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Soundtrack review: Knock (Cyrille Aufort – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Knock (Cyrille Aufort – 2017)



“Knock” is a classic French play which already had several adaptations on the screen as well. It tells the story of Doctor Knock (Sy) who arrives to a town whose patients are too healthy. By using his charming personality and cunning deceit, the good doctor convinces everybody about having some sort of great illness. But when he meets the beautiful Adéle (Ana Girardot), his plan may very well fall through. The score was written by Cyrille Aufort.

The main theme from “Knock” is just a breath of fresh, celebratory air; I feel like dancing, I have visions of green sunny plains and happy people, children playing and unbridled joy as the effervescent string section plays more like an animation movie theme. “Theme from Knock” us playful and charming and it puts me in a great mood right from the start. By the second or third string explosion of the main motif it’s already stuck in my head and I can almost hum it. Naturally it sneaks up on me again at the even more playful next cue “White calf”. What is Cyrille Aufort’s music doing to me? I usually almost take pride in enjoying more the darker, more serious scores and having a hard time with comedy or animation scores but this one is just so infectiously fun that I can’t stop smiling at every wink from the cello or violin. The animation movie score feeling gets even deeper. Then “Adele” comes along and the music gets whimsical and dreamy with bell chimes and a music box like motif that enchants me further.

I know French comedy; I grew up with French comedies, my parents were huge fans of people like Louis de Funes, Bourville, Fernandel and all the other greats and I watched a lot of those movies and almost all of them were slapstick and silly, a lot of situational humour and Cyrille Aufort’s score for “Knock” brings back the nostalgia of those childhood days and of the unmistakable fun I had watching and listening to those movies, with scores by composers like Vladimir Cosma. Aufort brings back that sound here and I couldn’t be happier. The music smirks and winks at me and I can almost imagine the main character cunningly fooling the members of that community and them gullibly believing him. The music tells me all this by being so playful, so sneaky, so varied, with piano tip toeing and bursts of string and horn energy. Just listen to how the flute plays in “Consultation” and how the violin melodically joins in and build up, this is musical comedy and it’s so rare to hear and experience like this, as if each instrument is an actor in the play. The infectious and sparkling main motif returns at the end of the cue and I just don’t know which cue to choose as my favourite because they are all nuggets or orchestral joy.

“Knock” is one of those orchestral scores that make me happy to be alive and grateful to be able to listen to compositions like the one Cyrille Aufort wrote here; with the wits, fun and stride of a comedy play, with a main theme that I am still humming and full of meaningful moments, it’s an album not to be missed.

Cue rating: 94 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 24 / 35

Album excellence: 68%

Theme from Knock
Whale Calf
Arrival at Saint-Maurice
The Age of Medicine
Adèle and Knock
Waiting Room
Farewell to Adèle
Promise Me to Be Happy
Knock (Reprise)

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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