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Soundtrack review: A wrinkle in time (Ramin Djawadi – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: A wrinkle in time (Ramin Djawadi – 2018)

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A Wrinkle in Time is a 2018 American science fantasy adventure film directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Pine. After learning her astrophysicist father, Alex, is being held captive on a distant planet deep in the grip of a universe-spanning evil, Meg Murry works with her highly intelligent younger brother Charles Wallace, her new friend and fellow student Calvin O’Keefe, and three astral travelers, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who to save him. Ramin Djawadi wrote the score. I am getting a “Tron” vibe from the plot of this movie so I will watch it when it comes to Netflix probably.

The title theme makes me think of an animation movie with its light and playful tone; the joyful celebratory choir also puts a smile on my face right from the start and brings a brighter tone to my day. I am getting all sorts of positive vibes from this. I did not expect to be this charmed by the score since I was thinking more science fiction than fantasy, but here I am in awe, with my jaw dropped like a kind in a toy store, reveling in the melodic and dreamy marvels Ramin Djawadi put together for this score. The music is pleasant, whimsical and the best kind of light fantasy (ass opposed to dark fantasy, not implying that the music lacks complexity). I like imaginative scores and I like scores that excite and open my own imagination; I like the comfortable piano musings of this album, I like the care free feeling and the sunny atmosphere it brings.

I feel the need to close my eyes and dream when I hear “Touch the stars”: it is such a brilliant and inspiring melody, a gentle minimalist musical gem that opens a new world to me. In the last few years Ramin Djawadi has expanded his musical range and I am happy to hear him venture so successfully into the fantasy realm. His musical story moves seamlessly from dreamy to action without losing it’s appeal. “Camazotz” is the first serious action piece of the score and it keeps that positive fantasy flavor going.

Fantasy movies often bring the best in composers; some go for full on spectacular action, others for dark fears while Ramin Djawadi chose to focus on the perspective of the main characters who are basically kids and he let us explore this world through their eyes; his brand of fantasy music is delightful, optimistic and “A wrinkle in time” is the kind of the score that brings a smile to my face and charges me with positive energy. The quieter, more emotional moments are also handled with care and there is nothing in this score that’s abrasive or uncomfortable to hear.

“A wrinkle in time” is a beautiful score that shows once again that Ramin Djawadi is currently one of the most gifted and complex composers who can adapt his craft no matter what the story might ask for. Just listen to “Tesseract” and try not to be affected; it’s pure magic and of of the crown jewels of this composer’s career so far. Do not miss this one.

Cue rating: 96 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 34 / 44

Album excellence: 77%

Highlights:
A Wrinkle in Time
Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which
Darkness Across the Universe
Touch the Stars
Camazotz
Home
Uriel
Is This a Dream?
Tap Into Your Mind
Tesseract
Sorry I’m Late
The Universe Is Within All of Us

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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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