Film scores

Soundtrack review: Truth (Brian Tyler – 2015)

truth

“Truth” is a 2015 American political docudrama film written and directed by James Vanderbilt, his directorial debut. It is based on American journalist and television news producer Mary Mapes’ memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power. The film focuses on the Killian documents controversy and the last days of news anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes at CBS News. It stars Cate Blanchett as Mapes and Robert Redford as Rather. The story and the news corporation it involves, not mentioning the focus on “60 minutes” remind me of one of my favorite movies of all time, “The insider”. No pressure on Brian Tyler to make me feel what that score did… I was very anxious to hear what the master of action was able to do in subdued mode for a topic like this. TO me this is the equivalent of “Frost / Nixon” for Hans Zimmer.

The alert piano ostinato is a given more a movie with a journalistic theme. That rush, that stride and the rhythmic sounds mimic typing as well as a creational flow so “Asking questions”, the opening of this score easily puts in the right mood for such a story. The emotional motif at the end tells me that the story will have highs and lows while the determined finish makes me think of truth. With just a few motifs Brian Tyler has penned the setting for his musical story. The main title is just as upbeat and strong as a news program theme. I recognize Brian Tyler in here. After only two cues I smile because even subdued Brian Tyler brings gorgeous and meaningful music.

I’m always worried for some movie that the scores might fall in the generic thriller music trap. But this is a composer who doesn’t just avoid traps, he dismantles them altogether. Almost every cue has an extra emotional touch or the equivalent of a meaningful look from a person which tells me more than 100 words could. The subtle emotional journey of “FEA” for example is something I want to experience more. It’s the kind of intelligent cue which needs a few listens for me to be able to appreciate what the composer does here. Fantasy moments such as “Transcendence” further set this score apart.

“Truth” is as strong and determined as it should be. The music is crisp and goes deep enough to really make me feel it. Brian Tyler’s music in this mode is definitely something I’d like to see further explored in the future. The musical story he tells is one I will listen to again because I’m sure I’ll discover even more nuances.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 21 / 56

Album excellence: 38%

Highlights:

Asking Questions

Truth Main Title

Fea

Transcendence

Humble Beginnings

Mistakes And Misunderstanding

Indiscretion

End Of An Era

 

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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