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Soundtrack review: 249. La noche en que una becaria encontró a Emiliano Revilla (Jose Sanchez-Sanz – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: 249. La noche en que una becaria encontró a Emiliano Revilla (Jose Sanchez-Sanz – 2017)


Soundtrack review: 249. La noche en que una becaria encontró a Emiliano Revilla (Jose Sanchez-Sanz – 2017)

“249. La noche en que una becaria encontró a Emiliano Revilla” (249, THe night when an intern found Emiliano Revilla” is a Spanish movie about the kidnapping and captivity by ETA of Spanish industrialist Emiliano Revilla. The score was written by Jose Sanchez-Sanz.

The opening cue “249 days” is alert and pleasant to listen to with its combination of piano and strings. I like the stride of the music; I am always up for a rich orchestral score with this kind of vivacity. This piece makes me think of a lot of things happening, investigations being made and of a tumultuous period. There is a shrewd string motif that reminds me of the “House of cards” scores that seems to be one of the main themes of this score as it comes back in “I hope that he would like pears”. This motif already establishes a nice identity for the score right from the start. There is a sense or urgency in the first few cues also helped by a subtle horn motif that for me mimics frantic heartbeats.

The wonderfully ironic “Keep calm” is the first cue I really love from this score; contrary to the title this piece has a feverish pace that just makes me want to turn the volume up and get my adrenaline pumping. I will definitely use this one on my running playlists; the piano dictates the rhythm and the other instruments follow. For me this vibrant pace is the biggest strength of the score; I was expecting quieter, more tense affair but the composer just went with this sound that keeps me on the edge all the time, alert, looking around; it’s about time a thriller movie got this kind of score instead of the dark and quiet tense atmosphere a lot of directors settle for.

Atmosphere is what we get here as well but a lively and enjoyable one; there are no filler cues and no moments when the score loses steam so even if I don’t find a lot of memorable cues the texture that Jose Sanchez-Sanz created is quite rewarding as a standalone listening experience. That jumpy piano that features throughout this score is delightful. Sometimes I actually prefer a score that I had a good time listening to in its entirety to one with two great highlights and a lot of filler cues.

The Spanish school of film music continues to be one of the best and most prolific in the world and I applaud record labels like Kronos that release these scores and give these composers the exposure they deserve. There’s a lot to choose from and Jose Sanchez-Sanz certainly is a name we will hear more about in the future.

Cue rating: 81 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 17 / 68

Album excellence: 24%

5 – Keep Calm
13 – María José
15 – I Lived What I Must Live

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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