied and full of memorable moments and what’s even better, will satisfy very different tastes. The cues “The walk” and “I feel thankful” are classic Silvestri and will bring back all sorts of memories…It’s hard to explain the feeling I got from this album… it was as if I couldn’t believe this is a new score that just came out today. I felt as if I was listening to one of the SIlvestri treasures I’ve been enjoying for years. I will listen to this score again because there’s much more to discover, I am sure.

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 38 / 56

Album excellence: 67%

Highlights:

Pourquoi?

Two Loves

Spy work

The arrow

The Walk

I Feel Thankful

They Want to Kill You

There is now why

Perhaps You Brought Them To Life – Given Them A Soul

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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