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Soundtrack review: A rising tide (Ronen Landa – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: A rising tide (Ronen Landa – 2017)

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An inspirational story of redemption, A Rising Tide tells the tale of a young chef, Sam Rama (Hunter Parrish). After the destruction of his family’s well-established Atlantic City restaurant during Hurricane Sandy, Sam must grow up quickly, taking the biggest risks of his life, both in business and love. When Sam comes to the aid of a wealthy patron (Tim Daly) and then falls for the newly separated Sarah Bell (Ashley Hinshaw), a chain of unexpected events unfolds for all of them, as they discover the only way to achieve their dreams may be to acknowledge what they owe to others, and realise that the greatest investments take more than cash. Ronen Landa wrote the score.

I am mostly familiar with Ronen Landa as a horror great so it is interesting to hear him write for a different kind of story. I have no worries since even his horror scores had some emotional orchestral moments that showed the potential for drama or romance. The main theme is nice and light with the piano and the guitar that play for a sunny day. “Hurricane Sandy” is a serious and subdued cue that doesn’t tell anything of the destruction force of the hurricane but of the emotional impact. Once again there is a combination of a heroic guitar motif and subtle orchestral ones in the background; this cue and the next one “What remains” make me think of communities remembering and coming together to rebuild. The electric guitar is very well used here as it can both be inspiring and melancholic; even if the guitar motifs are simple I prefer the score to be less crowded and more emotional like this.

“A rising tide” is made of a lot of short and meaningful moments, be they played by guitar, cello or piano; Ronen Landa wrote minimalistic motifs that carry subtle and subdued emotion but are still poignant. There is a constant tone of mourning or elegy in the music with that guitar that makes me think of nostalgia, memories, regret. I like the melancholy in this score and I like its quiet demeanour; I have always been a fan of quieter, more reflective music and Ronen Landa shows here that he can paint with the softest of brushes as well. Every now and then a score like this, more peaceful than anything else, reflective and quite lyrical. I am all for minimalistic music done right and the story this score tells me is indeed inspirational and honest.

Cue rating: 86 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 9 / 30

Album excellence: 31%

Highlights:
What Remains
A Final Message
Here’s to the House
And it was Beautiful
Build it Back Up
Another Drink

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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