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Soundtrack review: Misconduct (Federico Jusid – 2016)

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“Misconduct” is so good that even if it’s only the beginning of February I don’t see it leaving my top ten of the year

“Misconduct” is a American drama thriller film directed Shintaro Shimosawa and written by Simon Boyes and Adam Mason. It’s the debut movie of this director and even if it stars Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins and Julia Stiles among others it will see a limited release and it will be available on video on demand. When an ambitious young lawyer takes on a big case against a powerful and ruthless executive of a large pharmaceutical company, he soon finds himself involved in a case of blackmail and corruption. The score is written by Federico Jusid, one of the composers I get most excited about.

The “Overture” just stuns me, there’s no other word for it. I don’t even know if I should call it an ode or a recreation or just a wonderful return to the unmistakable sound of 50s or 60s mystery movies. The music is dark and grave; the piano and strings play hide and seek with sudden bursts of sound that break the thickness of the night. I feel as if I’m listening to how a Bernard Herrmann score for an Alfred Hitchcock movie would sound if it was composed today. The beauty of it is that it’s not just the opening cue. “What comes next is our secret” dives deeper into that sound; I haven’t hear a piano like this in ages and once again I feel the mystery, I live the mystery and I am lost in the shadows. The music is a snake slithering in the darkness, brushing against my feet every now and then.

Then the veil is suddenly lifted and I get a magnificent rolling piano cue like “It’s just us” and I am starting to get that feeling of not wanting this score to end. With each note, with each motif and with each cue Federico Jusid lures me more and more into his spectacular orchestral world and I don’t even want to get out. The piano just becomes a live character and starts chasing the other instruments around dark corners. Suspense is dripping from every note and the puddle on the ground keeps getting bigger.

This score is so beautiful that I can hardly find my words. I feel as if I’m holding a snow ball in my hand that I have to bring to my little girl inside the house; I fear it might melt away before I get there to make my point and I want to rush and get the words in. I don’t want this score to end. I want to listen to it for hours, I want to go behind every door and check every dark corner. I don’t want to say goodbye to that suave and addictive piano, I don’t want the stabbing and menacing strings to go away and I don’t want to get out from under this thick blanket of suspense. On the other hand I want to forget I listened to this score and experience it for the first time over and over again as if I was chasing a high. Cues like “Desperate questions” and “Amy’s chase” will become legends for me.

“Misconduct” is so good that even if it’s only the beginning of February I don’t see it leaving my top ten of the year. There will be many great scores this year I’m sure but Federico Jusid’s magnificent composition will stand the test of them all. I haven’t heard an orchestral wonder like this in a long long time and the echoes it left inside will haunt me for months.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 65 / 65

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Overture

What Comes Next Is Our Secret

Fistfight At The Church

In Eleven Hours

It’s Just Us

Open The Door!

How Far Are You Willing To Go

Harder!

You Think You Have The Complete Picture But You Don’t

Take His Head And Put It On The Wall

Wanna Go On A Date

Leave No Trace Behind

At Least You Are Rich

There Is No Truth In The Law

Hunting Ben

There Is No Right Or Wrong Only What’s True

Desperate Questions

How I Built My Reputation

I Took Actions With My Own Hands

Act As Normal As Possible

Amy’s Chase

Why Did You Never Mention Emiliy

The Art Gallery

Lust

Head Trip

 

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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