Film scores

Soundtrack review: I want to be a soldier (Federico Jusid – 2010)

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Do not miss this gorgeous gem. You don’t need to be a film music fan to appreciate this one. It will make your life a little richer and it will leave a lasting mark inside you.

“I want to be a soldier” was the fourth feature film directed by film maker Christian Molina, the film tells the story of eight year old Alex, who seems to become almost obsessed by violent images, he begins to develop communication difficulties with his parents at first after his Mother gives birth to two babies, at first he seems happy to assume the role of the older brother, but soon his outlook changes and he also becomes increasingly detached from the other children who attend his school. He then begins to become increasingly secretive and closes in upon himself and develops a friendship with two imaginary characters one an astronaut the other a cruel sergeant called John Cluster who advises Alex on how he can be a better soldier. The quiet eight year old who dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day has changed into someone who wants to be a soldier and go and fight and destroy the enemies of his country. The score was written by Federico Jusid, always a name to be excited about. I like his way of seeing the movie and, besides the way he writes, I like the way he talks about film music.

I listen to a lot of scores from all sorts of genres. Every day there’s 3 or 4 new albums to hear and pay attention to and I often notice similarities in the sound; film music today isn’t exceptionally varied, maybe because the directors and producers don’t have the money or patience to allow the composers to imagine their music outside some confines, maybe it’s more comfortable this way. So when something like “I want to be a soldier” comes along it makes me stop and renew my faith in the imagination and craft of film music composers. This one doesn’t sound like many other scores we have currently… This one comes from another time, a more romantic time, an almost fairy tale like time. I know the sweeping mood in “New arrivals” or “In the tent – I want a TV – Mission accomplished” won’t last because darkness will come soon, but I know I will miss it dearly. These are beautiful cues that just warm my heart.

I recognize what made me love Federico Jusid’s music from the first time I heard it in a tormented cue like “The argument + John Cluster”. This theme is such a real and believable mix of emotions, such a complex composition that just makes me happy and grateful. “The therapy” takes the feeling one step further and gives me a dramatic romantic theme for the ages. The depth of emotion in this one makes me wish I was in a concert hall to experience music like this first hand. The music also makes me remember my favorite Patrick Doyle scores as no composer since him has made me feel this way.

“I want to be a soldier” is the kind of score that I would use to get people drawn to film music. Part fairy tale, part drama, part romance, this is film music at its best from one of the most gifted composers of this generation. The music never loses touch with the innocence that likes in the boy even in his darkest moments. There’s a thread that runs throughout the album that never lets me forget that the main character is after all still a child with a vivid imagination.

Do not miss this gorgeous gem. You don’t need to be a film music fan to appreciate this one. It will make your life a little richer and it will leave a lasting mark inside you. Thank you Fede for another treasure.

Get it here: http://kronosrecords.com/K69.html

Cue rating: 97 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 24 / 31

Album excellence: 80%

Highlights:

New Arrivals

Eat Your Vegetables

In The Tent + I Want A TV + M

The Argument + John Cluster

The Therapy

Harry Returns

Harry vs Cluster

Writting With Harry

John Cluster Is Back

Mother’s Devotion

Mom, We Have A Communication

 

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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